Who doesn’t feel a pinch of pain about aging? A smooth, flawless skin is every woman’s dream but aging is inevitable and so are its consequences: wrinkles, saggy skin and loss of face volume. While you may be religiously following your anti-aging routine every day and doing everything under the sun to fight aging, there are limitations to how much you can slow the process of aging. This is where dermal fillers come to the rescue!
Dermal filler or facial filler, as the name suggests, is an injectable that is used to fill in wrinkles from beneath the skin, enhance contour, restore the volume of the skin, plump up the lips and fix the signs of aging in a short period of time.
What is a Dermal Filler?
Dermal filler is an FDA approved non-invasive treatment which involves pushing a gel-based injectable material composed of natural or synthetic substances like Hyaluronic acid molecules or Poly-L-lactic acid beneath the skin to fill in the facial lines, restore facial volume, add volume to sunken cheeks and enhance the appearance of the skin overall by diminishing the effects of aging.
This procedure can also be used to correct lip and jaw-line defects.
Are Dermal Fillers and Botox the same thing?
Even though both Botox and dermal filler treatments are similar in many ways they are not the same. The major difference between the two lies in their working mechanism.
While Botox uses purified bacteria to diminish the appearance of wrinkles and lines by paralyzing the muscles, dermal filler uses gel based substances like hyaluronic acid to restore volume and fix the areas that have been deformed by the aging process.
Botox is mainly used for removing wrinkles and, unlike dermal filler, it cannot be used to add fullness to the face.
What are the different types of dermal fillers and how long do they last?
Dermal filler treatment results are long-lasting but not permanent. However, the result largely depends upon the type of filler used. In most cases, the effect of the fillers last for six to eighteen months at the most and regular touch-up sessions are necessary to keep the desired look intact.
There are several kinds of dermal fillers available based on the substance they are composed of. The most common types are:
#1. Hyaluronic Acid Fillers
As the name suggests, hyaluronic acid fillers are facial fillers made up of hyaluronic acid molecules. Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is naturally produced by the body and commonly found in fluids in the eyes and joints where it acts as a cushion or lubricant.
As we age, the production of collagen (the main protein found in the connective tissue of the skin) declines and as a result the skin starts thinning and also loses elasticity. When a hyaluronic acid filler is injected it stimulates collagen production, restores volume and adds plumpness to the skin by filling in the space left by the depleted collagen. The same filler can be used for lip augmentation as well.
Hyaluronic acid fillers have minor-to-no side effects and if you are not satisfied with the filler treatment, you have the option of dissolving the filler with Hyaluronidase, an enzyme that quickens the degradation of Hyaluronic acid in the body. The common dermal filler products that use Hyaluronic acid include Juvederm, Restylane, Puragen, Prevelle, Voluma and Boltero. The results last from 6 months to 2 years, in some cases.
#2. Synthetic Wrinkle Fillers
Unlike Hyaluronic acid fillers, synthetic wrinkle fillers uses a lab-made substance like Poly-L-lactic acid to stimulate the formation of collagen in the skin. As a result of this, the effect of the treatment is not seen immediately and becomes increasingly visible only over a period of sessions once new collagen has been produced. The result lasts for 2 years or even longer.
This treatment can be used to fix facial depressions, build up the cheeks, fill in lines and treat nasolabial folds.
The side effects may include swelling, bruises, redness and tiny bumps beneath the skin. The common dermal filler products under this category are Sculptra, Radiesse and Silicone.
#3. Collagen Wrinkle Fillers
Collagen wrinkle fillers seek to inject collagen into the skin to replace the collagen that has been depleted naturally due to aging. Collagen fillers can be used to fix scars and for smoothening out lines and wrinkles. The biggest disadvantage of this filler is that the result does not last more than 3 to 4 months. However, the effect of this treatment creates a very natural looking skin.
Research says collagen wrinkle fillers come with risks of allergic reaction, bruises, redness, and swellings; since the collagen is usually derived from cows, those with any allergies to bovine products should avoid this type of filler. Cosmoderm, Evolence and Fibrel are some of the common dermal filler products that come under this category.
#4. Autologous Wrinkle Fillers
Autologous wrinkle filler treatment is slightly different from the other dermal filler treatments and involves two steps.
At first, the patient’s own body fat is surgically extracted from areas like buttocks, thighs, and stomach and then treated. Once treated, the fat is injected into the areas on the face where wrinkles need to be smoothened or where volume needs to be added.
Another type of autologous wrinkle filler draws blood from the patient’s arm, treats it and then injects it into the patient’s skin.
This treatment involves risks similar to other dermal filler treatments like redness, bruise, swelling, and infection in the affected area. The treatment can be performed in one day and the results last for one to two years.
How safe are dermal fillers?
One major factor behind the popularity of dermal fillers is that they provide a non-surgical alternative to anti-aging. However, like any other cosmetic procedure, dermal fillers have potential dangers if not administered properly.
Swelling is a common side effect but it usually disappears in a weeks’ time. Some of the potential dangers include skin rashes, acne-like skin breakouts and infection. The risks depend on various factors such as the type and brand of fillers being used, the amount of filler used and the affected area the patient wants to treat.
It is also important to consult a dermatologist before considering a dermal filler treatment and ensure that you are not allergic to any of the substances present in the selected filler material. It is equally important to undergo this treatment in the presence of a trained surgeon in a medical setting.