Aging doesn’t just involve wrinkles—there are many changes that take place during the aging process that affect the skin, fat, and facial muscles, causing volume loss, sagging skin, and of course, folds and wrinkles. Collagen, an essential structural protein that makes skin smooth, firm, elastic, and youthful, becomes less plentiful with age, making it harder for the skin to repair itself. For many people, these changes can have a profound effect on confidence and self-esteem. Dermal fillers can provide substantial, temporary improvement in signs of aging like mild to moderate wrinkles and facial volume loss without surgery or downtime.
Dermal fillers are injectable gel treatments that actively fill in “static” wrinkles—wrinkles caused by volume loss, or subtly add volume to the face where facial fat has disappeared. Volume loss can occur in many areas of the face, including the folds between the nose and lips (the nasolabial folds), beneath the eyes, in the temples and in the lips.
Common areas of treatment include the nasolabial folds, marionette lines (running from the corners of the lips to the chin), vertical lines around the mouth, the lips, under the eyes, the cheeks, and any other area that could benefit from additional volume.
Fillers are extremely popular, and there are many different brands and formulas available. The most common type of dermal filler is the hyaluronic acid filler. Hyaluronic acid is a substance found naturally in the skin, which helps keep skin hydrated and supple. Popular hyaluronic acid fillers include Restylane®, Juvederm®, Voluma® and Belotero®. Recently, more specialized fillers have appeared on the market for problems like loss of volume in the cheeks or lips. While hyaluronic acid fillers are the most common type of dermal fillers, there are other formulas that produce excellent results as well.
Dermal Fillers Consultation
Because everyone’s needs for dermal filler treatments are unique, a consultation is an essential first step in the treatment process. One of our talented cosmetic surgeons will meet with you and discuss your needs for facial rejuvenation at our Atlanta, Georgia office. With so many different filler options, you will need an expert’s advice to choose the product that is right for you. During your consultation, you will also get the opportunity to get to know our surgeons, ask any questions you might have, and find out everything you need to know about the procedure.
Dermal Fillers Candidates
Dermal fillers are appropriate for many different patients interested in facial rejuvenation. They are a low-risk treatment option and only require that patients be healthy adults with realistic expectations for the results of the treatment. During your consultation, candidacy will be assessed, and our surgeons will make sure you have no disqualifying medical conditions that could jeopardize your results or safety.
Dermal Fillers Procedure
The dermal filler procedure at our Atlanta office is minimally invasive and quite brief. If necessary, an injected local anesthetic or topical numbing cream is used to make the injection process more comfortable. Following this, the chosen filler is used to carefully fill in wrinkles or volume and improve facial contour, a process that takes about 30-45 minutes depending on the number of areas being treated.
Dermal Fillers Recovery
Following treatment, patients do not need to make any changes to their normal routine, and can go back to work or other activities immediately. The only common side effects are from the injection itself, and may include minor bruising, swelling, redness, and soreness at the injection site. These symptoms should fade within a few days, but in the meantime, makeup can be used to cover up any telltale signs, and normal skincare routines need not change.
Results will take effect immediately, though any swelling from the injections may create more volume than the final results will reflect. In order to maintain results, patients will need to come back to our offices periodically for re-treatment as the filler wears off.
Dermal Fillers FAQs
What are dermal fillers made of?
While the most common substance used to create dermal fillers is hyaluronic acid, each formula is a little bit different. Gel consistency and the size of the particles in hyaluronic acid fillers can make a difference in how the filler works and behaves. Hyaluronic acid fillers look exceptionally natural and are used in all areas of the face.
Other fillers, such as Sculptra®, use poly-l-lactic, a synthetic polymer to fill in facial wrinkles, which has the added benefit of encouraging the skin to produce collagen, which makes this filler last longer than many other formulas.
Radiesse® is made from calcium hydroxyapatite, which uses calcium microspheres in a watery gel. Radiesse® can also improve collagen production and overall contour of the face.
What are the differences between fillers and Botox®?
While dermal fillers are used to fill in the wrinkles caused by collagen and volume loss, Botox® and equivalent products work very differently. They are used to treat dynamic wrinkles, caused by repetitive facial movements, and work by partially limiting the movement of facial muscles. Botox® and fillers are administered in the same way, but they are used to treat different problems.
How long do fillers last?
The results from dermal filler treatments will last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years on average, depending on the type and formula of the filler. The area treated and patient lifestyle are also factors in the longevity of facial fillers. Basic hyaluronic fillers like Juvederm® and Restylane® are expected to last about 6-12 months, although newer formulations may last much longer. Fillers like Sculptra® and Radiesse® can produce improvement that lasts up to two years. How long fillers last also depend on the area being treated. For example, injections under the eyelids tend to last for a much longer time than injections in the lips. However, every person is different, and it’s up to you to decide when it’s time for a touchup procedure.
What are some other uses for dermal fillers?
Dermal fillers are very versatile, and the list of uses just keeps growing all the time. Currently, more unusual uses for dermal fillers include:
- Filling in the tear troughs under the eyes to minimize “bags” and hollows
- Rejuvenating the hands
- Camouflaging jowls
- Cheek augmentation
- Temporary improvement of acne scars
Are there any side effects of dermal fillers?
Aside from the normal swelling and bruising following each treatment, the chances for more serious side effects are very small. Rare risks may include:
- Allergic reaction
- Delayed severe swelling
- Skin discoloration
- Very rarely, arterial embolization leading to blindness or tissue loss
Are specialized fillers worth using?
In the last few years, major filler manufacturers have introduced new formulas targeting specific areas of the face. These include Juvederm Voluma® XC (for augmenting the cheek area) and Restylane® Silk (for lip enhancement). Though both of these fillers are hyaluronic acid bases, they are optimized for the use in these specific areas, and are designed to produce beautiful, results for these uses. Voluma® XC is formulated to last longer than traditional hyaluronic acid fillers, up to 2 years, while Restylane® Silk is injected into the high movement area of the lips, and should last 6 months to a year. For the right patients, these new formulas can be the perfect treatment, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t consider specialized fillers.
How do I decide on a filler?
With all the options available, it can be difficult to know which filler to choose. That’s where our Emory cosmetic surgeons come in. Our experts can assess your needs and use their extensive knowledge of different fillers to recommend different options for you.
Am I too young for fillers?
There is no specific age that is “too young” for fillers. The only requirement is that the patient must be an adult who can benefit from the treatment. People age at different rates, and while some patients come in when they are in their early 30s, other people don’t start seeing significant signs of aging until much later. When to seek filler treatments is an individual decision.
Why does the face lose volume with aging?
Unlike the rest of the body, the face tends to lose fat rather than gain as aging progresses. Bone mass and collagen also start to fade, and collagen production slows down, causing the face to lose volume and the skin to sag, losing the firm, smooth appearance of youth. All of these factors together cause a hollow look, wrinkles, and sagging skin.
Who should perform my dermal filler treatments?
While the process may seem straightforward, performing dermal filler treatments properly requires a great deal of skill and in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy. You should only seek treatment from a qualified cosmetic surgeon, like our highly trained staff at Emory. Do not sacrifice quality for cost in dermal filler treatments. To get the best value for your investment, you need to choose the right provider to perform your treatments.
How Can We Help You Today?
Need help? We will be delighted to assist you today, so please call us at 404-778-6880. We look forward to hearing from you.