What are Dermal Fillers?
Dermal fillers help reduce the appearance of facial lines and restore volume and fullness in the face.
As we age our faces naturally loose subcutaneous fat and volume. The underlying facial muscles are then closer to the skin surface. This makes facial lines and wrinkles more prominent.
The facial skin also stretches a bit, adding to this loss of facial volume. Other factors that affect the facial skin include sun exposure, heredity and lifestyle.
What Dermal Fillers Can Do
- Plump thin lips
- Enhance shallow contours
- Soften facial creases and wrinkles
- Improve the appearance of recessed scars
- Reconstruct contour deformities in the face
- Decrease or remove the shadow of the lower lids
Who is a good candidate for dermal fillers?
You may be a good candidate for dermal fillers if you:
- Are physically healthy
- Don't smoke
- Have realistic goals in mind for the improvement of your appearance
- Are committed to maintaining good skin health
For some patients a surgical facelift, browlift or eyelift may be more appropriate.
What are the steps of a dermal filler procedure?
Step 1 – Facial Assessment and Mapping
If you choose to use dermal fillers the physician will evaluate your facial appearance and skin tone and examine the areas of your faced to be enhanced.
Certain points on your face may be marked as the appropriate injection sites for the filler. Photographs will be taken of the areas to be treated.
Step 2 – Cleansing and Anesthetizing
The injection sites will be cleansed with an antibacterial agent.
A topical numbing cream will be applied to reduce discomfort.
Step 3 – The Injection
The injection usually only takes a few minutes per area. The process of injection, massaging and evaluating the result is performed and additional filler is added as needed.
Depending on the number of areas treated the whole process may be as short as 15 minutes or as long as an hour.
Step 4 – Clean-Up and Recovery
Once the results are satisfactory any markings will be cleansed off.
Although the area may feel tender for a day or two it is usually not painful enough to require medication.
What are the risks of dermal fillers?
Severe complications from dermal fillers are uncommon. Potential risks vary depending on the specific filler used and the location injected and include:
- Acne like skin eruptions
- Bruising, bleeding from the injection site, swelling
- Damage to the skin that results in a wound and possible scarring
- Infection at the injection site
- Palpability of the filler under the surface of the skin
- Skin rash with itching
- Skin redness
- Under or over correction of wrinkles
- Skin necrosis (ulceration or loss of skin from disruption of blood flow)
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent.
What should I expect during my dermal fillers recovery?
Recovery time varies for each patient and for each type of injection. You can resume most activities right away, but should avoid intense physical activity for 24-48 hours to minimize swelling and bruising.
Your initial appearance after treatment with dermal filler may include:
- An “overfilled” appearance to treated areas
- Swelling or bruising ranging from mild to severe
- Temporary numbness or redness
- Palpable lumps or hard areas at injection sites
- Hypersensitivity reaction that can seem like an allergic reaction with hives and swelling
Most conditions can be eased with topical icing and will improve within a matter of hours or just a few days. Some reactions may require more aggressive treatment with medications or injections.
What should I expect after dermal fillers?
The results of soft tissue enhancement using dermal fillers are apparent immediately and will last from several months to a few years depending on the filler used and the patient injected. Maintaining good overall health and strong skin with appropriate products and skin treatments will improve the results and longevity.
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