Q: Why would someone consider dermal fillers?
A: As we age, we lose support under our skin from fat pads, loosening ligaments, and resorption of bone. Our body does not make hyaluronic acid as we age, and our collagen production stops as well. The facial muscles are then working closer to the skin surface, so smile lines and crow's feet become more apparent. 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.
Dermal fillers can help slow down the aging process if used early enough, and can support structures under the skin to enhance our appearance.
Q: Do I actually need dermal fillers?
A: The way you look and age is completely subjective. Everyone is on their own journey and only you can truly decide if this is the right path for you.
Q: How does the process work?
A: First and foremost, no procedure takes place until you are completely informed and prepared for what lies ahead. Before doing anything, I hold a thorough consultation. If there is an area that is bothersome to you, I can analyze your face to best see the area of deficit and the best journey for you. It is a minimally invasive procedure.
Q: What are the benefits of using dermal fillers?
A: Dermal fillers can:
Plump thin lips
Enhance shallow contours
Soften facial creases and wrinkles
Improve the appearance of recessed scars
Reconstruct the contour of our face
Help with jaw and chin restoration
And, ultimately build and restore your confidence!
Q: What are fillers made with?
A: The short answer is, it depends on the filler. Fillers are categorized by the substance they are made from, and then there are subtypes of fillers that are better in one place than another. In order to provide you with an educated overview, below are descriptions of each FDA-approved substance.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance that is already found in your skin. It helps keep skin plump and hydrated. HA fillers are typically soft and gel-like. The results are temporary, lasting 6-12 months or longer before the body gradually and naturally absorbs the particles. FDA-approved HA fillers include:
Juvéderm products: Juvéderm XC, VOLUMA, VOLBELLA, VOLLURE
Restylane products: Restylane, Restylane Silk, Restylane Lyft, Restylane Refyne, Restylane Defyne, Restylane Kysse, Restylane Contour
The RHA collection: RHA 2, RHA 3, and RHA 4
My favorites are the Restylane line, Revanesse Versa, and RHA 2 / 3 / 4, each with particular benefits. They each have positives! I have worked with the Juvederm products, but don’t find a need for them in my arsenal as Restylane is similar.
Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA)
Calcium hydroxylapatite is also a naturally occurring substance, found primarily in our bones. When used in a filler, the calcium particles are nearly microscopic and suspended in a smooth gel. The consistency of a CaHA filler is typically thicker than that of a hyaluronic acid filler and typically last longer as well (about 12 months for most patients, but I’m finding even longer lasting results!). Calcium hydroxylapatite will also help stimulate natural collagen production as it breaks down and is unique in regeneration, and will improve the quality of your skin as time goes on. FDA-approved CaHA fillers include Radiesse®.
I use Radiesse® in the cheeks, jaw, chin, neck, chest, hands to improve support, structure, and collagen biostimulation.
Poly-L-lactic acid is a biocompatible (meaning it is safe to use in the body), biodegradable synthetic substance. It has been used for many years in medical devices, such as dissolvable stitches. Poly-L-lactic acid products are technically classified as “collagen stimulators,” as their main mechanism to smooth fine lines is by helping your skin rebuild natural collagen; the filler gel itself dissipates a few days after treatment. Poly-L-lactic acid is typically used to treat deeper facial wrinkles, and results can last more than 2 years. FDA approved Poly-L-lactic acid fillers include Sculptra® Aesthetic.
This treatment is sometimes described as the “fountain of youth” as it is great at stimulating collagen in the areas injected - keeping the skin supported from underneath. Sculptra is injected every 3-4 months for roughly 3-4 times, and then should be maintained yearly.
Q: Do I need to do anything different following a procedure?
A: Following a few simple requests will improve your outcomes after filler placement. I ask that you don’t make a filler appointment if you have a big event within 7-14 days of the filler being placed. It takes this long to allow the filler to sit and mold into the tissue (with Radiesse ® it can take up to 4 weeks). I request that you sleep on your back for 2 nights, not to use retinol creams for 2 days, not to drink excessive alcohol or caffeine for 2 days, not to use aspirin, ibuprofen, or aleve for 2 days, not to sit in a hot tub, sauna, or steam room for 2 days, and not to exercise intensely for 2 days. One side may heal faster than the other which is normal. I say - don’t love it or hate it for 2 weeks!
Q: How often should I get dermal fillers?
A: Again, the short answer is, it depends! Each filler product has a different timeline, and each person will metabolize and break it down differently.
The way you look and age is completely subjective. Everyone is on their own journey and only you can truly decide if this is the right path for you.