DERMAL FILLERS are becoming increasingly popular as a means to help reverse the changes associated with aging. Because the goal is to return the dermis to its original youthful state, dermal fillers can give a more natural appearance than surgical face lifts. Dermal fillers are being used to reduce or eliminate wrinkles, raise scar depressions, enhance lips, and replace soft-tissue volume loss.

As our skin ages, the dermis gradually loses its major constituents: collagen, elastin and hyalu-ronic acid. Collagen acts as the major support protein for our skin, elastin allows our skin to stay firm and resist wrinkles, and hyaluronic acid helps to trap water and add volume and shape to our skin.

A variety of dermal fillers are available today. Some of the most popular include collagen based fillers, hyaluronic acid based fillers, poly lactic acid based fillers and calcium hydroxylapa-tite fillers. All types of filler materials can all help improve the youthful appearance and full-ness of facial skin, but there are differences in the way each behaves and the duration of time.

What are Facial Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers are substances that are injected just below the surface of the skin to fill in lines, wrinkles, and scars. Unlike face lifts that stretch the skin, fillers add volume for a more natural youthful appearance. Fillers can also increase the fullness of the lips and lessen the downward slant of the corner of lips. The most common areas treated are the smile lines around the nose and mouth, fine lines above the mouth, frown lines between the eyes, and acne scars.

2 Classes of Dermal Fillers:

Permanent – The main permanent dermal filler in use today is silicone. One advantage of silicone is you do not repeat treatments once the desired look has been achieved.

Temporary – Temporary fillers are absorbed by the body over time, usually requires repeated treatments to maintain the effect. For instance, collagen fillers can last three to 12 months, hyalu-ronic acid fillers typically last up to 12 months, semi-permanent fillers can last up to two years.

When will I see treatment results?

After your initial dermal filler treatment, you should notice visible results immediately.

Is a Dermal Filler treatment painful?

You may feel an initial sting, but only for a moment. Your physician may apply a local anaesthetic to numb the area prior to the procedure. This should help dull the sensa-tion of being pricked during the injection. For more sensitive areas, your doctor may apply a dental anaesthetic or local anaesthetic. These may be applied topically or injected at the treatment site to numb the area prior to the procedure.

Can I be treated with a dermal filler if my doctor also treats me with other treatments or injections?

Yes. Many different treatments are often used at the same time with dermal fillers or other cosmetic procedures for an all-over smoothing of wrinkles and facial lines and restoring of lost volume. For example, Botox Cosmetic® treatments may be used on forehead wrinkles, while a dermal filler may be better used to treat lines at the mouth area.

How long does a dermal filler treatment take?

Hyaluronic acid and collagen treatments can usu-ally be carried out in 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size and number of areas treated.

Who are the best candidates for dermal filler treatments?

Good candidates for this procedure include those with deep facial lines or scars, a hallowing of facial features due to fat loss, and those who wish to enhance the size and/or shape of their lips.

What if I don’t like my results?

One advantage of most cosmetic dermal filler treatments is that they are temporary. If you don’t like the results they will diminish in time. A hyalu-ronic acid-based filler can be more rapidly dimin-ished (in weeks, rather than months) with the in-jection of a substance called hyaluronidase in the treatment area. This substance decreases the vis-cosity of the original injection, promoting its absorption and dispersion.