What are Dermal Fillers?
As we age, our skin begins to show signs of wear in the form of wrinkles, creases and sagging. While some of these facial features can be the result of positive experiences like smiling, it doesn’t make them any more welcome for many people.
A dermal filler is a non-surgical, minimally invasive, medical treatment that is injected into the skin to correct creases, wrinkles and folds associated with aging. They also add volume and definition by altering contours to regain a more youthful appearance.
To learn more, read on or watch the video to the right.
Types of Dermal Fillers
Two primary types of dermal fillers are available: permanent and temporary.
- Permanent Dermal Fillers
These are made from substances that are not absorbed by the body, which is why they last longer. However, results from permanent fillers often look artificial. Some common permanent dermal fillers include Sculptra, Artecoll /ArteFill, Silicone, and Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), many of which are not available in Canada, and none of which are available at TCC.
- Temporary Dermal Fillers
These usually contain hyaluronic acid, a substance that occurs naturally in the human body. The hyaluronic acid breaks down over time, and is absorbed by the body. This eventual breakdown is what makes them temporary. Some common temporary dermal fillers include Restylane®, Teosyal®, Esthélis®, and Perlane®, none of which are available at TCC.
Common Dermal Filler Injection Areas
As we age, the amount of fat in our faces gradually diminishes. Although this may sound like a good thing for some of us, this fat is usually what makes us look more youthful, because it smooths out facial contours.
The first place we usually experience loss is around the eyes, followed by the middle of the upper cheek below the eye, and the cheekbones. Fat from the areas on the sides of the mouth and nasolabial lines go next, followed by the forehead. Last, but not least, are the sides of the face.
If you’re looking to replace lost facial fat and regain your youthful appearance, schedule a free consultation to learn more about dermal fillers.
Forehead Wrinkles: Whether dynamic (caused by facial movement) or non-dynamic, permanent horizontal creases on the forehead and permanent vertical frown lines can be filled out so that the forehead regains a smoother, more youthful appearance.
Under Eyes:Sunken and dark areas under your eyes can make you look tired and older than you actually are.
Fillers can camouflage dark circles, which are sometimes created by fat loss in the under-eye area.
Cheeks, Jawline and Chin: Pockets of fat evenly distributed in the face create a smooth facial contour.
However, age causes those fat pockets to diminish, and the skin to lose its suppleness, leaving the face sunken and gaunt with lax skin drooping past the jawline.
Dermal fillers can add volume to the cheeks and chin to replace lost volume, eliminating jowls and sunken areas.
They may also be used to correct “marionette lines,” creases that extend from the corners of the mouth downward toward the chin.
Scars Including Acne Scarring:If you suffer from acne scarring, injectable fillers can help fill in depressions and smooth out the texture of your skin.
Surgical scars that are sunken and depressed can also be treated.
Nasolabial Folds: When you smile, creases form at the corners of your mouth, extending upward to the outer edges of your nose. Known as nasolabial folds, these deep creases can be quite prominent.
An injectable filler can plump the fold, making it less pronounced without sacrificing the beauty of your natural smile.
Nose: Dermal fillers can address bumps or unevenness on the nose. This is often referred to as a non-surgical nose job.
It will not make the nose smaller, but it can camouflage bumps on the bridge of the nose.
Lips: Injectable fillers can plump up thin, flat lips.
Lip injections can reclaim volume lost due to aging, fill out vertical lines that run upwards toward the nose (smoker’s wrinkles), and achieve a more aesthetically pleasing lip contour.
How are Dermal Filler Injections Performed?
The first step is to schedule a free consultation with our professional medical injectionist, Dr Richard Yang. He is a GP with more than 15 years’ experience administering injectable fillers. He’ll discuss your health and medical history with you, ask about your goals, assess the areas you want to have treated, and will answer any questions you have.
We’ll apply a numbing gel to the areas to be treated, to help minimize discomfort. Once this has taken effect, the treatment will begin. The filler is injected through a fine needle into the outer layer of your skin. At regular intervals, your injectionist will massage the treatment area until the desired effect is achieved. Your dermal filler treatment should take less than 30 minutes.
The newly injected hyaluronic acid will begin to bind water molecules to increase volume below the skin. You may have a tiny bit of bleeding, and you’ll see some redness in the area, which will go away within the hour. You’ll also see some swelling, but majority of it will be gone within three days.
You’ll be able to return to your daily routine right away, and our injectionist will call you within a week to make sure you’re not experiencing any negative effects.
What if I Don’t Like the Results?
A lot of our clients come to us because they’ve had dermal filler procedures done elsewhere that ended with poor results. It could be that too much volume was added, or the injections sites are lumpy.
If your treatment was done with a temporary, hyaluronic acid-based filler, we can help! By injecting a substance called hyaluronidase, fillers made from hyaluronic acid can be dissolved, thereby reducing volume and smoothing out the treatment sites. Hyaluronidase is a natural enzyme that breaks down hyaluronic acid.
We recommend waiting at least two weeks before seeking corrective treatment to make sure all the swelling has subsided, and that’s not a factor in your results.
If, by chance, you’re unhappy with the results you get from a treatment here at TCC, we’ll gladly provide you with a complimentary hyaluronidase injection to adjust your results. However, if your treatment was performed by another clinic or injectionist, the hyaluronidase injection starts at $100.
What is Hyaluronic Acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that occurs naturally in connective tissue, and is most commonly found in your joints, skin and tendons. In the face, this acid functions to absorb and bind water molecules to achieve volume.
Dermal fillers made from hyaluronic acid help to achieve a more youthful appearance by replacing your own hyaluronic acid that has broken down over time. Because this substance is already present in our bodies, it is very rare to have an allergic reaction to a hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler. However, you will still probably experience swelling, slight bruising, and mild redness.
Weight Loss and Facial Fat
Pockets of fat distributed in the face contribute greatly to the curves and contours of our facial features, particularly in and around the cheeks and chin, and along the jawline. This is why, when you lose weight, you may see the results in your face before anywhere else on your body.
As the fat pockets in your face decrease in size, the shape and contours of your face are altered. You may find that your jawline becomes more defined or angular, your chin more distinguishable from your neck, and your cheeks more hollowed. Some amount of weight loss may help improve the aesthetic appearance of your features.
However, for some, it can leave the face looking gaunt and aged. If this has been your experience, injectable fillers can fill out your face again, and help you look younger and healthier.
BOTOX® vs. Dermal Fillers
As their name suggests, dermal fillers are used to fill in deep wrinkles and depressions, create contours, and enhance facial features. They bring volume and youthful fullness back to your face if you’ve lost them due to aging or weight loss.
BOTOX® Cosmetic is a muscle relaxant that helps smooth out fine lines associated with aging in the upper half of the face. This is accomplished by relaxing the facial muscles, allowing the skin to plump up again on its own.
Injectable fillers and BOTOX® can be used in the same treatment, depending on the type of results you want to achieve. Discuss your concerns and goals with your injectionist, and she’ll be able to help you decide on the best course of treatment for you.
When will I see results?
Immediately! You will notice increased volume in the treated area right away. Bear in mind that swelling may interfere with results at first. You can ice the area, and keep your head elevated to help reduce swelling. You should see final results in about two weeks.
Is there any downtime after a dermal filler treatment?
It’s very short. You should be able to resume your regular activities right after the procedure is complete.
When is the best time to get an injectable filler?
If you have a special event or important social engagement coming up, we highly recommend not having a treatment the day before. Because you may experience some swelling and bruising, it’s best to have your treatment several days or a week prior to your event.
Will I look like I “had work done”?
The goal of dermal fillers is to subtly enhance your beauty while reducing the signs of aging. The best results are those that harmonize with your facial features, and balance out volume. Discuss the look and cosmetic result you want with your injectionist.
What are the benefits of hyaluronic acid fillers, compared to permanent fillers?
Because hyaluronic acid fillers are made from a substance that naturally occurs in our bodies, the chance of having an adverse reaction to the product is very low. Permanent fillers are usually man-made products that are not smooth, but rather lumpy, so the results over time with permanent fillers can also be lumpy and bumpy.
What are some injectable filler side effects?
Potential side effects of dermal fillers include mild bruising, redness, swelling, tenderness, and itching. You may also experience some mild discomfort around the treated area.