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Everything You Want to Know About Dermal Fillers

(Soft Tissue Augmentation)

The way your skin looks is directly related to the way it is supported. As we age, we lose volume in the major structural components of the face (skin, fat, muscle and bone). Volume loss contributes to the appearance of aging, which is why cosmetic procedures often focus on restoring (or filling) volume. 

Collagen is a natural protein found in skin, muscle, tendons and bones that supports moisture retention and volume, and it also provides structural support, texture, shape, and resiliency to skin. Over time, age-related bone loss and the thinning of collagen in the face will lead to loss of high cheekbones, decreased elasticity of the skin, and sagging skin. 

Dermal fillers helped define and sculpt this patient’s lips

What You Can Do to Lift Aging Skin (without a face lift!)

Cosmetic procedures for the face are evolving. Noninvasive procedures such as neurotoxins (i.e botox, dysport, jeuveau and xeomin) and dermal fillers (i.e Juvederm and Restylane etc.) give us more options to add to our toolbox. These noninvasive injectable treatments (specifically neurotoxins and fillers) account for over 10 million procedures annually, making them the top two most popular minimally invasive cosmetic procedures in America. These are great options for being proactive in creating your anti-aging skin regimen.  

What are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers are soft gel-like substances that are injected under the skin in areas of decreased volume where collagen has also weakened. Facial fillers can plump sagging skin, fill in wrinkles, and decrease the appearance of unwanted creases, folds and scars. Fillers can lift cheekbones, smooth lip lines, and provide volume to cheeks and lips restoring a more youthful appearance.

How Do Dermal Fillers work?

Dermal fillers can be made from a variety of substances; some are synthetic while others are naturally occurring. The most common active ingredient in dermal fillers is hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is a naturally occurring substance found in skin. It’s like a glass of water for your skin – it hydrates and helps restore volume from collagen loss. HA fillers, once injected, can last from 6 months to 2 years, depending on location and chemical make up of the product chosen. 

This before and after shows a patient that has filler added to the cheeks, chin and lip areas to bring more definition to cheeks as well as add subtle fullness to her lips and soften her tear troughs and softening the lines around her mouth. We also elongated her chin slightly to add to this very natural looking enhancement. 

Common Dermal Fillers

Hyaluronic Acid (Restylane®, Juvederm®, Voluma®)

Hyaluronic acid is a spongy substance found naturally in the skin that helps to draw water into the skin in order to help provide support and fullness. Benefits may last from several months to a few years, depending on the type of hyaluronic acid used.

Calcium Hydroxylapatite (Radiesse®)

Calcium hydroxylapatite is composed of microspheres of a synthetic version of material naturally found in the body. Once injected into the skin, the microspheres induce the skin to produce its own collagen around them. Results may last for up to 1-2 years.

Autologous Fat Grafting or Transfer

A fat transfer is the most natural filler, as it utilizes the patient’s own fat to act as the filler. A small amount of fat is removed from a small nick incision, usually in a hip or buttock, processed, and then reinjected into the area to be rejuvenated. Results may last for up to 1-2 years.

Many patients will combine dermal fillers with other procedures such as neurotoxins or laser resurfacing in order to achieve maximal improvement. At your consultation and treatment, your doctor will evaluate which areas may be most appropriate for treatment and which type of filler may best fit your needs. Any side effects are usually minor, such as bruising or swelling, and tend to resolve within days.

We are happy to answer any questions you have about fillers and other cosmetic procedures. Call us to schedule a consultation today!


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