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Everything You Want to Know About Dermal Fillers

(Soft Tissue Augmentation)

By Lisa Miller, NP

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.