In part 2 of our 3-part facial rejuvenation series, we look at dermal fillers – the second most popular non-invasive cosmetic techniques to transform faces.
Injectable dermal fillers do more than just smooth and tighten the skin. The aim of this facial rejuvenation technique is to change the contours of the face for a more youthful appearance.
Substances used in dermal fillers
Made from naturally occurring gels, dermal fillers are injected under the skin to fill facial creases and expression lines, create fuller lips, plump hollow cheeks, and improve the appearance of sunken scars.
Collagen used to be the injectable gel of choice, but today, hyaluronic acid is more popular. Fat extracted from another part of your body can also be used, but is less popular for reasons we’ll look at later.
What is hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a polysaccharide that occurs naturally in the human body. It helps to cushion and lubricate joints and is found in connective tissue, eye fluids and the skin. In fact, 50% of HA found in the body is in the skin.
The substance is revered by the beauty industry not just because it makes the ideal dermal filler, but because of its ability to hold moisture. HA can hold 1000 times its weight in water, making it the best skin moisture-storage tank available today.
How long do dermal fillers last?
That all depends on the filler. HA fillers last between 6-12 months, while fat taken from your own body can sometimes last for a few years. However, the flipside of fat fillers is, the body may reabsorb it, so may not make the distance.
Fat fillers can also set a person back thousands of dollars. Where, the asking price of a single unit of non-fat filler is around $600-$800.
Are dermal filler injections painful?
Yes, although the pain differs depending on a person’s pain threshold and the area being filled.
Treatment involves small amounts of filler being injected under the skin with a fine needle.
When treating the nasolabial folds – the creases running from the corner of the nose to the corner of the mouth – a short-term burning sensation is felt. Most clinics however will offer a topical anaesthetic cream to numb the face.
Lip augmentation usually requires an injectable anaesthetic, as the pain is unbearable for most people.
Do dermal fillers have any side effects?
Like most treatments, you will want a reputable clinician to reduce the risk of complications. Common side effects of dermal fillers include bruising, infection and allergic reaction. However, if the clinician accidentally injects the filler into a blood vessel, complications can be more significant.
Image courtesy of eluxemagazine.com/