Facial fillers - sometimes (wrongly) called dermal fillers - are used to soften and contour lines, folds, and wrinkles. Good technique accompanied by a thorough knowledge of principles and anatomy is critical. A simplistic approach to using filler literally to fill a wrinkle leads to the 'high street disasters' and unusual appearances we have all seen. Instead, a strategy should be formulated from the outset in which issues with your skeletal foundation are addressed first, followed months later by areas of volume depletion, followed finally by refinement and then periodic maintenance. In this way it is possible to achieve a natural and beautiful enhancement for the long term.
What are they?
• Various substances are used for this purpose, but our preference is for hyaluronic acid (HA).
• There are several reasons for this. Firstly, HA has a long track record of safety in the human body, which is to be expected as it is a normal constituent. It is degraded by the body with time and can be dissolved with an injection if necessary, which is rarely necessary but reassuring to some patients.
• The usual duration of action is around a year, although this varies by filler type and injection location.
What it can’t do
• Dermal fillers cannot lift extremely slack skin, correct raised or reddened scars or remove extensive wrinkling. However they can address moderately slack skin and enhance volume. Surprisingly they can also appear to slim a face.
• If facial fillers will not give you a suitable outcome we will not offer them. At Eterno 360 we are able to offer the full range of non-surgical and surgical treatments, and may recommend other treatments such as thread lifts, face lifts and/or eyelid procedures.
• I do not recommend permanent facial fillers, although it may be reasonable to use fat graft as a permanent alternative to filler. If this is done I recommend it is done very cautiously, because the fat will never forget where it came from and gain weight in the future as if it was still there. In ten years when your tummy might be a bit fuller, you don't want hamster cheeks as a result...
Types of filler
• There are many different types of filler in use today but only a few have delivered consistently safe, effective long term results with minimal swelling or redness
• The only artificial fillers we use are made from hyaluronic acid
• Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the connective tissue of skin
• As with all injections, you will feel some discomfort from the needle. We can treat the area first with anaesthetic cream to keep discomfort to a minimum if this is a concern for you.
• When the area has been anaesthetised, the filler is carefully injected beneath the skin
• The effects are immediate and you can probably go straight back to work afterwards if you choose
• I often combine injections using either a needle or a cannula (a cannula looks like a needle but is blunt-tipped), as each has advantages and disadvantages in different situations.
Possible side effects
• You may experience some temporary redness and swelling after your treatment which can be disguised with concealer make-up
• In very rare cases, you may develop an allergic reaction to a filler
• The most common adverse consequence would be undertreatment if filler is used when surgery really was necessary. However many patients accept a less significant result in order to avoid surgery and its recovery time.
• All fillers produce immediate results
• There is typically swelling the day after injection of a hyaluronic acid filler, as it absorbs water from your body and swells. This subsides over the next few days, and the filler then gradually fades away over the next few months.
• You may have top-ups to the same or other areas while there is still filler present.
• You are likely to need to have the treatment repeated if you want to maintain your results
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