Facial fillers - sometimes (wrongly) called dermal fillers - are used to soften and contour lines, folds, and wrinkles. The filler is injected into deep facial fat compartments or directly beneath a wrinkle to add volume, create an uplift effect and produce a more youthful appearance.
What are they?
• Dermal fillers are used to plump out deep wrinkles and skin folds, as well as build up and sculpt facial contours
• Various substances have been used, but my preference is for hyaluronic acid as this is a normal constituent of the body and can be dissolved with an injection if necessary. Hyaluronic acid fillers are semi-permanent, which means they fade away over a few months.
What it can’t do
• Dermal fillers cannot lift very slack skin, correct raised or reddened scars or remove extensive wrinkling
• These are best addressed by other means, such as a facelift, chemical peel, scar revision or laser skin resurfacing
• 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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