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What are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal Fillers are gel-like substances that are injected beneath the skin. Injectable hyaluronic acid (HA) is a type of temporary Dermal Filler. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally throughout the body, with the highest concentrations in the joints, eyes, and skin. In the skin, hyaluronic acid attracts water, which allows the skin to become more hydrated.

What are Dermal Fillers used for?

Dermal Fillers are used to restore lost volume, smooth lines and soften creases, or enhance facial contours. They add volume, thereby filling lines, wrinkles, and folds from the inside out.

woman with her facial contours highlighted

Who is an ideal candidate for Dermal Fillers?

Individuals who are in good physical health and do not have any underlying health conditions that could affect healing. Other factors include not being a smoker and not having deep lines or other issues that a facelift or other surgical procedure would work better. Anyone who has not had the Covid-19 vaccine in the last 14 days or plans on getting one in the next 14 days. There have been a small number of cases where the vaccine is suspected of triggering localized swelling in people who had Dermal Fillers (most often in the face or lips).

lower half of woman's face smiling

Who is not recommended for Dermal Fillers?

  • Active infection near the site of injection, a known allergy/hypersensitivity to the material or to the lidocaine mixed in the syringe of the filler (Zyderm, Zyplast, Cosmoderm, Cosmoplast, and certain hyaluronic acid fillers and Artefill) and glabellar skin necrosis with injected Zyplast.

  • No causal relationship has been established between the use of filler and autoimmune diseases like dermatomyositis/polymyositis, lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, or scleroderma.

  • Individuals under the age of 18 or those that are pregnant or breastfeeding should also avoid dermal fillers.

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What are the
side effects?

Patients may experience these common side effects after treatment:

  • Redness, swelling, pain, bruising, itching, and rash.

  • Additional risks associated with Dermal Fillers include nodule (bump) formation, infection, inflammation, allergic complications, vascular complications, and tissue death.

Are there different types of Dermal Fillers?

Alternatives include not performing the treatment at all. Other alternative treatments which vary in sensitivity, effect, and duration include animal-derived filler products, Dermal Fillers derived from the patient’s own fat tissues, synthetic plastic permanent implants, or toxins that can paralyze muscles that cause some wrinkles.

Is there preparation for the treatment?

Individuals should review medical, surgical, medication, and allergy history with a provider prior to treatment. Prepare for your treatment by reading about Dermal Fillers, schedule your treatment 2 weeks before any special events, wash your skin and remove any makeup, excess oil, and lotions, and relax. Read the pre and post treatment instructions to prepare yourself and stop any medications prior to your treatment.

What can I expect during the treatment?

Your provider will start off with a full evaluation of your facial appearance and skin tone, examine the areas of your face to be augmented, and map out the treatment area(s). Strategic points on your face may be marked as the appropriate injection sites for the filler. Photographs will be taken of the areas to be treated. Anesthetic ointment to numb the skin or injection of local anesthesia may be provided. The injection usually takes only a few moments per site. The process of injecting, massaging, and evaluating the result is performed until the results are deemed satisfactory.

practitioner administering dermal fillers to patient

How long does the treatment take?

Depending on the number of areas to be treated, the whole process may be as short as 15 minutes or as long as an hour.

What is the recovery time?

There are very few restrictions with Dermal Fillers, and some individuals even schedule their treatment during their lunchtime hours and return to work right after. Generally, recovery lasts one to two days. Most patients are available to return to their normal activities immediately after treatment.

woman relaxing as she receives dermal fillers

Will the treatment hurt?

There is minimal pain, but topical anesthetic or nerve blocks are available for your comfort.

How long before results are seen?

Results from Dermal Fillers are seen immediately. After the first treatment, an additional treatment of filler may be needed to achieve the desired level of correction.

How long do the results last?

Advanced wrinkling cannot be reversed, and only a minimal improvement is predictable in persons with drug, alcohol, and tobacco usage. Depending on the filler used, the results can last from 3 months up to 5 years. Some fillers have lasted longer than 5 years and may be permanent.

Are additional treatments needed?

Maintenance treatments are needed for continued benefits. To maintain the effects, the treatment must be repeated. The need for additional treatments varies from patient to patient. Over time, the filler will gradually break down and be absorbed by your body. As a result, injections will need to be repeated to maintain the desired effect.

Can this treatment be combined with other cosmetic procedures?

Patients often combine Dermal Fillers with Neurotoxins, PDO Threads, Chemical Peels, and other cosmetic services. Talk to your provider about your esthetic goals to set realistic expectations and design a complete treatment plan that may include more than one type of treatment, as well as recommendations on the timing and scheduling of various treatments.

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