Americans deal with cosmetic problems like wrinkles, sunken cheeks, thin lips, and asymmetrical facial features every day. More than one million people have turned to dermal fillers as a solution.
Dermal fillers, also known as injectable fillers, have been around since the 1970s. Only recently have they become a mainstream treatment for reducing the appearance of wrinkles and improving facial fullness.
But what are dermal fillers, and how do they work? We’ll show you the benefits, the risks, and their effect on your skin.
What Are Dermal Fillers?
Dermal fillers are made of a gel-like material that specialists inject into your skin. The filler goes under your skin at different depths to restore lost facial volume and augment certain features. Many people use injectable fillers to get rid of wrinkles and soften fine lines temporarily.
Dermal fillers are FDA-approved for cosmetic surgeons, and they offer a practical and efficient way to enhance your appearance with minimal downtime. This minimally invasive facial rejuvenation treatment provides immediate results, and you can return to your regular routine with almost no recovery time.
What Are Dermal Fillers Made Of?
Manufacturers use two primary sources to produce dermal fillers: sugar molecules and hyaluronic acids. Hyaluronic acid comes from natural and synthetic sources. Surgeons that do not get a lab-made version of injectable fillers get them from pigs, cows, or a person’s transplanted fat.
Dermal fillers have a gel-like consistency and feel soft to the touch. This texture keeps the skin plump and hydrated while conforming to the desired shape. Many manufacturers infuse lidocaine with the injectable fillers to minimize discomfort during and after the procedure.
It is possible to make injectable fillers from other sources, like calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA), poly-L-lactic acid, polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), and autologous fat injections. CaHA is the only naturally occurring option, and it makes up the basis for Radiesse. Its thicker texture reportedly helps stimulate collagen production.
Poly-L-lactic acid and PMMA are both synthetic and biocompatible. These materials last up to two years in the body and provide structure and sturdiness to the skin. Autologous fat injections are a form of facial fat grafting and require surgery.
The right injectable fillers for you depends on your objectives, health, and medical history. While you may see hundreds of options on the market, navigating your choices can feel overwhelming. Consult with a board-certified cosmetic surgeon to ensure you receive the proper filler treatment for your needs.
Remember that all injectable fillers are not the same. Each option provides a distinct texture and density to your face. For instance, you would not apply Radiesse to your lips because it works best for hand rejuvenation, acne scars, nasolabial folds, and chin wrinkles.
What Are Dermal Fillers Used For?
Even the best skincare routines cannot compensate for aging. Injectable fillers offer a discrete and straightforward solution so you can look your best. Some of the primary benefits of dermal fillers include:
- – Plumper lips
- – Eliminating creases around the chin
- – Enhancing sunken temples or cheeks
- – Increasing facial symmetry
- – Reducing the appearance of lip lines
- – Smoothing facial lines and wrinkles
Injectable fillers require little downtime. The procedure takes ten minutes, depending on the treatment location, making them the definition of a lunchtime facelift.
What Are Permanent Dermal Fillers?
The longevity of dermal fillers depends on the material, treatment area, and patient needs. The denser the injectable fillers, the longer they typically last. Most options work for one to two years.
Note that biocompatible fillers expire faster than synthetic options. Injectable fillers with hyaluronic acid have the shortest life expectancy at 6 to 18 months. Synthetic fillers do not readily absorb into the body, which makes them a better long-term option.
Synthetic fillers, sometimes called permanent injectable fillers, last five or more years. Cosmetic surgeons inject the substance into thick skin, like the nasolabial fold.
Permanent dermal fillers are less common because of their viscosity. You can remove them if you don’t feel satisfied with the treatment, though the process is complicated.
What Are the Side Effects of Dermal Fillers?
Although dermal fillers are safe, any cosmetic procedure does come with potential side effects. Some of the most common ones include:
- – Vision problems
- – Dead skin cells
- – Skin damage
- – Redness
- – Swelling
- – Bruising
- – Itching
- – Rash
Good candidates for treatment with dermal fillers are physically healthy and plan to maintain an active skincare routine. Be wary of treatment if you have an allergic reaction to hyaluronic acid. A cosmetic surgeon can perform a skin test to see whether you have a potential allergy.
What to Expect from Dermal Filler Treatment
A cosmetic surgeon will meet with you for pre-treatment. During this consultation, you have the opportunity to discuss your aesthetic goals, as well as your concerns and medical history. Dermal fillers have few medical risks, but the surgeon will disclose any liabilities.
The treatment requires cleaning and anesthetizing the skin before injection, and some fillers have lidocaine to minimize discomfort. The surgeon injects the filler, and you should notice immediate results. Side effects are minor and dissipate in a few days.
Fat grafting requires a different method. The outpatient procedure involves general or local anesthesia and a two-week recovery. The treatment necessitates professional skill and expertise, so make sure you select a board-certified cosmetic surgeon for the procedure.
The cost of dermal fillers depends on the provider, treatment area, and material. Most fillers cost between $600 and $900, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Fat grafting is the one exception because it requires surgery, in which case, you can expect to pay roughly $2,100.
The Bottom Line
Dermal fillers are a fast and easy way to restore your appearance. You can opt for temporary or permanent solutions to restore fullness to your facial features while minimizing fine lines and wrinkles. Millions of people trust injectable fillers to help them look youthful again.