A recent poll of UK Snapchat users discovered that young men and women increasingly view minimally invasive aesthetic treatments as commonplace. Over half of VICE UK’s 51,000 respondents thought fillers were comparable to getting a facial.
While it’s good that much of the stigma about having an aesthetic treatment has been erased, these are still specialist procedures that carry some risk. Here’s our guide to getting flawless fillers every time.
What are dermal fillers?
Facial fillers, known as dermal fillers, are small injections of a gel-like substance that fill in wrinkles and add volume to soft tissue. The most popular are composed of hyaluronic acid, a substance that naturally occurs in the body, and produce instant results.
Depending on your body’s reaction and the area where they are injected, HA dermal fillers can last between six and 12 months, meaning the procedure will need to be repeated to maintain results. They can also be reversed if there has been a reaction, asymmetry, or you’re just not happy with the results.
Another category are those dermal fillers composed of biostimulants which stimulate the production of collagen as well as filling. This means there is a gradual improvement of volume and skin quality in the months after treatment and results typically last up to two years.
What can dermal fillers do?
Dermal fillers fill facial lines and add volume where it is lost. In the upper face, they are used to fill hollows at the temples. In the mid-face, they can smooth tear trough furrows beneath the eyes and replace lost volume in the cheeks. Often this will improve the appearance of the nasolabial folds that form between the nose and mouth and marionette lines that run from the corners of the mouth to the chin, but these lines can also be treated with dermal fillers.
The lips are a very popular treatment area for dermal fillers with women of all ages. Younger women can have the size of the lips can be increased as well as the shape enhanced. More mature patients that have seen their lips lose volume as they age, can have their pout restored and very fine facial fillers can be injected into the vermillion border of the lips to reverse the fine lines that start to form.
Facial fillers are not just an anti-ageing treatment. They are increasingly being used to produce a more harmonious balance to the face by reshaping the nose or sculpting the chin and jawline.
However, a new study has proven that as well as filling and volumising, dermal fillers can now provide a lifting effect. The study, which appeared in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Dermal fillers were injected into three main areas – the forehead and temple, the midface and the perioral and jawline. 3D scanning technology was used to measure the effect and it found that as well as filling, there was a vertical lifting effect, producing a one-millimetre lift in the forehead, for example.
What can dermal fillers not do?
Dermal fillers are not the same as wrinkle relaxing injections composed of botulinum toxin. The latter will temporarily freeze the nerves that instruct our facial muscles to relax and contract, smoothing wrinkles which typically form across the brow and around the eyes. Dermal fillers will not have the same effect on these dynamic wrinkles but are often used in conjunction with wrinkle relaxing injections for the optimal results.
How should I choose to perform my facial filler treatment?
Unfortunately, there is little regulation of who can perform dermal filler treatments and, although deemed minimally invasive, they can still produce adverse reactions and botched results, so it is essential you choose a practitioner that has the skill and experience to produce naturally beautiful results and manage any risks.
“I only use FDA-approved products that are clinically proven with impeccable safety records,” Dr Mooz explains. “I am an Allergan Inject Surgeon and use Juvéderm from Allergan which has an impeccable safety record. As a plastic surgeon, I fully embrace injectables either to enhance the results of a surgical procedure or as a standalone, preventative treatment.”