WHAT ACTUALLY ARE DERMAL FILLERS?
Dermal fillers, as the name suggest, are medically purified gel-like substances that are injected under the skin into the dermis (fatty layer underneath the skin). They support the skin from underneath and fill a wrinkle or plump the lips. There are two main types of injectable products:-
- Non-permanent, also referred to as absorbable: They are by far the most popular products. Examples of these include, collagen and hyaluronic gels and fat injections
- Permanent, also referred to as non-absorbable: Which have only recently begun to gain popularity
WHAT AND WHERE ON THE FACE CAN FILLERS BE USED?
Nowadays there are many products available and many claims made by manufacturers. It can be confusing which product to use and for which wrinkle. Fillers are normally used for the lower part of the face, below the crow's feet down to the chin. They fill out lines around the lips, plump up the lips, soften the lines from the nose to the mouth (nasolabial lines) and smile lines on the cheeks. Fillers can also be used to create fullness and volume to the cheeks and chin. In contrast, Botox is NOT a gel and is used for "movement lines" located in the upper part of the face.
CAN DERMAL FILLERS CAUSE A REACTION?
Adverse reactions are extremely unlikely with non-permanent absorbable products. Reseach reveals that hyaluronic gels show a very safe history. Collagen injections require a skin test before injection. Although rare, adverse reactions have been reported more frequently with permanent products.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT I WANT?
Photos are normally taken to study facial expressions and proportions. It helps to bring images of lips out of magazines so that Dr Colagrande can begin to understand what appeals to you.
DOES IT HURT?
Before having treatment, local anaesthetic is injected to numb the area. When lips are plumped, a dental block, using a local anaesthetic, is used. Much like going to the dentist. Local anaesthetic lasts only an hour. Anaesthetic creams normally do not provide adequate numbness and are inconvenient because they must be continually applied many hours before the procedure to work properly.
DIRECTLY AFTER THE TREATMENT WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Depending on the individual there may be some mild swelling and discomfort when the local anaesthetic wears off, this is normal. Ice packs application is recommended after treatment.
HOW LONG DOES THE EFFECT LAST?
There are three main factors that play important roles in how long the product last. They involve:
- The doctor: The technical ability of the doctor.
- The patient: How active the facial lines are (smokers pout more) and how the patient breaks down or metabolises the gel product.
- The product: Good products normally show good, long-lasting results.
CAN DERMAL FILLERS BE PERFORMED WITH OTHER TREATMENTS?
Fillers are normally combined with a number of other treatments such as Botox, skin peels and many facial beauty treatments. All these treatments complement each other.
ARE THERE ANY REASONS THAT MAY PREVENT ME FROM HAVING THE PROCEDURE?
Not all patients are suitable candidates. Common reasons include:
- Unrealistic expectations: Patients may have unrealistic expectations or may request large lips that detract rather than enhance one's beauty and facial proportions.
- Cold sores: If you have a history of cold sores, fillers may cause them to break out. It is recommended that you take anti-herpes medicine a few days before treatment.
- Pregnant: Fillers should not be used if you are known to be pregnant.