Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are small injections of gel, typically made up of hylauronic acid, that fill in wrinkles and add volume to soft tissue.

Dermal Fillers Turn Back the Hands of Time with a Non-Surgical Facelift

Dermal fillers or skin fillers can offer many of the benefits of a face lift without the risks and downtime often associated with surgical procedures.

If your skin is looking a little saggy or the lines around your mouth are beginning to resemble deep grooves, then facial peels or wrinkle creams will probably not give you the results you are hoping for.

If it's time to attack the signs of aging a little more aggressively, then inject-able fillers are a safe and effective way to help restore your youthful appearance almost immediately without dangerous side effects.

What Are Dermal Fillers?

Your skin consists of two layers: the outer layer called the epidermis, and the inner layer called the dermis. The dermis is made up of cells known as fibroblasts which produce collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, which are important components in maintaining healthy, youthful looking skin.

As we age, the amount of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid decreases and this decline causes the skin to become droopy, less resilient, and develop wrinkles or folds. Many topical anti-aging products affect only the epidermis, but for truly amazing results, treatments must penetrate through this outer layer and target the cells of the dermis as well.

Facial fillers are one of the safest and least invasive ways to dramatically reduce the signs of aging and restore depleted collagen or hyaluronic acid. The dermal filler is injected under the skin using a fine needle. The gel-like substance will plump and fill out sunken areas, firming the skin and allowing wrinkles to be lifted.

With one quick treatment, you can restore volume and firmness to your skin, enhance facial contours, and improve the look of indented acne scars. Many topical anti-aging products affect only the epidermis, but for truly amazing results, treatments must penetrate through this outer layer and target the cells of the dermis as well.

Uses For Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are commonly used for both anti-aging and cosmetic purposes. The most popular uses are:

- Treat frown lines between the eyebrows
- Reduce the appearance of lines on the forehead
- Smooth the deep lines that run from the nose to the corners of the mouth
- Treat wrinkles above the lip
- Lift acne pits, pock marks, or other indented facial scars
- Enhance sunken cheeks
- Add fullness to the lips
- Contour the nose
- Improve the appearance of crows feet
- Lift the corners of the mouth

Dermal skin fillers are not permanent and continued treatments will be necessary to maintain benefits. Injected substances will slowly break down and be absorbed by the body, so your skin will eventually return to its original condition. Depending on the type of filler being used, results can last 6 months to 2 years. Some skin care professionals may recommend that you supplement your treatments with other skin care procedures such as peels or creams.

Do Dermal Filler Treatments Hurt?

Usually, a skin filler treatment does not cause a lot of pain, but some mild discomfort may be experienced. The level of discomfort will depend on the individual and the area being treated.

Typically, injections around the nose and lips are more painful than other areas such as the forehead or cheeks. In some cases, a topical anesthetic may be given before the procedure. If you are only having a small area treated, you should be able to resume normal activities right away. A little more recovery time may be needed for more extensive work.

Dermal filler treatments are a popular cosmetic choice because they are relatively pain free and require little to no down time; however, some side effects may be experienced depending on the individual.

Side Effects of Facial Fillers

- Some mild swelling or redness is very common
- Bruising
- Infection at injection site
- Itching
- Asymmetry, or an "over-filled" look that should correct itself within a few hours
- Acne or rash on treated area
- Allergic reaction. This is most common with collagen fillers and a pre-treatment test is recommended to determine your skin's tolerance of this substance
- Bleeding from injection site
- Skin sensitivity and tenderness of treated area
- Temporary numbness
- Temporary paralysis of facial muscles around treated area
- Bumps or nodules may form under the skin as a result of inflammation or the clumping of granules within the injected substances
- "Migration" of filler

Types of Skin Fillers

A variety of natural and synthetic materials are used in skin fillers, and the type chosen will be determined by the individual or the problem being treated.


Collagen is a natural substance present in your body and is found in cartilage, teeth, bones, and skin. Originally, bovine collagen was the only injection treatment available, but now human cartilage can be used.

This type of dermal filler is becoming less popular due to its potential to cause an allergic reaction. Common brand names include Cosmoplast, Zyderm, and Zyplast.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is found in connective tissue, cartilage, tendons, and skin and is currently the most common type of filler used. Although natural injections are available, synthetic hyaluronic acid is most often used.

Due to its ability to hold water, it is very effective at plumping skin and reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Popular brand names include Restylane, Revanesse, and Juvederm derma fillers.

Polylactic Acid

This is a synthetic material that stimulates the body to increase collagen production. With this type of dermal filler, you will not see immediate benefits as results will develop gradually over time.

The most common polylactic acid filler is Sculptra which is derived from fruit acids and is designed to encourage the body's own collagen generating processes.

Calcium Hydroxylapatite

This substance is found in bones and is the heaviest, or thickest of the facial fillers. It is most often used to plump sunken features, fill deep wrinkles, or re-contour larger areas.

Calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres are injected into the area being treated and will encourage the body to produce its own collagen. Not only are immediate results achieved, but the benefits are longer lasting since the microspheres remain for about 2 years, during which time collagen production is continuous.

This treatment is also known by its brand name, Radiesse skin dermal filler, and is the most enduring type of temporary dermal filler, lasting at least 18 months. Although dermal filler treatments cannot take away extremely sagging skin or smooth out severely deep wrinkles and scars, they can offer a great solution to many skin problems without the greater risks or higher cost of more invasive surgical methods. With minimal pain and down time, you can turn back the hands of time and restore your skin to its youthful, radiant appearance.

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