5 Minutes to Understanding Dermal Fillers and Lip Fillers
Dermal fillers (also called face fillers and lip fillers) have been around for much longer than you might think. As early as the late 1800’s surgeries were available which transplanted fat from one area of the body to another to act as a filler. When you realize that a lot of those surgeries were done without anaesthetics and carried a high risk of infection you really had to want the promised results!
Fortunately, today we have a list of popular fillers that are safe, minimally invasive and where results can be largely guaranteed. Juvederm, Restylane and a new filler called Revanesse Versa are all available from our medical spa.
Dermal Fillers vs. Injectables
While fillers are injected, they are different from injectable treatments like Botox, Kybella and Dysport. Botox and Dysport relax the muscles that cause lines and creases in our face, and Kybella destroys fat cells. Dermal and lip fillers actually add volume and smooth skin, but how do they do that?
How Dermal Fillers Work
How these fillers work their magic has to do with why our skin develops lines, wrinkles and sags in the first place. It turns out that beauty is more than skin deep. As we age, the effects of sun, weather, gravity, fat redistribution, dermal (skin) thinning, and bone reabsorption cause us to lose volume and elasticity in our skin. When our skin and the underlying tissues are young, we have lots of an essential molecule called Hyaluronic Acid (HA). HA does a number of good things for us, but primarily what it does is absorb and hold onto water. Up to 1,000 times its own weight of water, in fact. As we age, the loss of hyaluronic acid causes our skin and the underlying tissues to ‘dry out’, resulting in wrinkles and sags.
Isn’t Acid Bad?
Of course we think of acids as being bad or dangerous. We’ve all heard the horror stories of people who’ve been scarred by getting acid on their skin. But the word ‘acid’ is misleading. In scientific terms an acid is simply a molecule that can donate a proton or accept an electron pair in reactions. Chemical reactions are what make our body run, and acids and bases (alkalis) are essential to these reactions. Hyaluronic acid is actually a type of sugar molecule and a very weak acid. Sugar molecules are simply those molecules which are made up of hydrogen and oxygen atoms linked to carbon. So don’t let the word ‘acid’ scare you. HA is not only harmless, it occurs naturally in our body and is essential to keeping our skin young and elastic.
Dermal Fillers Replace Hyaluronic Acid
Dermal fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane and Revanesse replace the lost hyaluronic acid, allowing our skin to heal and replenish itself by once again retaining youthful quantities of sub-dermal water. This fills in lost volume, plumping sags and smoothing wrinkles. Unfortunately, our body eventually flushes away this replacement HA, which means that the effects are temporary. Science is working toward longer lasting fillers and progress is being made. Since its USFDA approval in December 2017, Revanesse Versa is rapidly growing in popularity due to the fact that it’s not only smoother than other dermal fillers, but typically lasts longer. In fact, for some treatment areas a Versa treatment will last for up to a year and a half. Don’t discount Restylane and Juvederm yet though. Some of their products will last equally long. Which is best for you depends upon a number of individual factors. Our clinicians will be happy to provide you with a free consultation and all the information you need to choose.
What Areas Can I Have Treated?
While dermal fillers can correct all the common concern areas on our face, from adding volume to cheeks and lips to smoothing frown lines and crow’s feet, here are 5 of the most popular treatment areas and the improvements that you can expect.
Glabellar Lines (or ‘Elevens’)
The lines between our eyebrows don’t just reveal our age, they can make us look angry or worried. Also called ‘frown lines’ it’s commonly believed that they form from frowning a lot, but in actual fact there are a number of contributing factors, such as sun damage, contortions of our face caused by sleeping on our side, and of course genetics.
Smoothing these lines will make your expression calmer and more welcoming as well as erasing years from your appearance.
Dark circles under our eyes that form as we age can be covered by makeup, but what happens when the skin in this area also loses volume, causing sags and wrinkles? No amount of makeup can cover that ‘sunken eyes’ appearance that makes us look chronically tired.
HA fillers will not only add lost volume but smooth the sags and wrinkles. In many cases under eye bags can be completely erased, making your face look younger, and you look well rested. No more need for a thick layer of under-eye brightening concealer!
As we age, we lose both muscle and fat under our skin. Cruel, really, as for many of us gaining fat on other areas of our body is no problem! Unfortunately, when this volume loss happens in our face we can end up with sunken cheeks that can make us look cadaverous. Ouch!
Replacing the lost volume will not only plump and smooth your cheeks, but changes the contours of your face. Fuller cheeks are subconsciously associated with youth. There are few treatments where the age-defying effects are as dramatic.
While our lips do thin as we age, again due to the loss of underlying muscle and fat, thin lips can also be genetic. Somewhere along the way our society decided that full, plump lips are the ideal. If you weren’t graced with the genes for this, you may find yourself unhappy with your appearance. No amount of lip gloss will make your lips look fuller than they are.
With fine control over the amount of volume added you can have the lips you wish you’d been born with, or the lips you were born with but lost as you aged.
Wrinkles Around the Mouth
Called lipstick lines (wrinkles around our lips), marionette lines (lines running from the corners of our mouth to our chin) and nasolabial folds (lines from our nose to the corners of our mouth), wrinkles around our mouth are very common as we age. For some of us, these lines may even start to form as early as our 20’s, robbing us of our formerly youthful appearance.
With the arguable exception of lines around our eyes, there is no other place on our face where wrinkles make us look old than the lines around our mouth. These lines tend to form as a result of making facial expressions, so it’s like we’re being penalized for being open and expressive. Treatment to these areas will go a long way toward erasing years from your face.
Does It Hurt?
We know that the thought of being injected multiple times causes anxiety for a lot of our patients, but most report that it wasn’t nearly as bad as they anticipated. While we can’t promise a painless procedure, the needles we use are tiny and the amounts injected into each area quite small. In addition, most dermal fillers have a numbing agent added to them.
Look as Young as You Feel
At MagnifaSkin medical spa, our clinicians can advise you on all of your dermal filler treatment options. What fillers would work best for you, how long each treatment will last, as well as all the details of downtime and recovery. Come see us for a free consultation.
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