Considering Dermal Fillers? 3 Basic FAQs You Need the Answers To

Posted on: 18 July 2017

There was a time when if you wanted to get rid of age lines on your face, a face lift was your only option. Now, however, it's possible to get rid of those lines with something much less invasive – a simple injection. However, dermal fillers, the injections used to get rid of age lines, are still a new concept to many people. If you're considering treatment for wrinkles, but aren't quite sure what to think of dermal fillers, take a look at some basics that you should know about. 

What's in Dermal Filler Injections?

Many people have only a hazy understanding of what dermal fillers are, and this type of treatment is often confused with Botox, another injectable cosmetic treatment. However, beyond the method of delivery, dermal fillers and Botox don't have much in common. Botox is a drug made from botulism bacteria that freezes small muscles in the face, preventing lines from forming in those areas. Dermal fillers are materials that fill in lines that already exist.

Dermal fillers are made from substances like collagen and fat, among other things. Some of the most commonly used dermal fillers are made from hyaluronic acid. The name may sound intimidating, but don't worry – your body naturally produces hyaluronic acid. It's a lubricating fluid that's found in your eyes, joints, and other tissues. It's also commonly used in products that you probably use routinely, like lip balm and eye drops. In an injectable form, it plumps up the skin, smoothing out wrinkles and giving your skin a fresh, youthful appearance.

How Long Do Dermal Fillers Last?

Dermal fillers aren't a permanent solution to age lines. You'll need to have them redone every so often if you want to retain the look that they give you. How long they last depends largely on what type of dermal fillers you use.

Fillers made with hyaluronic acid typically last for around three or four months, as do collagen injections. There are long-lasting injectables made from calcium hydroxylapatite and polylactic acid that last for one and two years respectively. When it comes to fat injections, the duration depends on your own body. Eventually the body reabsorbs the fat, and it just depends on how long your body takes to do that. Also, fillers in the lip area tend to fade faster than fillers used in other areas of the face. This is because your mouth does so much work, not just with your facial expressions, but also with eating and talking. All of that movement shortens the lifespan of the fillers.

Who's a Candidate for Fillers?

Dermal fillers have few side effects, and the most common side effects are minor, such as minor bruising, swelling, or tenderness at the injection site. And the results aren't permanent, so if you don't like them, you don't have to keep them. That means that most people can be good candidates for dermal fillers. If you have a problem area with age lines that you'd like to have smoothed out, it's worth pursuing the treatment.

A good way to proceed is to have you doctor start with just one syringe, even if that might not fill all of your lines. It can take a little time for the injection to settle, so by starting off small and waiting to see how that looks once it's settled, you avoid the possibility of overdoing it. It's easier to go back and add more filler than it is to dissolve filler when too much is administered (although that can be done if necessary.)

If you're interested in dermal fillers, you have nothing to lose by seeking out a consultation. An experienced cosmetic surgeon or cosmetic dermatologist in your area can help you find the treatment that's perfect for you.