Anti-Aging, Blog

Cosmetic Dermatology 101: What Are Facial Fillers?

Woman getting cosmetic injection shows what are facial fillers

There’s no shame in wanting to look your best. Just like you exercise, eat right, and practice a healthy, daily skincare routine, cosmetic dermatology is just another way to help your body age gracefully. You’ve likely heard of Botox, but what are facial fillers? And why should they be a part of your anti-aging procedures?

What are Facial Fillers?

Simply put, facial fillers are all about volume restoration. As the body ages, facial tissues thin out. This creates lines that may etch around facial features like the nose, cheeks, and mouth. Without volume, parts of the face may appear hollow compared to a more youthful face.

What facial fillers do is help replace the volume that is naturally lost over time. Think of wrinkles smoothing out, more voluminous lips, and a generally restored facial appearance. All possible through injectable facial filler treatments.

But, what are they exactly?  

Facial fillers are gel-like substances that are injected directly beneath the skin. Many well-known brand names produce FDA approved filler products used every day by board-board-certified dermatologists. In general, facial filler products are characterized by the substance they’re made from.

Substances that are used to make and categorize facial fillers include: 

  • Hyaluronic Acid (HA)

  • Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA)

  • Poly-L-lactic Acid

  • Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)

The majority of these substances occur naturally. Thousands of men and women receive facial or dermal fillers each year, making it the second most requested cosmetic procedure after Botox.

Hyaluronic Acid Fillers

Hyaluronic acid is already naturally found in your skin, helping to keep it hydrated and well filled-out. Fillers made with hyaluronic acid are often soft with a gel consistency. Since it is already naturally produced by the body, these types of fillers last anywhere from six months to two years before being naturally absorbed over time.

Common brands of hyaluronic acid fillers include Juvederm, Belotero, and Restylane.

Calcium Hyroxylapatite Fillers

Calcium Hyroxylapatite also occurs naturally in the body, primarily found in bones. Compared to hyaluronic acid fillers, CaHA fillers tend to be more thick. Which also means they last a relatively long time, up to two years. The calcium particles are suspended in a smooth gel, nearly microscopic in that state.

Its thickness means that CaHA fillers are perfect for deeper volume restoration. Additionally, CaHA helps boost the body’s ability to naturally produce collagen.

Are Dermal or Facial Fillers Right for You?

 Here are some FAQs:

What are the most common uses for Dermal and Facial Fillers?

  • Reducing or eliminating facial wrinkles or folds around the nose and mouth

  • Restore volume to sunken cheekbones or even back of hands

  • Filling out thin lips to make them more full

  • Reduce vertical lip lines

  • Improve facial feature symmetry

Which type of filler is right for me?

Since fillers vary in their consistency and area of effectiveness, the type of filler that’s right for you will depend entirely on your body, the specific areas and degree of treatment needed. Your dermatologist who will carry out the procedure will help you determine the best product and type of filler for your specific case.

How should I choose a provider?

Though the procedure is relatively low risk when in qualified hands, you should consider where you get treatment as carefully as you would any other surgery or procedure. You should always consult with a medical professional before undergoing any medical or cosmetic treatments.

How much downtime do I need after treatment?

One of the most appealing aspects about facial fillers is that there is virtually no down time necessary. That is, for most normal daily activities. It is usually recommended to refrain from more strenuous exercise or activity as well as consuming alcohol for at least 24 hours after treatment.

Results should be noticeable almost immediately. And other than mild bruising and swelling in some cases (which should subside quickly), the procedure is generally very well tolerated.

How long are sessions and how many treatments will I need to get?

Usually treatments don’t take very long to complete, less than 20-30 minutes in most cases. Some patients may decide to receive more if they feel that a filler has “settled in,” but that’s usually not necessary and handled on a case-by-case basis.

Are treatments permanent?

No. As mentioned above among the filler types, generally treatments can last anywhere from about nine months to two years. This depends in large part on which type of filler is used, but this can also vary by individual treatment and the needs of specific patients.

In order to maintain positive results, continued treatment is necessary.

Is the procedure painful?

Any time needles are involved, it’s understandable that pain or discomfort may be a concern. It’s important to remember that before receiving any actual treatment, you’ll most likely receive a topical anesthetic once the area has been cleaned. This will help numb the areas being treated before the procedure begins.

Additionally, many facial filler products, like Juvederm, are specifically formulated to minimize any discomfort involved by including lidocaine in the injection itself. As always, if pain or discomfort is a major concern, be sure to talk to your dermatologist prior to receiving any treatment.

Are dermal or facial filler safe?

Yes. When administered by a board certified dermatologist such as the dermatologists at the Dermatology Center of Acadiana, the use of dermal fillers is a low risk procedure. As part of our training we are aware of the facial anatomy and the positions of blood vessels so that we know exactly where to put injections to keep you safe and get you the best results.

Even if you choose not to have your dermal fillers done with us we highly recommend you make sure that your treatment is administered by a board certified dermatologist. These practices are safe when performed correctly but can cause serious side effects when performed incorrectly.

How much do facial fillers cost?

National cost averages can fall between $500-$1,700 per treatment. But the exact costs of treatment will vary based on the requirements of each individual treatment (area, severity, type of filler used, etc.)

Time and quality work have greatly contributed to the rise of facial fillers. Now, millions of people receive the treatment each year for its powerful cosmetic and anti-aging properties in providing volume that’s often lost due to age. If you think you might be interested in facial fillers, but still have questions about the procedure, reach out to us at the Dermatology Center of Acadiana today and schedule a consultation!