As we age, it’s common to experience facial wrinkles and soft-tissue volume loss. These issues can make us look older than we like, but there’s good news; You can rejuvenate your appearance with facial fillers! This is a non-invasive procedure and results are often impressive and long-lasting.
Below is more information about the available fillers, where you can have them injected, and more.
Facial Fillers Overview
Facial fillers are gel-like chemicals injected under your skin to improve volume, smooth wrinkles, and soften creases. They also can be used to enhance facial contours. At least one million people per year in the US choose facial fillers, and it is often a cost-effective way to recapture your youth without having plastic surgery.
Fillers can address the following issues:
- Smooth out the lines around the mouth and nose, including marionette lines, smile lines, and parentheses.
- Restore lost volume in the temples or cheeks
- Reduce vertical lip lines
- Enhance and plump the lips
- Smooth out chin creases
- Enhance the symmetry of your facial features
Fillers are made with several FDA-approved products that plastic surgeons use every day. They are usually classified according to the chemical they are made from. Note: Be sure that your plastic surgeon is using only FDA-approved fillers, which a doctor can only obtain.
Below are the most common fillers and how they are used.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
HA is a substance that occurs naturally that is found in our skin. It helps to keep the skin hydrated and plump, but our bodies tend to produce less of it as we age.
Hyaluronic acid is a gel-like, soft substance, and the results last from six to 12 months. At that point, the body absorbs the chemicals, so you may need to have another injection. Most of these fillers contain lidocaine to reduce pain before and after your treatment.
FDA approved HA fillers include the following:
- Belotero Balance
Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA)
CaHA is also a substance that occurs naturally in our bodies, mostly in the bones. When used as a facial filler, the calcium particles are almost microscopic and contained in a gel. A CaHA filler usually is thicker than HA and can last 12 months or longer for most patients.
CaHA also may stimulate collagen production and can help make the face appear softer and younger. It’s often used for deeper wrinkles and lines, and the most common FDA-approved CaHA filler is called Radiesse.
This filler is a biodegradable synthetic chemical that is safe for use in our bodies. It’s been used for years in medical devices, including dissolvable stitches. Poly-L-lactic acid fillers are usually called collagen stimulators because their significant way to smooth wrinkles and fine lines is by aiding the skin to produce collagen.
The filler will dissipate three or four days after it’s injected, and it’s usually used to treat deep facial wrinkles. The good news is the results can last as long as two years. FDA-approved filers include Sculptra Aesthetic.
PMMA is a biocompatible, synthetic substance that’s been in use for decades. In facial fillers, PMMA remains under the skin for years to offer more support. They also contain collagen, which is a natural substance in the skin that offers firmness and structure. FDA-approved fillers include Bellafill, also called Artefill.
Autologous Fat Injections (Fat Grafting)
Autologous fat injections are the only facial fillers that require surgery, but your results can last for years. Your fat is taken from another part of the body, usually by liposuction.
Your plastic surgeon purifies the fat and injects it into your face to restore volume to your temples, cheeks, or lower eyelids. See also Houston eyelid surgery. Fat injections require special training to do safely and achieve ideal results. Only a board-certified plastic surgeon should perform this cosmetic surgery.
Which Filler Is Best?
Many FDA-approved fillers are available today, so it can be hard to determine the best option on your own. That’s when you should rely on the skill and experience of your plastic surgeon. Every product is made to have a specific texture, density, and injection depth.
This means that specific fillers work better than others for certain parts of the face.
What You Can Expect
If you think you want to have facial filler injections, below is more information about what’s ahead:
- Consultation: Your plastic surgeon will look over your areas of concern on your face and go over your medical history. The risks associated with fillers are minimal, but you should be honest about your medical history, including allergies, skin conditions, and medications you take that could affect your recovery. For example, it’s vital to tell your doctor if you take blood thinners, aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen because all of them encourage bruising.
- Procedure: The areas to be injected are sterilized, and your doctor may put a topical anesthetic on the skin to numb it. Most fillers have lidocaine in them, so pain and bruising are minimal. Next, the doctor will carefully inject an appropriate amount of filler under the skin.
- Aftermath: You should see results almost right away after your injections.
- Recovery: You may have minor swelling and bruising, but these will fade in a few days. You can go back to work and normal activities after your filler injections.
Request a Houston Filler Consultation
Interested in having fillers to make you look younger? You need to set up a Houston cosmetic surgeon consultation with Dr. Ashley Steinberg today. She’ll talk to you about the benefits and risks of using fillers and determine if you’re an ideal candidate.
- Face Filler Costs Before And After. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.glamour.com/story/face-fillers-costs-before-after
- Wrinkle Treatment and Facial Fillers. (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.facialesthetics.org/patient-info/facial-esthetics/wrinkle-treatment/facial-fillers-injections/
- What Are Injectable Dermal Fillers? (n.d.). Accessed at https://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/procedure-learning-center/non-surgical/injectable-fillers-guide/