Dermal fillers have fast become the ideal treatment for people who want basic cosmetic treatment but do not want to go under the knife for it. Considering the safety record that these fillers have, and their proven performance too, it is little wonder they have a lot going for them.
While the ideal dermal filler should be one that can keep its functionality for up to a year, none on the market can promise that for now. Although Restylane is becoming very close with each development cycle, we are still waiting for when that will become a reality.
What Are Dermal Fillers Used For?
Dermal fillers do not refer to a single production line, so there are differences in what parts of the face each and every one of them is meant to address. However, they all perform the same basic function at the end of the day – taking care of those lines and wrinkles that set in to depict aging on the face.
For a more comprehensive list of where the known dermal fillers work on, we have:
- Nasolabial fold – those lines from the mouth to the nose
- Melomental fold – the lines from the mouth to the chin
- Lines occurring above the upper lip and
- Lines formed on the face due to frowns, among others.
Besides the treatment of lines, though, dermal fillers have found application in other areas too.
For one, they are used to return volume to the cheekbones after they start sinking due to age. This is also important in the fight against face wasting – a condition commonly occurring in HIV patients.
Furthermore, the lips have also started enjoying from the wide application of dermal fillers. Known to supply volume to thinner lips for a fuller feel, the level of safety they bring to this operation make them the ideal pick for many undergoing any of the procedures mentioned above.
Understanding the Common Dermal Fillers on the Market
Many reputable brands in the dermal filler market have made them as accessible to the populace as possible. Thus, the brand names are not lost on you.
What might be a challenge, though, is what is contained inside each of these formulations. You should understand that not all of these dermal fillers come equal – as defined by not only their properties, but what they are best applied to too.
In this section, we will look at some of the readily available options and what you should know about them.
Restylane and Juvéderm
Active Ingredient: Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
HA is one of the sugars naturally found in the skin, helping to keep firmness and plumpness. As aging sets in, the volume of this acid starts depleting – leading to the appearance of lines and wrinkles. That is what Restylane and Juvéderm are there to fight against.
Even though it can be found naturally in humans, the hyaluronic acid used in these products are synthesized in the laboratory. That makes them devoid of any animal products, making it less possible for users to develop allergies when using them.
In fact, they have one of the best – if not the best – safety profiles in the dermal filler market. Of the two options, Juvéderm disproven to cause less puffiness in the injected area after days of use. It is also popular opinion that it is smoother than others.
Barring any differences, both products have been approved for use in the nasolabial fold by the FDA. That said, experienced practitioners apply them to other off-label areas for desirable results.
Perlane and Juvéderm Ultra Plus
Active Ingredient: Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
Although this duo contains the same active ingredient as the one above, their thickness levels are not the same. That is why they are best suited to areas where more volume is needed in – such as a much deeper nasolabial fold.
They will also be the ideal pick for filling volumes in cheeks due to the sheer amount of filler fluid that would be needed for such an operation.
How Long Do These Fillers Take to Work?
The interesting thing about the dermal fillers above is that they start working immediately. Before you leave the appointment, you will have started seeing improvements in your face.
In fact, many patients are always in awe of how good they look just after the procedure. You will have to wait a little while to allow the injection settle into place, though, so the effects will last over the first couple of days after use.
How Long Do These Fillers Last?
If you are going with either of Restylane or Juvéderm, expect the effects to wear off in about 4 – 6 months. Of course, this is the average time – meaning the effects could be shorter or longer for you.
Likewise, the area of the skin treated, as well as the chemistry of your skin, will contribute to how long/ short the injection will last.
On the other hand, Juvéderm Ultra Plus and Perlane are known to last longer: up to 6 – 9 months. That should be expected, given that they are thicker than the others.
How Much Do These Fillers Cost?
The dermal fillers mentioned here are usually sold by the syringe. This ensures you only buy what you need for the procedure at hand.
The short guide below should give you an idea of what you will spend when you go in for a procedure:
- Nasolabial fold filling (Juvéderm and Restylane)– This procedure usually takes 1 – 2 syringes. For this choice of fillers, prepare to shell out anywhere between $450 - $600 per syringe.
- Nasolabial fold filling (Juvéderm Ultra Plus and Perlane)– It is already established that these picks are thicker, so they will last longer. That justifies their $500 - $700/ syringe average price range.
Is it Painful to Get the Injections?
It will feel like getting any other injection.
Some practitioners will numb the area with a topical aesthetic about 40 minutes to an hour before the procedure starts, helping to take away the pain from injection. Likewise, numbing the area reduces your chances of developing bruises (since the blood vessels around the area are less active due to constriction).
After the treatment, some practitioners will give you a cold pack to help take care of possible swelling and discomfort.
Are There Maintenance Treatments?
To keep the treated area looking great, you will surely have to go back in for some top-up from time to time. These don’t usually cost as much as the first appointment, and is to ensure you keep your newfound, fresh look.
Your provider should provide you with information on how much you need to come back in, but it usually varies between 1 – 4 time a year after the first treatment.
The number of times you have to go back will be dependent on:
- The kind of filler used
- The injected area
- Your skin
What Side Effects Should I Look Out For?
Side effects are usually very rare with dermal fillers, but they do happen too. While many of them clear up quickly (and on their own), that doesn’t stop you from knowing about them:
- Swelling– doesn’t last for more than 24 – 72 hours on the average
- Common injection problems – swelling, reddening of the area, pain, itching, discoloration and tenderness
- Mild bruising– lasts between 2 – 10 days
Best Practices When Using Dermal Fillers
It is always a great idea to stay away from injections of any kind (except as prescribed in ante-natal care) during pregnancy. You should also refrain from using anti-inflammatory drugs (or aspirin) as this will cause bruising/ bleeding at the injection site.
People who have suffered from facial herpes simplex in the past could get an outbreak of cold sores around the mouth after receiving injection too.