What are dermal fillers?
Dermal fillers are a range of products that fill depleted facial features. Sagging skin in the jaw line and cheeks, under-eye hollows and wrinkles around the mouth and nose are best treated with dermal filler injections.
Although each dermal filler has its unique attributes, in general, most dermal fillers plump and lift the skin gently either by replacing the lost collagen or stimulating the body to produce its own natural collagen; some help more than others. With the exception of a few, the plumping effect of most dermal fillers is almost instantaneous and last from several months to a year or two before touch up treatments are necessary to extend results.
Dermal fillers are made of various kinds of natural and man-made or synthetic materials that have been developed over the years for injection into the skin, such a hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance widely distributed within the human body. Over 50% is found in the skin where it is essential for water retention, wound healing and tissue repair – especially after sun damage. It is one of the main components responsible for that plump, smooth, youthful look in young skin.
Dermal fillers come in different thicknesses, and in general, the thicker the product, the deeper it is injected into the dermal layer of the skin to help plump out medium to deep lines and wrinkles, such as naso-labial folds (nose to mouth lines), fill scars, contour or revolumise the cheeks and chin or to augment or reshape lips.
What are dermal fillers used for?
They can be used for a number of conditions:
- for anti-ageing treatments
- to soften lines and wrinkles,
- plumping the skin
- to redefine, rehydrate, rejuvenate and reshape the lips
- to re-build or re-shape the cheekbones, jawline and chin
- to treat the hollows in the tear trough/under eye area
- in conjunction with botulinum toxin for a non-surgical face lift
- To rejuvenate and rehydrate the skin of the hands, face and neck
Is everyone suitable for treatment with fillers and are they safe?
Dermal fillers are very safe and are entirely natural and thus extremely biocompatible. There are some groups of people who should not have treatment however; including women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and anyone susceptible to keloid scarring. In addition, people on certain medication may not be suitable for treatment. We will take a full medical and drug history from you as part of your assessment appointment to ensure that treatment is safe for you.
When will my filler start working and how long does it last?
You will notice a difference instantly. The hyaluronic acid is gradually broken down to water but the effect can last from anything between 6 – 18 months depending on the areas treated, skin quality, quantity of product placed and general health and lifestyle.
Does the treatment hurt?
Treatment with dermal fillers and the levels of pain experienced will depend on the area being injected, the product being used (some contain a local anaesthetic) and any topical numbing creams which are used during the procedure. Dr Kelleher gives an additional local anaesthetic (in the form of a cream or injection) well 30 minutes before-hand to make the procedure completely pain-free. The treatment should be relatively painless or mildly uncomfortable with the nose and lip areas being the most sensitive.
Common side effects from dermal filler treatments include bruising, swelling, redness, tenderness and slight bleeding at the injection sites, which will disappear either almost immediately or over a 24 - 48 hour period. Rarely some allergic reactions can occur with dermal filler products.
Treatment is carried out using the latest techniques, usually using a flexible cannula. These clever devices are blunt, flexible tubes which cause much less trauma to the tissues than administration with a needle and also mean fillers can be placed via one or two entry points rather than multiple injection points (as with needle placement)
How are Dermal Fillers Different From Collagen?
Dermal fillers tend to be broadly classified into two types of dermal fillers, either non-permanent (resorbable) or permanent (non-resorbable) in their effect.
In the 1980s collagen was the first dermal filler approved in the USA. However, the leading dermal fillers used by most UK practitioners nowadays are hyaluronic acid based products. Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of our own skin which can be synthesised. Other non-permanent fillers to be developed include ones using calcium hydroxylapatite and polylactic acid.
Permanent fillers are not widely used in the UK, but can give a longer lasting effect, or even a permanent effect, and may be recommended in some cases to address certain conditions or skin defect.
Which brand of fillers are used at LK Aesthetics?
There may be rumored to be more than 160 dermal filler products with CE marks available in Europe, but when it comes to those most commonly used in cosmetic practices and discussed at medical conferences there are only a handful. Even fewer of these products actually have FDA approval in the States.
Unlike botulinum toxin dermal fillers are not prescription only medicines and are classified as medical devices, so the task of monitoring what is being injected and by who is a far more daunting one. The UK currently also lacks any kind of regulation, unlike the US where less than 10 dermal filler products are FDA approved for cosmetic use. With such a plethora of different unlicensed products on the market, choosing the best option for our patients can be a minefield. As a result...
We ONLY use FDA approved products at LK Aesthetics. While we acknowledge that there are excellent and widely used alternatives available in Europe, the lack of proper regulation makes us uncomfortable. We continue to monitor the market closely and will add products to our range as they receive FDA approval.
Products currently available with FDA approval include: Radiesse™, Juvederm®Restylane® Perlane, Sculptra®, Zyderm®/Zyplast®, Cosmoderm/Cosmoplast, , ArteFill®/ArteColl®, and Evolence™.