Younger You Blog

What are Dermal Fillers and How They Work?

Dermal fillers are minimally invasive procedures that can plump thin lips, enhance shallow contours, soften facial creases, remove wrinkles and improve the appearance of recessed scars. To find out more about what are dermal fillers, how they work and the special considerations risk and recovery, visit original American Society of Plastic Surgeons article here>

What are dermal fillers?

If you'd like to restore youthful fullness to your face, enjoy plump lips, enhance shallow contours or soften those facial creases and wrinkles, dermal fillers may be the answer. Dermal fillers have been called "liquid facelifts" because they offer many of the benefits of a surgical facelift without the downtime.

Although they can't help with excess sagging skin, these soft tissue fillers can add more volume and provide immediate results at a lower cost than surgery. These treatment aren't permanent, however, and they must be repeated and maintained.
Some dermal fillers are used in conjunction with other skin rejuvenation treatments such as injections of botulinum toxin. Your plastic surgeon will assess your needs and recommend one or a combination of treatments to achieve your desired results.

Wrinkle fillers can be divided into two categories: Temporary and Semi-Permanent.

Temporary
Human fat, also known as autologous fat, is harvested from your own body. Using your own fat requires a more extensive procedure than other injectable fillers because you first must undergo liposuction to extract the fat prior to injection. You eliminate the risk of allergic reaction or rejection by the body by using your own fat. You should know that not all of the live fat cells survive when transplanted into a new site. You can expect a fairly high rate of re-absorption. Because of this, your doctor will likely overfill the area being treated. At first you might look abnormal, but it will soon settle and you'll enjoy a new look. When your doctor extracts this fat via liposuction, it's possible that there will be more than is needed for one application. Most natural fat can be stored for touch-ups.
Collagen is a natural substance known as a protein, and the main component in cartilage, teeth and bones. It is derived either from human skin or cows (known as bovine collagen).
Human cadaveric dermis is skin that's cultivated from a cadaver, then injected into your face. This substance results in particularly impressive filling of facial hollows.
Hyaluronic acid is also a natural substance found in your body. High concentrations are found in soft connective tissue and in the fluid surrounding your eyes. I
Calcium hydroxylapatite, the heaviest of facial fillers, is found naturally in human bones.
Polylactic acid is a synthetic material. When it is injected, it stimulates the body's own production of collagen. This substance is known to work particularly well in the lower half of your face to fill the lines caused by laughing, to augment thin lips and fill out deep nasolabial folds. This substance is unlike other dermal fillers because it doesn't produce immediate results. Instead, it stimulates collagen production, so results appear gradually over a period of a few months.

Semi-Permanent
PMMA (polymethylmethacrylate) fillers contain about 20 percent of tiny PMMA microspheres that are suspended in 80 percent purified collagen gel. This substance, considered semi-permanent, can be removed. PMMA is most often used to treat medium-to-deep wrinkles, folds and furrows, particularly nasolabial folds. It can also be used to fill out pitted scars and to augment thin lips. PMMA has been used for many years in permanent surgical implants. Because of this, your surgeon will likely under-fill on the first treatment, adding more later if needed. Brand names include: Articol, Artefill, Metacrill
Dermal fillers are wonderful to rejuvenate your appearance, but they can't stop the aging process. If you want a permanent solution, talk to your doctor about a facelift, brow lift or eye lift.

Some people opt to have a liquid facelift, delaying the time when a surgical facelift is more appropriate. It's a great way to see some impressive changes and improvements in your appearance, such as the reduction of forehead wrinkles, until you're ready for a permanent surgical option. Just remember, you'll need to have repeat treatments with dermal fillers as a wrinkle treatment to maintain that fresh, full new look.