Over time, everyone’s skin loses its elasticity, leading to facial lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging. In the past, little could be done about this fact. However, this is no longer the case. Cosmetic dermatologists now have multiple methods for restoring the skin’s youthful appearance, and each year they’re all becoming more effective, more common, and less taboo.
Dermal fillers are among these anti-aging skin technologies. There are several products out there, but some of the most popular fillers include Restylane®, Perlane®, and Juvederm®. If you want to reduce and prevent wrinkles and revitalize your skin in general, dermal fillers such as these might be right for you. Of course, you’ll want to consult your dermatologist before making this decision. Until then, here’s what you should know about the most popular dermal fillers.
Dermal fillers are composed of various materials (depending on the type of filler) designed to “fill” skin that is wrinkled or sagging. These gel-like fillers are directly injected into the skin’s soft tissue (typically the facial areas) and provide both hydration and structural support where it’s needed. In other words, dermal fillers make up for the skin’s lack of collagen and elastin, substances that keep the skin flexible yet firm and which are produced less and less as our bodies age.
As mentioned above, dermal fillers differ based on their composition. The most common ones like Perlane, Restylane, and Juvederm, all contain hyaluronic acid, a naturally-occurring substance that helps shape and hydrate the skin (as well as other parts of the body). Other fillers include collagen-stimulating substances like polylactic acid (Sculptra), synthetic collagen replacements like polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (Bellafill), calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse), and polyalkylimide (Aquamid).
The best dermal filler for you will depend on your specific preferences and needs, as well as your medical history.
While dermal fillers have improved over the years, they still can’t produce permanent results. Most hyaluronic acid fillers keep the skin plump and youthful for about six months on average, though results can last longer than a year depending on the patient, the exact filler used, where it was injected, and other factors. Most patients will require multiple injections at different times to maintain their skin’s appearance and keep wrinkles at bay.
The thought of having needles in one’s face scares many people away from injectable dermal fillers. Fortunately, these procedures are minimally invasive and relatively painless, especially when properly performed by a professional cosmetic dermatologist. Local anesthetic creams can be rubbed on the skin where injections will take place in order to numb the area. At most, patients will feel a minor and brief pinch during the injection.
Some side effects are to be expected after receiving a dermal filler treatment, such as minor swelling, bruising, and redness. These common side effects will typically subside within a few days to a week. More serious side effects can occur as well, such as a cutoff in blood supply or allergic reaction, though these are rare and usually only occur when the injection is performed by someone other than an experienced medical professional.
On that note, it can’t be stressed enough how important it is to receive your dermal filler injections from a professional cosmetic dermatologist. In some countries, injections can be given in spas and salons with little regulation. Even if you’re not required to see a doctor for a dermal filler procedure, do yourself a favor and seek a professional anyway. This will reduce the risk of side effects and complications and help ensure the best, longest-lasting results for your skin.
While many cosmetic and medical procedures cost more than dermal fillers, these fillers are usually expensive. And because they’re considered cosmetic treatments, most insurance plans will not cover any of the bill. Of course, the total cost depends on how much of your skin requires treatment, who provides your treatment, which filler you’re receiving, etc. In short, costs can range anywhere from $500 per treatment to over and beyond $5,000 for high-end procedures. Be prepared.
While most patients seek dermal fillers like Restylane, Juvederm, and Perlane to prevent and reduce wrinkles, these hyaluronic acid fillers can improve your skin in other ways, too. More specifically, dermal fillers can reduce cheek depressions, acne scars, and other types of scars, as well as redefine lip borders.
If you’re wondering why Botox® has yet to be mentioned here, that’s because it’s not technically a dermal filler. A botox injection is similar to a dermal filler injection in that it aims to reduce facial lines and wrinkles, but it operates differently. Botox contains botulinum toxin, a substance that paralyzes facial muscles to minimize wrinkle formation, while dermal fillers instead add volume to the face to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Botox may not be a dermal filler, but it remains the most popular and well-known cosmetic dermatology treatment for anti-aging.
The information here covers the basics of dermal fillers. However, there is more to discover about these injections. Your dermatologist can give you more information on specific dermal fillers, including the most popular ones. At Premier Dermatology Partners, we aim to educate patients about their skin’s health and provide professional advice to help you achieve healthier better-looking skin. To learn more about our providers and all the services we offer, contact us today.