What Are Facial Fillers?
These treatments enjoy such popularity because they are quick, non-invasive, and relatively pain-free. The goal is to address signs of aging in very targeted ways.
The effects of treatment can range from temporary to long-lasting. Most injectables have gel-like substances injected via fine needles into specific sites. Those intended to augment lips, for example, are placed directly into the lips.
The same is true of those used to restore cheek volume. In addition to these functions, injectables also:
- Improve lines around the nose and mouth
- Diminish verticle lip lines
- Smooth chin creases
- Add symmetry to facial features
- Redefine lip borders
- Reduce acne scars
- Restore volume to sunken temples
- Sculpt jowls
As you might have guessed, different injectables usually have different purposes. Juvederm is a well-known family of products that, thanks to specific formulations, can fill in lines, add volume, plump cheeks, correct folds around the mouth, and enhance lips. Other common injectables include:
This list is not all-inclusive, but it touches on some of the most popular choices. Not only are these stand-alone products, but each also contains a different active ingredient. Bellafill belongs to a group of injectables made with polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (PMMA), considered to be semi-permanent and typically used to smooth medium or deep furrows, folds, and wrinkles.
Injectables made of these mineral-like compounds include Radiesse. Because it produces very natural effects, Radiesse is ideal for adding contours to cheeks, correcting creases like frown lines, and reducing moderate or severe folds.
Injectables in this category, which include Juvederm and Restylane, are among the most commonly used. The body naturally produces hyaluronic acid, a sugar found in the skin’s connective tissues to help with hydration, elasticity, and firmness.
These injectables can therefore be used in a variety of ways, some with thinner consistencies than others, to produce results that last from several months to two years.
Treatments made with polylactic acid (PA), such as Sculptra, are commonly known as collagen stimulators because they prompt the body’s natural production of this protein.
PA works exceptionally well in the face’s lower half to plump lips, fill laugh lines, and correct nasolabial folds. Although results are not immediate, they are semi-permanent and only require occasional maintenance.
Neurotoxins fall under the fillers umbrella, and while these two groups provide similar results, their approaches are vastly different. Many dermal injectables plump the skin thanks to their gel-like textures applied beneath the skin’s surface. Neurotoxins, however, essentially freeze muscle movements to prevent wrinkles and fine lines from appearing.
By freeze, we mean these treatments relax muscles; you’ll still be able to make routine facial expressions, but precise application allows us to target specific muscles to give you a smoother, more youthful appearance. These therapies are ideal for reducing crows feet, vertical and horizontal wrinkles in the forehead, and smile and frown lines.
The most common neurotoxins include Botox, Dysport, and Jeuveau. Each works similarly to the other, although they have characteristics that may be more appealing to certain patients.
Botox has a thicker consistency for Dysport, meaning it doesn’t easily spread. This makes it more suitable for treating smaller areas, such as the “11” lines that commonly form between the eyebrows. Dysport, on the other hand, spreads more readily and can be used on larger treatment areas, such as the forehead.
A Matter of Preference
Jeuveau is akin to both of these treatments, but it’s FDA approved only for treating frown lines. It is just as effective as the other two, except they have wider treatment applications.
Many patients ask which of these neurotransmitters is the best, and we’re always quick to say it really comes down to personal preference. Some patients are more comfortable with Botox because it’s a well-known, tried and true treatment. Others prefer Dysport because its effects seem to last longer. Still others who want to specifically improve lines near the mouth ask for Jeuveau.
Neurotoxins come with a key advantage, which is this: as long as they are active within the face, they prevent existing wrinkles from becoming deeper and more visible. They also prevent additional wrinkles from forming in the treatment area. When muscles cannot move, wrinkles cannot develop. These injectables serve dual anti-aging purposes in making you look better now and in the future.
How Injectables Work
We will then make strategic injections in and around the specified site. Depending upon the injection you chose, results may be immediate and will continue to develop in the coming days and weeks. As effects wear off, maintenance sessions can provide continued benefits.
Who Are They Right for?
Fillers are considered very safe, so we recommend them for most patients. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should wait to receive treatment, as should those with inflammation or open wounds in the treatment area. During your consultation, we will assess your skin and review your medical history to ensure there are no contraindications with this treatment.
Know Your Injectables
Many times, the most difficult aspect of injectables like Botox and fillers is choosing the one right for you. We can help by:
- Acknowledging the concern to be addressed
- Considering the treatment longevity desired
- Choosing the ingredients most suited to your skin type