Dermal Fillers 101

Smooth skin, beautiful cheeks, and plump lips are associated with a youthful appearance. We naturally have these in our younger years. As each decade passes, however, our facial appearance changes, due to thinning of fat, muscles, bone and soft tissue.

Beneath our skin is a network of collagen and elastin fibers that provide a support framework for our skin to keep it smooth and plump. Fat cells and hyaluronic acid are also present to help create volume under the skin. With time, this network of collagen and elastin breaks down and the hyaluronic acid and soft tissue volumes are depleted.

Many visible signs of aging are due to volume loss. As facial tissues thin, lines become etched around our nose and mouth, cheeks and eyes can look hollow, lips begin to thin and skin sags.

Dermal fillers serve to replace facial volume lost due to aging. They recreate a structural framework to our face, restoring a more youthful appearance. They are a safe and cost-effective way to look younger without surgery or downtime. Dermal fillers can:

  • Strengthen the chin and jawline
  • Enhance shallow eye and mid-face contours
  • Soften facial creases and folds
  • Plump thinning lips
  • Improve wrinkles
  • Improve symmetry among facial features

More than 1 million men and women annually choose this popular facial rejuvenation treatment. Dermal fillers are increasingly popular because of their ability to give you a more youthful appearance in a single visit to the office.

What are dermal fillers made of?
There are a variety of FDA-approved dermal fillers, each made with unique characteristics that influence the location they’re best suited to treat. Here are a few:

Hyaluronic Acid
The most popular type of dermal filler is made with hyaluronic acid (HA). Hyaluronic acid is a substance naturally found in the body, the highest concentrations found in our eyes, joints, and skin. Much like a sponge, it functions to bind and absorb water molecules which creates volume in our face. Hyaluronic acid fillers work to replace the hyaluronic acid in our bodies that get depleted overtime to restore youthful volume beneath the skin’s surface. Restylane, Versa, and Juvederm are three dermal fillers made with hyaluronic acid.

Calcium Hydroxylapatite
Calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) is a substance naturally occurring in our bones. The consistency of a CaHA filler is thicker than that of hyaluronic acid and the results typically last longer. CaHA is also known to help stimulate collagen production and is generally used for deeper wrinkles. Radiesse is an FDA-approved CaHA filler and can last 2 years or more.

Poly-L-Lactic Acid
This is a biodegradable substance that is safe to use in the body. It has been used for many years in the medical field. Poly-L-Latic acid fillers are referred to as “collagen stimulators” due to their ability to help your skin build new collagen. Sculptra is one such filler and can last 2 years or more.

How long do results last?
The longevity of a dermal filler varies from patient to patient and are influenced by the type of filler used, where it is injected, the patient’s age and the patient’s skin. Over time your body breaks down the filler types listed, therefore repeated injections are needed overtime to reestablish volume.

Results for a hyaluronic acid filler typically last 6 months to 1 year. Voluma and Sculptra can approximately two years.

Some research shows that repeated injections over time may help stimulate the body’s natural production of collagen. This will help reduce lines and wrinkles. There is also evidence that less filler is needed overtime to achieve the same desired look.

Can I still do other aesthetic treatments if I have dermal filler?
Certainly. Neuromodulators (Botox, Dysport) complement dermal fillers nicely, as they reduce wrinkles caused by repetitive muscle movements and not by volume loss. Laser and radiofrequency treatments for skin tightening are a great addition to dermal fillers as they serve to improve upon an overall youthful appearance.

How do I know which filler I need?
Your injector will determine with you the best type of filler needed for your particular area or areas of concern.

If you feel your appearance can be improved with dermal filler, feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation with Kimberly. She will discuss with you the areas of your face you’d like to address and treatment options that will help you meet your goals.