What are Soft Tissue Fillers
Through the natural process of aging our faces lose dermal fat and get thinner. The skin becomes drier, less elastic, and less able to protect itself against damages from sun exposure, smoking, and other lifestyle and environmental effects. This leads to static fine lines, wrinkles, and creases on the skin and may leave the skin loose and droopy. Fillers, also known as dermal fillers, injectable fillers, and soft tissue fillers help to diminish facial lines and restore volume and fullness in the face. Dermal fillers are injected directly under the skin in the problem area.
Your surgeon may suggest dermal fillers treatment to:
- Plump thin lips,
- Enhance shallow contours,
- Soften facial creases and wrinkles,
- Decrease or remove the shadow of the lower lids.
The fillers can be used in reconstructive plastic procedures to improve the appearance of recessed scars or reconstruct contour deformities in the face.
Some facial wrinkles, known as dynamic wrinkles are better treated with Botulinum Toxin (Botox) treatment. In addition, your surgeon may conclude that a face contouring surgery such as facelift, brow lift or eye lift is a better solution for you if you have multiple problem areas that extend to the rest of the face.
At Grand Genesis, in addition to dermal fillers, we offer the cutting edge technology of ThermiSmooth® to tackle fine lines. ThermiSmooth® is a Controlled Non-invasive Tissue Heating technique that stimulates cologne formation in the skin. It offers a non-invasive and completely safe alternative to fillers for all skin types and tones. Click here to learn more.
There are many types of dermal fillers. Each one of them is designed to treat different signs of aging or other cosmetic issues. Depending on the type of the filler, the time it takes for the results to show, as well as how long they last vary. Your plastic surgeon will determine what kind of filler is most suitable for your unique needs.
Types of Dermal Fillers
The first wrinkle fillers were made from a purified form of collagen which is found naturally in the skin. Although the injection of collagen produced natural-looking results but the collagen began to break down as early as 1 month after treatment. Moreover, they caused allergic reactions in some patients that necessitated allergy tests before the injection. Newer forms of Dermal fillers, however, employ other natural components of the skin that have a longer absorption process and their effect can last up to over a year or two. The most prevalent natural substance used in the fillers is Hyaluronic Acid.
Hyaluronic Acid-Based Fillers
Hyaluronic acid is an essential component of the skin that’s produced by the body naturally. In the human body, it is found in the greatest concentrations in the skin, inside joints, within the eye sockets and in other tissues where it helps retain collagen, increase moisture, and provide elasticity and flexibility. Filler brands such as Juvederm, Prevelle, Restylane are all Hyaluronic Acid based.
Synthetic Wrinkle Fillers
Synthetic Wrinkle Fillers, on the other hand, are made in the lab and do not contain anything found naturally in the skin. Some are a combination of biodegradable substances that stimulate the production of collagen. The longer lasting synthetic fillers contain products such as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) microspheres that remain under the skin for the continuous support of skin for up to 5 years. These fillers have longer lasting results however they are more likely to cause adverse side effects and if not administered correctly may result in disfiguration. Brand names in synthetic fillers include Bellafill, Radiesse, Sculptra.
Silicone fillers are not approved to be used as a facial wrinkle treatment and have fallen out of favor by plastic surgeons since as a dermal filler, silicone is unpredictable, its removal after use is difficult, and that the risk of complications is too serious.
Autologous Wrinkle Fillers
Another category of dermal fillers is Autologous Wrinkle Fillers. These fillers are taken directly from the body, treated and then injected back into the areas to be treated. Most commonly it involves grafting fat taken from other parts of the body that are then filtered and purified and injected under the skin in the problem area. The results of this procedure are usually permanent.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections (“vampire lift”) are another type of autologous wrinkle filler. In PRP procedure Blood is drawn from the arm, treated, and then its plasma is injected into the face. The effects of PRP injection can last 12 to 18 months. PRP has other medical and cosmetic applications. Visit our PRP page to learn more.
Who is a good candidate
You are a good candidate for dermal filler treatment if:
- You have specific problem areas that do not extend to the rest of the face
- You don’t have a history of extreme allergies (depending on the type of filler)
- You have a positive outlook, with a clear and realistic vision of what you want the procedure do for you
- You are in general good health and do not have a serious illness or infection
Dermal Filler treatment is fast and straight forward. After the initial consultation, your surgeon will conduct a facial assessment and mapping to determine the injection sites, mark them and use very short and thin needles to administer the filler.
Anesthesia is not required for this procedure. Nevertheless, you may ask your surgeon for topical anesthetic medication. You will probably experience minimal pain caused by injection that subsides shortly after.
The procedure normally leaves temporary swelling, and cause minimal bleeding. Your surgeon will apply cold compress on the injection site to calm the skin. The entire procedure may take as little as 15 minutes up to an hour.
There is virtually no downtime and recovery after dermal filler injection. You may experience some swelling or minimal bruising in the area of the injection site which will subside within a week. You can resume your normal activities the same day. However, it is good practice if you protect your skin with sunscreen avoid wearing hats or other headgears and keep the use of makeup to a minimum.
Fillers are generally considered safe. However, in rare cases side effects may happen and can include:
Early complications (days to weeks)
- Swelling Bruising, Redness, Inflammation
- Acne-like skin eruptions
- Embolism with blindness
- Pain, Itching
- Tissue necrosis
- Allergic reaction/hypersensitivity
- Lumps caused by misdistribution
Delayed complications (weeks to years)
- Granulomatous inflammation/foreign body reaction
- Migration of the implanted filler