Dermal Fillers 101
With all the different options on the market, choosing a dermal filler can be overwhelming! Dr. Horn explains the basics of dermal fillers and how to choose one that’s right for you.
What is a dermal filler, and what does it do?
Surgery can be an intimidating solution to repair flaws you are unhappy with when you look in the mirror. As a result, many people opt for less invasive methods to treat problems that occur over time with aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles, a loss of skin elasticity, hollowness under the eyes and cheeks, or thinning lips.
Dermal fillers can correct concerns by adding fullness to those areas with formulated substances found in your body that have diminished in natural production over time. Unlike neurotoxin treatments like Botox that temporarily relaxes the muscles or a deoxycholic acid like Kybella that destroys fat cells, dermal fillers are injectables that smooth out your skin by filling in the small folds and creases and increasing the volume of your skin. Many FDA-approved types of fillers offer different ingredients to address your unique concerns.
What are the benefits of dermal fillers?
Injectable fillers are more convenient and less expensive than invasive plastic surgery. Because the treatments can be done during an office visit, there is little to no downtime, and patients can usually return to their daily routine immediately. Unlike surgical procedures, the effects of dermal fillers can vary, which can offer a more subtle way to improve your look without any overly obvious signs of cosmetic work.
Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA) Dermal Fillers
Calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) is a mineral-like compound found in your bones. It is biosynthetically produced into a smooth gel with no additional animal products, lowering the risk of allergic reactions. Its long safety record offers a natural way to improve the look of moderate to severe lines and helps replenish volume loss with minimal possibility of migration. It has also been shown to help enhance the body’s natural collagen production.
Radiesse has proven effective in treating facial wrinkles and folds, such as the nasolabial fold, that can be noticeable between the corner of your nose and mouth. It is also helpful for volume loss in the back of your hands, making them appear more aged. Because of its gel consistency, the effects can last about 12 months for most patients.
Poly-L-Lactic Acid Dermal Fillers
Poly-L-lactic acid (PLL) is a safe, biodegradable substance used for many years in medical devices such as dissolvable stitches. When used as a dermal filler, it acts primarily as a collagen stimulator, helping increase your own ability to create more collagen, smoothing fine lines, and improving the look of deep lines and facial wrinkles.
Sculptra works within the deep dermis to help restore the underlying structure to help eliminate facial wrinkles and restore decreased volume. It’s a slower-acting filler that can continue to show improvement over a series of treatments, with longer-lasting results; some patients reported results lasting up to two years.
Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) Dermal Fillers
Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), a synthetic biocompatible filler, uses technology that creates a micro-sized ball of collagen that is injected under the skin to help support the firmness of your skin. As a result, your own collagen will continue to form around these microspheres, helping reshape areas of skin that have experienced loss in fullness.
Bellafill uses PMMA technology to help treat the lines and improve contouring around your cheeks, lips, chin, and mouth area. It has also been proven effective in correcting certain types of acne scars. In addition, it’s one of the longest-lasting dermal fillers on the market, and most patients enjoy results for up to five years.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Dermal Fillers
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is your own body’s natural substance, co-existing with collagen, that helps keep your skin plump and hydrated. Aging can slow down the production of HA, and these fillers can help re-establish the elasticity and fullness that has been depleted.
Juvéderm is one of the most widely known HA dermal fillers. Its smooth texture and more subtle approach to enhancing the fullness of your skin fill in the fine lines and wrinkles around your eyes and mouth. It works quickly, and patients can generally maintain results for up to 18 months.
Restylane uses granular HA technology, and its cohesive consistency resists migration and stays in place. This helps improve contour in hollow facial areas like your cheeks and fills in lost volume in your lips and the back of your hands. The effects typically last 6 to 18 months, depending on the areas of treatment.
RHA (Resilient hyaluronic acid) fillers are newer on the market. These are uniquely more flexible than other fillers, which means they bend and mold to your face and expression, giving your skin a more naturally improved look. The RHA collection comprises three variants that address various wrinkles in your lips, cheeks, and jowls.
Which dermal filler is right for you?
As you can see, many different dermal fillers on the market address unwanted lines, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity and volume in your skin that occurs with aging. Schedule a consultation with an experienced surgeon who can help you to design a nonsurgical plan to address your aesthetic goals and get back to a more beautiful and natural you!