Which Type of Dermal Filler is Right for Me?

Smile lines, crows feet, and hollowness under the eyes are just some of the things that might lead you to contend with time. While you can’t reverse the aging process, you can fight the visible signs of aging with cosmetic dermal fillers, also known as “injectables,” or “wrinkle fillers.”

Many ask, what are Cosmetic Dermal Fillers? As you age, the collagen in your skin breaks down, causing a loss of fullness in many areas of your face. Dermal fillers work to restore this loss of volume by injecting various substances underneath the skin. The substance used depends upon the type of filler.

Types of Fillers

These dermal fillers use either hyaluronic acid or calcium hydroxylapatite. Hyaluronic acid is hydrating and plumping, while calcium hydroxylapatite helps stimulate the body’s collagen production.

Autologous fillers use substances extracted from your own body to act as a dermal filler. Fat grafting and plasma injections are included in this category. With fat grafting, fat is harvested from somewhere in your body via liposuction, purified, then injected into the chosen area. Common areas for fat grafting include the cheeks, temples, and lips.

Plasma injections also called “vampire facelifts,” combine platelet-rich plasma from your blood with another dermal filler—usually hyaluronic acid—to improve the skin’s texture. These injections are growing in popularity, as they are less invasive than fat grafting and traditional facelifts.

These fillers supplement the body’s natural collagen production. While bovine collagen can be used, synthesized collagen is more common, as it is hypoallergenic and its results last longer.

Synthetic dermal fillers use synthesized acids, such as polymethylmethacrylate or poly-L-lactic acid and man-made gels, such as silicone, to add volume to the tissues — polymethylmethacrylate and poly-L-lactic acid act similarly to hyaluronic acid, giving a plumping effect to the skin. Synthetic gels provide actual structure to the tissue.

Is a Dermal Filler Right for Me?
What is best for you depends upon your personal needs. Do you have severe acne scars or deep wrinkles? Or just a few fine lines? Your doctor will also consider whether or not you are a good candidate.

Generally, good candidates for a dermal filler are healthy, do not smoke, have realistic expectations about the procedure and practice good skincare.

Associated Risks
Most dermal fillers are quite safe, though not completely without risk. The most common side effects for cosmetic dermal fillers generally include redness, swelling, bruising and sensitivity at the injection site. More serious side effects include facial asymmetry, scarring, lumps, blindness, and ulceration. Your plastic surgeon will discuss the potential risks associated with your filler.

Ensuring Good Results
The best way to get good results with a dermal filler is to find a qualified plastic surgeon. Simply going to someone based on price is asking for trouble. Once you’ve chosen a qualified plastic surgeon, he/she will advise you on your post-procedure needs. One thing is for certain: your skin will be vulnerable. Be sure to protect yourself from the sun.