Dermal Fillers are injectable substances which are used to smooth wrinkles and scars, and enhance lips. The effect is instant.
The use of dermal fillers is on the increase. Many people, who now use these treatments in their routine grooming and skin maintenance regime, were initially reticent to try them. The reason lies in being able to see the difference they can make.
What are injectable dermal fillers?
Dermal fillers are crystal clear, non-animal derived, biodegradable gels based on a natural substance called hyaluronic acid. This substance is present in all living organisms and its role in the skin is to deliver nutrients and hydrate it by holding in water. As we grow older, we have less and less hyaluronic acid present in our skin. (By contrast babies have a great deal of hyaluronic acid in theirs).
The most popular Fillers in use in the United States and Britain are the Restylane® and Juvederm® products which come in varying consistencies depending on the type and depth of line or wrinkle to be filled.
What can dermal fillers be used for?
Over time some areas of the face show this loss of hyaluronic acid more obviously than others. Typically, furrow lines between the eyes can appear deeper. These are particularly amenable to Filler treatment. Other areas are the smile lines (or nasolabial folds) running from the edge of the nostrils to the corners of the mouth.
When small amounts of Filler material are injected into the wrinkled areas, depressions can be raised to the level of the surrounding skin. Facial lines are minimised, texture is improved and, as a result, your face has a softer, more youthful appearance.
Other areas of treatment are:
- marionette lines (from mouth to chin)
- vertical lines of the upper and lower lip
- lip enhancement
- scars caused by acne
- other shallow scars
How safe are dermal fillers?
Dermal fillers are used for non-surgical and non-invasive procedures. The dermal fillers used are stable, non animal based, do not require a skin test and, because they occur in our own skin, are non-allergenic.
Fillers have been safely used in the United States for the past 10 years and it has been estimated that Restylane itself has been used safely in over 100 000 people.
When will I see a difference after dermal filler treatment?
You will see a difference immediately.
Over time the dermal filler is completely reabsorbed by the body and is replaced by water. Because of this replacement by water, the effect wears off gradually. Depending on the type of filler used, the effect will last from 6 to 12 months.
As Anaesthetists, we can always give a local anaesthetic (dental block) prior to filler treatment as it can be uncomfortable. The local anaesthetics are quick and wear off fairly rapidly (30 minutes). This allows for painless, careful and unhurried placement of the dermal filler.
VOLUMA® or Liquid Face Lift
Voluma® is a type of filler in a range made by Allergan and, as the name implies, is used to restore volume to the ageing face.
Since its introduction 2 years ago we are finding that Voluma® is one of our most effective and popular treatments.
In the past, it was accepted that as we aged it wasn't possible to possess both a slim figure and a youthful face. This is no longer true as is obvious by the eternally youthful faces of many well known celebrities with personal trainers keeping them lean and fit. Thanks to facial revolumising they also look healthy.
Voluma® is placed deeply in the face, typically on the front of the cheekbones. This restores the natural youthful, shape which is often lost as we age. The fat pad which sits in this position in youth drops and splits as we age giving rise to a more tired, gaunt look.
Voluma® can effectively restore the volume here and dramatically reduce the appearance of the fat pad split, sometimes completely. This technique is also known as the "liquid face lift". A look at the before and after photos here will illustrate why it is known as the “liquid face lift”.
Sometimes we recommend both volume restoration and surgery where the ageing of the face is more advanced. The combination provides an excellent result and, because our team in CAER works together, the treatments are seamless, co-ordinated and specifically tailored for individual patients. Your anaesthetist is also the practitioner who has treated you with Voluma®. In this respect, we are unique.
See before and after images for Voluma liquid face lift.