Cosmetic Fillers Facts: Look Refreshed, Feel Renewed

Dr. Sacha Obaid, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Serving Dallas, Plano, Southlake, and Nearby Fort Worth, Texas

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Cosmetic fillers are some of the top non-surgical cosmetic procedures around the world. Why?

  • Fillers don't require surgery or special preparation.
  • They produce great results in a very short time; some products take effect immediately!
  • They cause only minimal discomfort, and recovery time is just a few days.
  • They’re safe and FDA-approved.

Intrigued? Get the info you need to look your best over your lunch break! Before we get started, here are two terms you’ll see a lot:

  1. Dermal filler – A filler (injectable) injected into the skin (epidermis)
  2. Hyaluronic acid – “A natural substance found in your body…that transfers essential nutrients from the bloodstream to skin cells” (American Society of Plastic Surgeons)

What Kinds of Cosmetic Fillers Exist?

Dermal fillers have been in use for decades. The first widely available treatments consisted of collagen protein, but not so long ago, BOTOX® and hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers became available. Now you have a great range of injectable options, with HA fillers the most common!

BOTOX

This treatment is made of botulinum toxin A, which relaxes the muscles where it's injected. It works to smooth out the skin that lies over the top of your muscles and reduces even deep-set wrinkles. It's most often used on the glabella area (between the eyebrows) to relax frown lines, but it’s also great at smoothing crow's feet. In addition to relaxing wrinkles, BOTOX can be injected under your arms to treat excessive sweating. Injections of BOTOX typically last three to four months.

JUVÉDERM®

During this skin filler treatment, hyaluronic acid is injected into the dermal layer of the skin. This increases dermal volume, which smooths out the top epidermal layer of your skin. As a result, your fine lines and wrinkles are smoothed out, which contributes to younger-looking skin. Injections of JUVÉDERM last for up to a year before they need to be repeated.

JUVÉDERM VOLUMA®

This injectable HA filler is specifically meant to add volume to the midface. Over time you might notice your cheeks flatten and your skin begin to sag. This is caused by natural loss of volume in the cheek area due to aging or weight loss. VOLUMA is designed to add volume beneath the skin to lift and contour the cheek area, making your whole face appear younger. VOLUMA last 18 to 24 months.

Restylane®

Restylane is an HA skin filler that’s used to treat cheek folds and fine lines and wrinkles around the lips. It can even help plump up your lips! For most people, Restylane injections last six to nine months.

BELOTERO BALANCE®

This hyaluronic acid injectable is for the treatment of perioral lines (smoker lines) around the lips and eyes. The BELOTERO BALANCE formula is a very thin gel, which makes it more effective at filling superficial folds and fine lines than similar treatments. For best results, your BELOTERO BALANCE treatment should be repeated every six months.

KYBELLA™

KYBELLA is a fat-destroying acid (deoxycholic acid) that is used to treat submental fat (double chin). For optimal results, you may have to undergo treatment two to four times every eight weeks. Every patient is different, so after a personalized consultation your doctor will be able to determine how many treatments you will need. Once you've completed a successful course of KYBELLA, the treatment doesn't ever need to be repeated! This is because the fat cells in your chin have been permanently destroyed, and that’s a good thing.

But How Do They Look?

Some cosmetic fillers have the reputation of looking unnatural. You may have heard people avoiding BOTOX, for instance, because they worry about their face looking “frozen.” This type of result tends only to happen when too much product is used. With all injectables, it's better to start with too little rather than too much. If you end up needing more, you simply have another treatment. If your treatments are given by a skilled professional injector, your face will appear completely natural. You'll just be a more youthful-and-well-rested-looking version of yourself! cosmetic fillers One of the truly great things about these treatments is just how quick and simple they are. They don't require any special preparation and are one of the fastest cosmetic procedures you can get. A set of BOTOX injections, for example, takes only a few minutes. KYBELLA injections and dermal fillers such as Restylane and JUVÉDERM/VOLUMA are nearly as quick, taking around 30 to 45 minutes. They’re so fast, you could have one during your lunch hour and go right back to work afterwards!

Will You Feel Pain?

Pain is a common worry for people experiencing fillers for the first time. The good news is, any pain you feel is minimal. The needles used are extremely thin, which reduces the sensations they cause. Most people feel no more than mild discomfort. Most injectables include a topical anesthetic, such as lidocaine, so there's even less discomfort. Injectable treatments have a good safety record too. A common misconception about BOTOX is that it's harmful because it's made from a bacterial toxin. The truth is, only a tiny amount of toxin is used in each injection, so BOTOX treatments are very safe. Other kinds of injectable treatments contain substances that are naturally present in the skin, and with the proper injection technique the risks are minimal.

Are There Side Effects?

As with any treatment, there are some side effects and potential risks. With any cosmetic filler, you may experience some bruising, redness, and minor swelling of the skin around your treatment area. For most people, these side effects go away after only a few days, and they can usually be hidden with makeup. The chance that the injected substance might spread from the injection site only becomes a risk if you engage in high-impact physical activity after your treatment. Another risk you might have heard of is long-lasting discoloration. This can happen if product is injected too superficially or bruised skin gets sun exposure before it is completely healed. As long as you follow your plastic surgeon's/nurse injector’s aftercare instructions, it's unlikely that you'll experience any serious or long-lasting side effects.

Which Injectable Treatment Is Right for You?

All of these different injectable cosmetic treatments give their own results. Whether you're searching for something specific or just want to appear more youthful, consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon or injectables specialist to make sure you get the treatment that gives you the results you want! During a consultation, you'll talk about the kinds of results you hope to achieve and learn which treatments you're a good candidate for. For example, BOTOX is your best bet if you have deep-set frown lines or other kinds of expression lines. JUVÉDERM/VOLUMA and Restylane are more effective for volume loss and wrinkles that develop because of aging. On the other hand, if you have superficial lines or want to treat your undereye area, BELOTERO BALANCE might be a better option. One thing is for sure: With the right treatment, you can expect to see a younger, more refreshed-looking you in short order, sometimes immediately! Interested in learning more about these cosmetic fillers and what they can do for you? Check out the brand new Med Spa at North Texas Plastic Surgery!

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