Dermal fillers, as the name suggests, are used to fill in lines and wrinkles and they have been a major player in the world of aesthetics since the introduction of collagen in the 1980s. Dermal fillers are variously made up of natural and synthetic materials and are injected into the dermis to plump out fine to deep lines and wrinkles on the face. They come under two main categories – temporary (of varying lengths) and permanent (the product won’t be reabsorbed by the body).
TEMPORARY Dermal Fillers
Collagen; derived from bovine sources, collagen was effective but required a skin test in advance and was worked for very short periods of time. No longer available in the UK.
Hylauronic acid dermal fillers; a non-animal based dermal filler that gives great results, few side effects and results usually last for up to nine months depending on the area treated. There are a number of different brands on offer including Restylane, Belotero, Teosyal, Juvederm and Stylage at Vivacy.
Most of the brands have two or three different products – all based on the same HA gel but in different formulations – that are used in different areas, such as the lips, the cheek area, the nasolabial folds, etc.
Radiesse; good for facial shaping and contouring as it works as a volumising treatment, this dermal filler is made up of a gel containing synthetic Calcium Hydroxylapatite microspheres. Calcium Hydroxylapatite occurs naturally in the body and should not cause an allergic reaction. Longer-lasting than the HA dermal fillers it can last up to two years before being reabsorbed.
PERMANENT Dermal Fillers
Aquamid; a dermal filler based on a synthetic gel called polyacrylamide mixed with a high percentage of water. Being mostly water, the gel is readily accepted by the body which forms a thin membrane around the implant. It rarely produces allergic reactions and is good for filling very deep folds.
Bio-Alcamid; used to correct small and large soft tissue deficits, once this dermal filler is injected the synethetic gel is covered by thin collage capsule which means it works more as an implant. Comes in different formulations that mean it can treat anything from lip augmentation through to tissue deficiencies on the body. As it stays in one piece as such, the manufacturers claim it can be removed safely if necessary in the future.
Dermal Fillers: Am I suitable?
Suitable for men and women who have seen the development of lines and wrinkles due to the ageing process.
Dermal Fillers: What do I have to do to prepare?
Dermal fillers, especially the temporary ones, are very safe and have been scientifically tested before coming to market, but they are only as good as the person injecting so it pays to do your research to find a qualified and experienced practitioner who you feel can deliver the results you want.
There is also a difference between the dermal filler brands themselves so it is good to do your research first.
Dermal Fillers: What’s the treatment like?
Local anaesthetic cream is often applied prior to the injection – particularly in the lip area which can be very sensitive. The practitioner injects the dermal filler in one or more sites and the treatment area may be massaged to ensure the filler is evenly distributed.
Dermal Fillers: What about after?
There is minimal downtime after dermal fillers but the injection site can be quite red for a day or so and there may be some mild discomfort. Lip treatments can be more painful and can also bleed more.
Dermal Fillers: Are there any risks or side effects?
Allergic reactions are rare but do happen. One side effect can be lumps and bumps appearing – the major advantage of temporary dermal fillers over permanent fillers is that the product is reabsorbed by the body over time and it is possible to dissolve hyaluronic acid dermal fillers with a product called hyaluronidase if you’re unhappy with the results.
Dermal Fillers: What will it cost me?
It all depends on which brand was used and how much was needed but prices can vary from £150 to £750 per session.