What is a Dermal Filler?
Dermal fillers are a manufactured product, frequently used in the correction of scarring, wrinkles and other depressions in the skin. They are most commonly available in the form of hyaluronic acid (HA) , a substance naturally occurring throughout all skin and soft tissues within our body. Other types of fillers include polylactic acid and calcium hydroxylapatite. Fillers are injected under the skin at a specific depth depending on the product and the part of the face (or body) being treated.
What exactly is Hyaluronic Acid (HA)?
HA is a naturally occurring substance found in the body that helps to hydrate and add volume to our skin. Its job is to fill the gaps between collagen and the elastin fibres in our skin. It attracts and binds water and so provides the hydration and plumpness in our skin. Unfortunately our own supply of HA diminishes over time, leading to a loss of volume of the skin, wrinkle formation and the characteristic signs of ageing.
HA has been safely used for many years in pharmaceutical products, including in the treatment of joint pain, fertility and medical aesthetics. It is manufactured under sterile laboratory conditions and is 100% non-animal in origin. It is cross linked with proteins to produce a clear, sterile gel for injection into the skin. There are over 160 brands of HA filler on the market and it is important to be aware that not all HA's are the same, and any legitimate product will not be available for general sale on the internet. At Jomae Aesthetics we mainly use Belotero range of dermal fillers as they are specifically designed to integrate into your tissue and provide subtle and even results without disrupting the natural contours of the skin. We are also big lovers of Juvederm, one of the longest standing fillers with a good safety profile. Occasionally we will use other fillers that have good data on efficacy and safety and this is reflected in our pricing structure. Some practitioners will charge £100 for 1ml of filler - you need to ask how that is possible!
When will I see the effect and how long will it last?
You will see the effect immediately but sometimes there may also be a degree of swelling associated with having an injection, so the end result will be assessed at around two weeks later. HA filler is not permanent. Once injected in to the skin it begins to break down and be absorbed. HA will typically last for 6-12 months in the face and 6 months in the lips. Some people can be good retainers for this product, so it can sometimes last longer for them.
Is there anything I need to know before I have the treatment?
All patients require a full and thorough consultation to determine their suitability for dermal fillers. There are some contraindications to treatment, such as women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, anyone who is highly allergic, anyone who as recently completed a course of Roacutane, patients with auto-immune diseases or those with keloid or hypertrophic scars.
HA fillers can be used to soften and correct facial wrinkles and folds, or to add volume. For example, in:
- The lines that run from the corners of the nose to the corners of the mouth (the nasolabial lines)
- The lines that run from the corner of the mouth downwards (marionette lines)
- Cheeks that have become 'deflated'
- Lips with loss of volume or those wanting more structure or shape
- The fine 'barcode' lines that can appear around the lips - often referred to as smokers lines but often present in people who have never smoked.
Before and After Gallery
What happens during the treatment?
- A full consultation and history will be undertaken to determine your suitability for filler
- The skin will be cleaned and numbing cream applied for at least 20 minutes
- The skin is cleaned again with a clinical alcohol based cleaner
- The injections will be administered
- A cool pack may be applied
- Aftercare advice will be given and written down for you to take away
- A review will be undertaken after two weeks
Are there any risks or side effects with dermal filler treatments?
Millions of treatments have been performed with HA fillers and product related reactions are rare when the procedure is carried out by a safe and knowledgeable practitioner. There are some side effects which may occur after any injection including redness (this will reduce quickly), swelling, discomfort, itching and bruising at the injection site. Any injection carries a small risk of infection but it is very rare if the procedure is carried out in a clean clinical environment. Una will discuss all the possible side effects with you at your consultation.
What happens after the treatment?
Hyaluronic dermal fillers are biodegradable, which means they will naturally disappear in the body. To ensure an optimal and long lasting result, a top-up treatment is recommended six to twelve months after your initial dermal filler treatment but is not essential. Generally, you will know when this is required and the timescale is different for everyone. A follow-up appointment will be arranged for around 2 weeks after your filler treatment so that Una can review you and compare the before and after photos with you.