There’s a first time for everything and for plenty of people, there will be a first time for dermal fillers. Injectable fillers help to smooth out lines and wrinkles, plump up various areas of the face and make a person look more youthful and well-rested.
If you’re thinking about getting fillers for the first time, the number of options available can be overwhelming. You might need some help in figuring out which injectable is right for you and in finding a qualified person to perform the treatment. This guide will help you decide if fillers are right for you and help you to make the right choice when it comes to filler and provider options.
Fillers vs. Other Injectables
Before jumping into the various types of fillers that are on the market and going into what each one does, it’s worth pointing out what fillers aren’t. Fillers aren’t the same as other injectables like Botox or Dysport.
Botox and Dysport also help to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles, but they work by blocking nerve signals to particular muscles. The injections are effective in treating lines and wrinkles that are created by repeated facial movements and expressions.
In contrast, fillers are meant to fill in lines and wrinkles. They are meant to work on lines created by the effects of gravity and volume loss. Some fillers also help restore plumpness to the cheeks and lips.
What Types of Fillers Are Available?
Different fillers contain different ingredients and some fillers contain different formulations of the same active ingredient. Many of the more popular fillers out there today contain hyaluronic acid, a substance naturally produced by the body.
Juvederm is an example of a hyaluronic acid filler. It’s used to fill in the nasolabial folds that stretch from the corners of the nose down to the mouth. It can also fill in other creases and lines created by a loss of volume.
There’s actually an entire family of Juvederm products available. Each one is designed to target a specific area. Although all Juvederm products contain hyaluronic acid, they differ when it comes to formulation. The injectable gel found in Juvederm Volbella is meant to add volume to the lips while the thicker gel found in Juvederm Voluma is designed to add plumpness and volume to sunken cheeks.
Belotero is another filler made from hyaluronic acid. This injectable is thinner than Juvederm and is better suited for treating delicate lines, such as those that form around the lips or near the eyes.
Although hyaluronic acid is common, it’s far from the only ingredient used in fillers. Radiesse contains calcium hydroxylapatite, a synthetic form of an ingredient found in human bones. Radiesse injections are best suited for deeper creases and lines in the face.
Finally, the filler Sculptra is made from a synthetic ingredient, poly-l-lactic acid, which helps to stimulate collagen production. Sculptra is commonly used to add volume to the cheek area, but it can also help to fill in deep lines and creases.
How Long Does Treatment Take and How Long Do the Results Last?
For the most part, it doesn’t take long for a skilled injector to perform a treatment with fillers. The exact time can vary, but you can generally assume that the entire process will be over within about 30 minutes.
How long fillers last depends on a variety of factors. The filler itself can influence how long your results will last. Usually, thicker fillers, such as Juvederm Voluma, last longer than thinner ones. Radiesse and Sculptra typically last longer than fillers made from hyaluronic acid.
How quickly your body processes and metabolizes a filler also affects its duration. All told, results can last anywhere from six months to about two years.
Who Should Inject Your Fillers?
Choosing a person to inject your fillers isn’t something to leave to chance. The process of injecting fillers is a delicate one. The person performing the procedure is going to be working near a lot of sensitive areas, such as your eyes, and it’s essential that they know exactly what they’re doing.
For that reason, you should choose an injector who is trained and who has plenty of experience with the filler you’ve chosen. Working with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon is ideal, especially if that surgeon specializes in performing cosmetic injections.
Before your filler appointment, it’s a good idea to schedule a consultation with your injector and get to know them a bit better. Ask them about their experience and their training and ask to see photos of their past work.
Dr. Shervin Naderi is an acclaimed facial plastic surgeon who specializes in nasal surgery and injectable fillers at his practice in Virginia. If you’re considering getting fillers for the first time, call 703-481-0002 (Reston, VA Office) or 301-222-2020 (Chevy Chase, MD) to schedule a consultation. You can also contact us online for more information.