If you wake up, and ask “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” then you are probably either a little kid who loves Disney, or you might be older and beginning to worry about your aging appearance. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to stay looking young! For those who don’t want Botox and its troubles, and don’t need anything too serious or costly, like a facelift, then dermal fillers might be right down your alley.
What Are Facial Fillers?
As a minimally-invasive procedure, fillers (or injectables) will not drastically and permanently solve the issue of aging skin, but they do offer possibilities to enhance the youthfulness you’ve been missing in your face’s appearance with very low risks. Fillers help bring youth back to your face’s appearance in a number of ways! Fillers can often fill in the fine lines, deep creases, and wrinkles that always seem to remind you how old you’re turning later this year. Fillers can also enhance the appearance of other imperfections on your face, such as scars and burns.
Fillers don’t just battle against age marks in your facial skin, they also can change the shape of your face in certain areas that will enhance your face in a way that brings out youth. Fillers can fill in wrinkles in and around your lips and they can also fill out thin lips and enhance their volume. Fillers can even plump up your cheeks to make them look much more youthful and full. They even help contour areas around your face, such as your jaw line, which sharpens your facial features in a way that can shave off years from your appearance.
Of course, exactly how, and how well, facial fillers work depends on the certain filler that a patient uses as well as many other factors. While you discuss which specific filler will work best for the certain areas you wish to treat, here is a quick breakdown of the various types of fillers and how they work differently:
Hyaluronic Acid Fillers:
This is the most popular type of filler, and it uses a substance naturally present in the body already – hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid helps the skin by acting as a cushion and lubricant for the skin’s tissue, enhancing its volume and texture. Hyaluronic acid works well in the human body, which is why its commonly used as a lip filler, as well as a treatment for facial skin to aid wrinkles, wounds, lines, ulcers, and many other issues in the skin.
Hyaluronic acid fillers can work from anywhere between 3 months to as long as three years. It even has been connected with stimulating your body’s collagen production helping your body’s natural response to later aging and injury. These fillers also work more effectively each time you get the injections, which only adds to why they are among the most popular types of fillers out there.
Collagen Wrinkle Fillers:
While collagen fillers do not last quite as long as other fillers (only lasting 1-9 months per injection), they produce the most natural looking enhancements. Collagen is also naturally produced in the human body as it is the main structural protein in connective tissue. Also one of the most abundant proteins, collagen plays a huge role in strengthening skin tissue in the patient’s face, enhancing the appearance of the face very naturally.
Collagen fillers are usually purified forms of collagen extracted from animals, especially cows. While they work well, as they are extracted from animals they are also the prone to causing allergic reactions. This, however, is usually very little issue for patients as simple allergy testing before the procedure can alert the doctor of which fillers may cause a reaction. As fillers advance, these side-effects decrease very rapidly.
Synthetic Wrinkle Fillers:
Doctors have formulated and created synthetic collagen fillers for patients, and synthetic collagen is among many other synthetic substances used in filler formulas. Synthetic filler is the least popular type of filler used for cosmetic procedures, and that is mostly because if they are not used correctly, synthetic fillers can cause disfigurement and long-term effects. While the side-effects include more serious risks than the other types of fillers, the benefits of synthetic fillers include long-lasting effects, which can even be permanent, and more of a whole enhancement to the appearance of the patient’s face because it can utilize all of the other techniques at once.
Autologous Wrinkle Fillers:
The last type of filler requires the least - at least in regards to necessary substances. This is because autologous fillers use the patient’s own fat (or sometimes blood) to enhance the volume and appearance of the patient’s face. The doctor surgically removes fat from the patient’s thigh, butt, or stomach, then treats or purifies it to some degree, and then injects it into the area being filled. This works well will the body in typical cases, and the results are even semi-permanent and last at least 12-18 months. While there might be little risk involved with these fillers, the results are less natural looking than those from collagen and hyaluronic acid fillers.
In the end of it all…
While some types of fillers have slightly different risks involved, like the increased allergy rate for collagen fillers, most of the side effects are similar for each type of filler. Fillers and injections always come with a risk of bruising, swelling, and redness, especially at the time of the injections. For more serious risks, it will depend on the patient’s specific circumstances, so keep that in mind when you talk with a doctor.
So, at the end of the day, you can fill out the lines, wrinkles, shape, volume, or any other facial blemish with all of the various fillers. But, different fillers work in different ways, and those differences are extremely important. Don’t forget you should always talk with a doctor about which filler would best suit your needs. It is also important to remember that while fillers can be very effective, they are usually subtle.
So, if you are in major need of bringing out youth in your face and its skin, you might want to look into other cosmetic options, like maybe lip augmentation, cheek augmentation, or chin augmentation. Otherwise, always remember that there is no substitute for healthy habits! Regardless of how many fillers, surgeries, and facelifts you get, you will always need to minimize sun damage, stay hydrated, and take care of your skin on a daily basis if you expect to keep looking young and healthy.
Written by: Russell McBurnie