How Dermal Fillers Can Restore Your Youthful Glow

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As we age, our facial structure starts to lose some of its supportive framework and can cause facial volume loss, sagging skin, wrinkles, hollow eyes, flatter cheeks and less well-defined neck and face outline. If you want to improve your look but do not want an overly dramatic change that will require going under the knife, then dermal fillers are the way to go.

What are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers are non-invasive injectable soft tissue fillers that are designed to restore age-related volume loss and atrophy of the skin. Dermal fillers have a gel-like consistency and improve facial features in a very subtle manner with zero to minimal recovery time. Dermal fillers can be described as “liquid skin” that creates instant and lasting effects in a way that looks natural. From its namesake, dermal fillers “fill” the areas with volume loss and restore them back to their fuller, youthful look.

Treatment Areas for Dermal Fillers

Fillers are administered by trained cosmetic doctors in-office. With the help of anesthetic creams, dermal fillers are precisely are injected into the dermis layer of the skin to:

  • reduce fine lines and wrinkles
  • plump up sagging skin
  • remove dark eye circles
  • improve facial features like the cheekbones, jawline, brow lines, and nose

Also, dermal fillers can be used to treat various forms of acne scars by filling the space where the damaged tissue has been and lighten the appearance of acne scars.

Types of dermal fillers

Globally, the names, brands and number of injectable fillers seem to change and increase yearly. In some countries, certain types of dermal fillers are available that cannot be found in other countries. There are many variant brands but in general, these two main types of fillers that are generally used.

1. Hyaluronic acid (HA) Dermal Fillers

The most common type of dermal fillers in Singapore used by cosmetic dermatologists like Dr Israr Wong are Hyaluronic acid (HA) dermal fillers. HA can naturally be found in the human body and are made up of glycosaminoglycan polysaccharide, a type of sugary molecule. HA works by attracting and binding water resulting to more hydration and added volume on the injected area. HA fillers are safe, FDA-approved and are reversible. Meaning, when HA are not injected correctly or cause lumps or sensitivity, the doctor can inject hyaluronidase which is basically an “antidote” that melts it away. Commonly, there are two main brands of HA dermal fillers used: the Restylane Dermal Fillers and  Juvederm Dermal Fillers. 

  • Restylane Dermal Fillers have the consistency of a granular gel making it more cohesive and intact once injected. This unique property makes Restylane a better option for areas with significant volume loss. Effects can last between 6 and 18 months depending on the treatment area and the type of Restylane filler injected. Restylane can cause lumps on the skin but these can be easily smoothened out by your doctor.
  • Juvederm Dermal Fillers have very smooth gel consistency and easily diffuses into the underlying dermal tissues making it a better option to improve signs of aging like wrinkles and very fine lines. It can also be used to redefine facial contours. Due to its consistency, Juvederm may not be the a very good solution to volume loss. Juvederm fillers have longer chains of glycosaminoglycan polysaccharide compared to Restylane and therefore lasts longer. Effects from Juvederm typically lasts for 6 months to 2 years.

2. Biostimulating Fillers

The most popular non-hyaluronic acid fillers are Sculptra, Radiesse and Ellanse. These types of fillers are non-hyaluronic acid fillers but made with biocompatible, nonallergenic and nontoxic synthetic substances that stimulates the production of collagen, hence the name biostimulating. Compared to HA fillers, these types of fillers are generally longer lasting as they stimulate production of connective tissues that restore the skin’s youthful appearance.

  • Sculptra contains poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) and is used to smoothen facial wrinkles, age lines and creases around the nose and mouth area and the effects can last up to 2 years. It requires three injections over the course of 3-4 months. However, Sculptra only stimulates collagen production and has no instant volume filling effects. A period of 3 to 4 weeks is required for results to be fully observed. It is also can’t be used on the lips and eye area. 
  • Radiesse is made up of calcium hydroxyapatite and is a semi-permanent synthetic filler that can last for about 8-24 months. It is often used to treat wrinkles and folds surrounding the mouth and nose. Radiesse has an instant filling effect and at the same time stimulates collagen production. Full effects start to within a week post-treatment.
  • Ellanse consists of Poly-caprolactone (PCL) microspheres and carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) gel that once injected, are completely absorbed by the skin. The CMC gel creates an instant filling effects and the PLC microspheres facilitate collagen production in 90 days. Ellanse is the longest lasting dermal filler available and can last for 1-4 years depending on the patient’s preference and doctor’s recommendation.

 What is the best type of dermal fillers for me?

To simply put, based on the assessment of your skin, your doctor will be able to recommend the best type of dermal filler that is best suited for your needs and your skin type. Dermal fillers differ on how thick and viscous they are and different types of fillers are used in different areas. Basically, your doctor consider these factors to determine the best type dermal filler for your case:

  • Skin type
  • Location of the treatment area
  • Thickness or thinness of the treatment area
  • History of having dermal fillers or other cosmetic treatments
  • Patient’s preference on how long the fillers will last

Important Tips

  • Ultimately, the cost of your dermal filler treatment is mainly influenced by the type and amount of filler used to treat your specific condition.
  • Filler injections usually do not have downtime but some fillers may have side effects such as pain, swelling, bruising, and irritation at the injection site and typically resolves in 1-2 weeks.
  • It is also important to understand that fillers are not permanent. So, if you want to maintain the lifting effects, you’ll need new rounds of filler injections and touch ups every now and then.
  • In choosing the right dermal filler provider find a doctor who is well-trained and specializes in dermal filler injections to avoid complications and ensure best results.

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