Injectable fillers are one of the most popular facial rejuvenation techniques. They are most often used to augment lips and cheeks, soften nasolabial folds and dark circles, as well as balance asymmetry in the face. Fillers are also used for nonsurgical nose shaping (nonsurgical nose job) and chin augmentation.
As we age, the underlying tissues (fat, collagen and bone) begin to break down, leaving our skin looking tired, loose and deflated. Over time, these factors contribute to the development of wrinkles and folds in the face. Fillers gently replace lost volume to rejuvenate the face and restore balance.
There are a few types of dermal fillers that can be used for facial rejuvenation. Hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers are the most common. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring, complex sugar molecule that forms large matrices in the connective tissues of the body (i.e.- skin and cartilage). Much like a sponge, the primary function of HA is to bind and retain water, which restores volume under the skin.
While there are a variety of hyaluronic acid fillers, the most commonly used products in our practice are the Restylane and Juvederm family of products. These include:
- Juvederm Volbella
- Juvederm Ultra
- Juvederm Vollure
- Juvederm Ultra Plus
- Juvederm Voluma
- Restylane Silk
- Restylane Refyne
- Restylane Defyne
- Restylane Lyft
The type of product used depends largely on the treated area and the type of result each patient desires. The above products are listed in order of superficial to deep use. For example, Juvederm Volbella and Restylane Silk are used for fine lines on the surface of the face, while Juvederm Voluma and Restylane Lyft are used for deeper volume at the level of the bone. The best fillers for you will be discussed in detail during your consultation.
Preparing for your procedure
Depending on the extent of your treatment, Juvederm or Restylane procedures can last anywhere between fifteen and sixty minutes. Prior to the procedure, the treatment areas will be cleaned and a local or topical anesthetic will be used to increase comfort.
Using a fine needle, Juvederm or Restylane is gently injected into the treated area. Patients may feel some poking or stinging from the injections. As the injected hyaluronic acid molecules attract and bind to water molecules, the volume beneath your skin will increase, restoring a smoother and more youthful appearance immediately after.
Following your treatment, you may experience some redness, swelling or bruising. These symptoms usually resolve within a few days. Results with Juvederm and Restylane products can last from anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the type of product used and the individual.
Poly-L-lactic Acid (Sculptra Aesthetic)
Many patients who are interested in facial rejuvenation with fillers may benefit from a natural collagen producing product called Sculptra Aesthetic. Unlike hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers, Sculptra works to restore the inner structure of the skin and replace volume naturally. So, as hyaluronic acid fillers diminish lines by pushing up the dermal space beneath wrinkles and creases, Sculptra works to restore the deep, underlying structure of the skin.
Scuptra is made with a biodegradable synthetic material called poly-L-lactic acid which is gradually absorbed by the body. During this process, the body creates more collagen, leading to a natural increase in volume over 4- 6 weeks. Sculptra in injected using a blunt tipped needle in various regions of the face, namely below the cheek bones and in the temples. Patients generally require 2-3 treatments to achieve their final result, which can take three to four months to complete. Sculptra results can last for up to two years.