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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Filling In Signs of Aging

'Big Rich Texas Botox Party Frisco TX' photo (c) 2012, Oceanview MedSpa - license:

You’ve probably heard of Botox. You may have read about it in our blog post from a few months ago. And you may think it’s your only option when it comes to a relatively inexpensive way to hide signs of aging.

Well, if that’s what you thought, you would be wrong.

There are a variety of filler options out there, all of which work in various ways. This post will give you The Skinny on fillers.

What are fillers?

Fillers, or dermal fillers, consist of a variety of elements by which to rejuvenate the skin and add volume to the face, lips or other parts of the body. Some fillers are made of soft tissue components that occur naturally in the body. Fillers can also be made up of the patient’s own fat from another part of his or her body or from a chemical developed to imitate soft tissue.

Generally used on the face, fillers can plump lips, smooth out facial creases or wrinkles and enhance shallow contours.

How long do fillers last?

Fillers are temporary. They usually last about three months, but there is a “semi-permanent” option involving polymethylmethacrylate, or PMMA fillers. These fillers are typically used to treat deep wrinkles or major scars.

What are fillers made of?

Chemical fillers are made to imitate the body’s own soft tissue. A few of the most common include:
  • Collagen – Well-known for its lip-plumping ability, collagen is a natural substance. It occurs naturally in cartilage, teeth and bones.
  • Hyaluronic acid – This substance occurs in the body’s soft connective tissue, the fluid in the eyes, cartilage, joint fluids and skin tissue. Although it works well as filler, it’s also often used to treat arthritis pain in joints.
  • Calcium hydroxylapatite – Found in human bones, this is the heaviest facial filler available. Deep wrinkles often require a heavier filler like this.
  • Polylactic acid – This synthetic chemical, while it does not occur naturally in the human body, does imitate soft tissue. Rather than showing immediate results, this filler helps the body produce more of its own collagen to support more long-term results.

Are fillers safe?

Unlike other, more permanent surgical procedures, fillers don’t require a lot of recovery time. Also, because many of them are made from substances that occur naturally in the body, they are safe for most people.

Some risks include:
  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Itching
  • Migration of filler material (particularly if you apply pressure – such as applying makeup – too soon after the procedure)
  • Redness
  • Rash
  • Sensitivity
  • Swelling
  • Temporary paralysis of facial muscles

What are the benefits of fillers versus traditional surgery?

Although fillers are temporary and surgery lasts longer, there are several benefits to choosing a filler. They include:
  • Changing the type, amount or location of filler after the first round – Because fillers only last a few months, it’s possible to make adjustments as needed during a second or third treatment.
  • Little or no recovery time – Unlike surgery, fillers can be injected quickly and the patient can be out and about as normal the same day.
  • Fillers are less expensive than surgery – Although many offices offer a topical anesthetic if the patient is uneasy about needles, fillers do not have many of the costs associated with surgery. Surgical costs include anesthetic, recovery care and many other expensive aspects of the procedure.

What types of filler do you offer?

At Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Associates, we offer several products:
  • Radiesse®
  • Restylane®
  • Juvederm®
  • Perlane®
  • Sculptra®
  • Belatero®
  • Artefill®

All fillers serve different purposes, and we always recommend a personal consultation with a dermatologist before making a decision.

Wondering if fillers are right for you? If you have any general questions about fillers just leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them there. If you have specific questions about your cosmetic care, find a qualified dermatologist in your area. If you’re in the Memphis area, call Advanced Dermatology at 901-759-2322.


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