As we age, our faces begin to show the effects of gravity, sun exposure and years of facial muscle movement, such as smiling, chewing and squinting. The underlying tissues that keep our skin looking youthful and plumped up begin to break down, often leaving laugh lines, smile lines, crow’s feet or facial creases over the areas where this muscle movement occurs.
Soft tissue fillers can help fill in these lines and creases, temporarily restoring a smoother, more youthful-looking appearance. When injected beneath the skin, dermal fillers plump up creased and sunken areas of the face. They can also add fullness to the lips and cheeks.
If you are considering a facial rejuvenation treatment with injectable fillers, this information will give you a basic understanding of the procedure – when injectables can help, how the procedure is performed, and what results you can expect. It may not answer all of your questions since a lot depends on your individual circumstances. Please ask your doctor if there is anything about the procedure you don’t understand.
Injectable fillers are primarily used to improve the appearance of the skin’s texture. They can help fill out deep facial wrinkles, creases and furrows, “sunken” cheeks, skin depressions and some types of scars. They can also be used to add a fuller, more sensuous look to the lips.
Injectables are usually not sufficient for severe surface wrinkles on the face, such as multiple vertical “lipstick lines” that sometimes form around the mouth. Instead, your cosmetic surgeon may suggest a resurfacing technique, such as chemical peel. Rather than filling in facial lines, resurfacing methods strip away the outer layers of the skin to produce a smoother appearance.
Deep folds in the face or brow caused by overactive muscles or by loose skin may be more effectively treated with cosmetic surgery, such as a facelift or browlift. Injectables are sometimes used in conjunction with facial surgery procedures however, injectables alone cannot change facial contour the way surgery can.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FILLERS
The most important fact to remember about injectable fillers is that the results are not permanent. Injected material is eventually absorbed by the body. You should not expect the same long-lasting results that may be gained from cosmetic surgery.
In some individuals, the results may last only a few weeks; in others, the results may be maintained indefinitely. Researchers believe that age, genetic background, skin quality and lifestyle, as well as the injected body site, may all play a role in the injected material’s “staying power.” However, the precise reason for the variation of results among patients has yet to be identified.
RISKS RELATED TO FILLERS
When injectables are administered by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor in nature. Still, individuals vary greatly in their anatomy, their physical reactions and their healing abilities. The outcome of treatment with injectables is never completely predictable.
Risks include allergic reaction, infection, abscesses, open sores, skin peeling, bruising, scarring and lumpiness, which may persist over the treated area. Reports of these problems are very rare.