Is Dermal Filler For You?
Twenty-five years ago, going under the knife for a face-lift was the way to get rid of wrinkly, sagging skin. But today, a range of dermal fillers can be injected to soften those facial creases, enhance shallow contours, and plump up thinning lips. With these nonsurgical “liquid facelifts,” you can get back the youthful fullness of your face in about an hour, with immediate results, and no downtime.
These treatments are temporary, lasting anywhere from six months to two years, and therefore, must be repeated for maintenance. It may appear more cost effective to have permanent fillers but these may bring permanent complications. Permanent dermal filler injected in your 40s may not look the same on your face as when you are in your 60s.
The optimal age for a patient to begin getting fillers is in the 40s to early 50s. However, a lifestyle of soaking in the sun, smoking and liquor, and lack of sleep has made it easy for young people in their 20s and 30s to have early frown lines. Also, much younger patients have come for nonsurgical rhinoplasty and chin augmentation. With the increasing popularity of dermal filler procedures, the question has changed from “Should I?” to “Which one?”
Restylane and Juvederm are made of hyaluronic acid. If the hyaluronic acid sounds familiar, it's because the same substance is used as anti-aging and moisturizing ingredient in DERMAX HYAL C, among other DERMAX Professional skin care products. Hyaluronic acid is also injected into the aching joints of people with arthritis to provide extra cushioning. Because the body produces hyaluronic acid naturally, it hardly ever causes an allergic reaction, and it gives a smoother, more natural appearance. Other brand names using hyaluronic acid include: Captique, Esthélis, Elevess, Hylaform, Perlane, Prevelle, Puragen and Hyaluronica.
Radiesse is the newest dermal filler approved by the US FDA. It is made of very tiny, smooth microspheres of calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA), which is found naturally in human bones. This mineral-like compound can fill the deepest creases such as nasolabial folds, marionette lines and frown lines. It's also used to enhance fullness of the cheeks, and in nonsurgical noselifts. The microspheres (particles) form a scaffold through which your body’s own collagen grows, and this produces the desired long-term effect of from 18 months up to two years. Another brand of filler using CaHA is Radiance.
A common misconception is that dermal fillers do the same job as Botox injections. Although both Botox and dermal fillers reduce the appearance of wrinkles, these products don’t treat the same type of wrinkles. Botox is used on areas where the skin gets wrinkled due to frequent muscle movement. On the other hand, dermal fillers literally fill in sunken areas resulting from the aging process.
The dermatologist will determine which fillers to use on specific parts of the face to be treated. Some fillers are more viscous; others are more fluid and can plump larger areas. A combination of Botox and fillers may achieve best results.
This article was published in the Lifestyle Section of Manila Bulletin on July 30, 2013. The author is the CEO of SkinStation. He received the 2011 Outstanding Chemist Award from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) for his achievements in the field of cosmetic chemistry. Skin Smart aims to clarify facts and myths on skin care. Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.