Dermal fillers is a type of cosmetic surgery that increases dermal volume by adding dermal filling material.
When applied correctly dermal fillers smooth over wrinkles and fine lines restoring lost dermal volume. A dermal filler is different from a facelift as it does not remove or reduce skin, but instead adds dermis in an injectable gel form. Dermal fillers are also different to fibroblast plasma treatments as dermal fillers do not stimulate dermis growth, rather dermal fillers simply add dermis in the wrinkle or fine line area.
There are several dermal filler injections to choose from. Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are the most common type you will see when visiting a cosmetic physician for dermal filler treatment. Dermal fillers come in 3 main forms:
Hyaluronic Acid: This dermal filler is produced naturally in human skin cells and provides moisture and hydration. Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers last 2 years as the body’s immune system ultimately breaks them down over time. They differ from other dermal gel-based treatments because they can produce immediate results and have minimal side effects. Hyaluronic dermal filler is the most common dermal filler treatment in North America because dermal fillers last longer (2-3 years as opposed to dermal gel dermal fillers that last 8 -12 months) and they are less painful.
Dermal Gel: Dermal gel dermal fillers are made from silicone. Dermal gel dermal fillers are more expensive to purchase than hyaluronic acid dermal fillers (costing up to US$2,000 per syringe) but only last 12 months and may have side effects such as inflammation and redness. Silicone dermal fillers are a dermal filler option for those who do not want to be dermal fillers injected with hyaluronic acid dermal fillers, or attempt to fix their issues with other cosmetic procedures such as Botox.
Collagen: This dermal filler is made from a protein extracted from the dermis of cows. Collogen dermal fillers are known to cause severe reactions in some patients, and have a number of side effects such as infection, hardening, itching and lumpy appearance. These derma filling products last for at least 3 years but their success rates have been shown to be lower than HA derma fillers. They also cause more pain and swelling following the procedure because of their greater concentration levels, which means there is a longer downtime needed following the treatment.
Gel dermal fillers can cost between US$1200-$2000 depending on your location, the dermal filler used, and the length of time you want it applied to your skin.
For dermal fillers to work the liquid dermis within is injected underneath the outer layer (epidermis) of the skin. The derma-fill will usually contain Hyaluronic acid or another substance which will swell up once inside your skin cells – these are called hyalocytes. This swelling gradually reduces after six months, although dermal fillers continue to provide dermal volume for up to 3 years depending on the derma filler used.
Dermal fillers are typically injected into the dermis (the layer of skin underneath your facial muscles and fat), although some dermal fillers can be injected under the eyes. It is important that you seek out a clinical medical professional with an aesthetic qualification to administer dermal filler treatments, as derma-fillers should not be administered in certain areas.
Dermal fillers can be injected anywhere that loses dermis over time: such as fine lines, wrinkles, scars or hollows where additional dermis would make a difference in your appearance. Most commonly, dermal fillers are injected into the dermis beneath your facial muscles, to provide dermis and volume in chubby or hollow cheeks.
Although derma-fill injections are incredibly useful in adding natural dermis back into facial features, you must choose carefully where you have the treatment done: if administered incorrectly you could appear much worse off than before derma-filling was performed!