FAQ about DERMAL FILLERS
Cosmetic dermal fillers include collagen, hyaluronic acid, fat and other substances. Dermal filler brand names include ArteFill, Radiesse, Sculptra, Juvederm, Hylaform, Restylane and several others. Their main purpose is to add volume to specific areas, in order to eliminate wrinkles or sagging such smile lines or enhance a feature such as cheeks or lips. Cosmetic dermal fillers are also used to reduce gauntness caused by illness or aging. Below are frequently asked questions about cosmetic dermal fillers, with answers sourced from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Are cosmetic dermal fillers safe?
When prescribed by a properly qualified and trained doctor and injected by a licensed medical professional, FDA-approved dermal fillers are safe.
What potential risks are associated with cosmetic dermal fillers?
If an injector could see ahead of the needle they could avoid the risks of hematoma or blood pooling beneath the skin. Unfortunately, bruising and swelling are common side effect and though occasional, infection and necrosis (tissue death) and rarer skin loss is possible. Most commonly infection comes from occurrences the first several days post-injection such as; touching the injection site with hands that aren’t sanitized, using make up that is not new out of the package over the injection site, or a pillow case that has not been freshly laundered. In the event of a suspected infection it’s important to immediately contact your regular healthcare provider who has access to your medical and prescriptive history. If they aren’t available then go immediately to urgent care. Prompt attention is critical to a successful outcome of any infection.
An unsatisfactory outcome is also a risk. Semi-permanent and permanent fillers may clump: the particles form a granuloma or lump that can be felt or seen beneath the skin. Particles may also migrate or displace from the injection site. Injection of an anti-inflammatory may improve minor clumps or swelling. Rarely, more significant clumping or granuloma may require surgery if fillers are used that can’t be dissolved. The most common complaint however is that multiple syringes are needed to make much progress which can be costly. The outcomes are beautiful, natural and non-invasive which is the biggest appeal.
Can I be allergic to a dermal filler?
Only dermal fillers derived from animal sources have a risk of allergy. This is something your injector should cover during your consultation and the informed consent process. If necessary, a patch or allergy test can be performed. Injections will be scheduled several weeks later after the risk of allergy has been evaluated.
Are cosmetic dermal fillers used only on the face?
Dermal fillers should not be used to rejuvenate the hands, injected into the breasts or injected into any part of the body other than the face. In select cases, a scar, cellulite dimple or other limited depression can be treated with FDA-approved dermal fillers for temporary improvement.
Is there an age limit for cosmetic dermal fillers?
Dermal fillers for cosmetic purposes should not be administered to anyone under 18.
Can dermal fillers be used on skin of color?
Hyaluronic acid fillers, like Restylane and Juvederm, are appropriate for skin of color, as these are colorless gels that should not be visible under the skin or alter the skin color.
Will I be able to feel the dermal filler once injected into my skin?
In the first few days after injection, the treated area may feel a little firm; however, this should improve rapidly. But a risk does exist with semi-permanent or permanent fillers of particles clumping together and forming a granuloma that may be felt or seen under the skin. This risk is increased if the dermal filler is injected in someone who is older or with thinner skin. The days following your injections you may need to gently massage the filler with clean hands. The nurse injector will give you instructions on how to massage to get the possible out come.
What if I don’t like my results?
One advantage of most cosmetic dermal filler treatments is that they are temporary. If you don’t like the results they will diminish in time. A hyaluronic acid-based filler like Restylane, Juvederm or Perlane can be more rapidly diminished (in weeks, rather than months) with the injection of a substance called hyaluronidas or saline in the treatment area. This substance decreases the viscosity of the original injection, promoting its absorption and dispersion.
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