According to data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the use of facial fillers, also known as dermal fillers, rose from 1.8 million procedures in 2010 to 2.6 million in 2016 in the United States. These injectable treatments are long lasting, easy to get and designed to be subtle rather than over-the-top.
If you’re thinking about getting this increasingly popular treatment, whether you want a brow lift, plumper cheeks, lips or something else, there are a few things you should know first.
How Facial Fillers Work
Fillers basically restore volume that was lost in your face, helping to smooth deep lines that result from aging and sun damage. As we get older, the body stops producing elastin and collagen, while levels of hyaluronic acid diminish which results in older looking skin. Facial fillers are small injections of gel that help to fill in the wrinkles in various parts of the face like around the mouth and jawline, the checks and around the eye. They can also serve as lip fillers, which are administered directly into the tissue of the lips.
Types of Fillers
There are a variety of fillers that have been approved by the FDA for cosmetic surgeon use. Keep in mind that they’re only approved when administered through a licensed physician like a board-certified cosmetic surgeon. Most practitioners prefer hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the skin. They’re typically infused with lidocaine to minimize any discomfort.
Facial Fillers Aren’t Botox
Facial fillers aren’t the same as Botox or other neurotoxins which freeze muscles to reduce wrinkles. Instead, fillers smooth out the skin by filling in wrinkles. While collagen was once commonly used, the latest treatments like Restylane use hyaluronic acid, something that diminishes as one ages. It has the ability to give the skin a more hydrated, plump look while helping to replenish the body’s natural production of hyaluronic acid.
It Only Takes a Single Visit
One of the reasons injectable hyaluronic acid-based fillers have become so popular is that they can reduce wrinkles and add volume in just a single visit to the doctor. Results are temporary, but they last six to 12 months or even longer before the body eventually naturally absorbs the particles.
No Duck Lips
Unnatural looking pouts and duck lips are a sure sign of filler use when done wrong. Provided fillers are injected by an expert, the results should look natural – so subtle that no one will notice.
Research is a Must When Choosing Your Practitioner
Fillers should always be administered by a board-certified physician, but you should go beyond checking those credentials. Injectables are an art, and every practitioner has different techniques and has varying philosophies and levels of experience. It’s important to check references – ideally, it’s best to get a recommendation from someone who’s already had it done and then follow up with the doctor or nurse to view their before-and-after photos of real patients. You should also inquire about specific training and certification if you don’t want mistakes to show up where everyone will see them: on your face.