How do Dermal Fillers work?
Dermal fillers are a cosmetic injectable designed to fill lines and add volume to the skin. Due to Australian advertising guidelines, we cannot specify brand names or mention the ingredients of your chosen dermal filler. What we can tell you is that dermal fillers work by imitating a sugar molecule that occurs naturally in the body. This gel-like substance is designed to bind water and acts as a lubricant and shock absorber in moveable parts of the body. In addition, this molecule also works to transport nutrients and regulate the skin’s water balance. When injected into the skin, this substance can instantly improve the appearance of lines, add and restore lost volume and alter facial proportions.
Benefits of Dermal Fillers
In addition to plumping the skin and reversing signs of age, dermal filler offers patients a number of other benefits, including:
- Immediately visible results: Unlike other procedures, you’ll notice a difference in your facial structure immediately after treatment.
- No downtime required: Dermal filler treatments can be completed in as little as 15 minutes, after which you can immediately return to your usual activities.
- Temporary results: If you’re new to the world of cosmetic injections, rest assured that dermal filler results don’t last forever, so if you are unhappy with your results, they will fade in time.
- Natural-looking enhancement: Dermal fillers are incredibly versatile and can be strategically used to create subtle facial enhancements.
What to expect
As dermal filler is a prescribed medication, only a qualified medical practitioner can administer your injections. As such, you will require a consultation before any cosmetic injectable treatment. Your consultation at Inigo Cosmetic Brisbane is your opportunity to discuss your aesthetic concerns, and your cosmetic physician will assess your natural facial expressions and movements to determine which cosmetic injections are right for you.
Before injecting your dermal filler, your physician may apply a topical anaesthetic to your treatment areas to ensure your comfort during the process. They will then inject the dermal filler beneath the skin using a very fine needle or, in some instances, a cannula. You may feel a slight pinch or stinging sensation as the product is injected; however, the process is relatively painless. You can expect the procedure to take around 30 to 45 minutes to complete, after which you are free to resume your regular activities.
Your dermal filler results
You will notice the results of your dermal filler treatment immediately after injection, although they will continue to improve in the following days. Keep in mind that dermal fillers results are only temporary, as the injected product will naturally degrade in the body. The longevity of your dermal fillers will depend on the treatment area, the product used, and your own metabolism; however, you can expect your results to last anywhere from six to 18 months. Patients with muscular physiques may require more frequent treatments with more units of filler. Regardless, regular treatments will help maintain your results and, over time, many patients find that they can go longer between touch-up appointments.
Risks and complications
All cosmetic treatments involve both positive and negative outcomes and carry certain medical risks which will impact your well-being. The known risks and complications associated with dermal filler are listed below:
- General risks of injection: This includes bleeding, bruising, haematoma, and damage to underlying structures. This could cause continuous problems in appearance, sensation or function and may require medical intervention to treat. In rare cases, such problems are permanent.
- Infection: Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections can occur post-procedure. Rarely infections can occur months later as biofilm reactions. Injections in the lip area may trigger a recurrence of cold sores, which may require treatment.
- Reactions: Reactions rarely occur but can include an immediate reaction causing swelling and very rarely life-threatening anaphylaxis. Delayed reactions localised to the skin can cause nodules, lumps or bumps or very rarely sterile abscesses.
- Lumps, Bumps, Swellings: Temporary unwanted visual side effects may cause dissatisfaction or distress and include an increase in asymmetry, swelling, lumps, bumps, puffiness, or surface irregularities.
- Skin Changes: Dermal fillers are rarely associated with skin pigment changes, the formation of thread veins or new capillaries, and other blemishes. These may be temporary, require further intervention, or may be permanent.
- Vascular Occlusion: In rare instances, the blood supply can be blocked by filler resulting in localised tissue death-causing permanent scarring. In extremely rare cases affecting the eye or parts of the brain can result in blindness or stroke.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you are concerned by fine lines and volume loss in the face, dermal fillers may be the ideal solution. Most healthy individuals are suitable candidates for dermal filler injections, provided that you have realistic expectations of what the treatment can achieve.
Of course, there are some exceptions to this. Dermal fillers may not be suitable for you if you have allergies to product ingredients, have an active skin infection, have had a recent viral or bacterial infection or are prone to hypertrophic scarring. Cosmetic injectables are also not suitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Before undergoing a dermal filler treatment, please let your physician know if you:
- Have had recent dental work or have upcoming dental work
- Have previously undergone rhinoplasty surgery – you will require clearance from your surgeon
- Have an autoimmune condition
- Have a long-haul flight booked in the two weeks following treatment
- Have had a COVID-19 vaccination in the last two weeks
Before your dermal filler injections, there are a few things you should do to prepare your skin. This may include:
2 weeks prior to treatment
- Avoid excessive sun exposure in the treatment area
1 week prior to treatment
- Avoid any medications or supplements that thin the blood, including aspirin, ibuprofen, fish oil, omega fatty acids and vitamin E
5 days prior to treatment
- Stop using any skincare products that contain AHA’s, vitamin A (retinol), enzymes or scrubs
3 days prior to treatment
- Do not exfoliate, wax, or remove hair in the treatment area
- If you are prone to cold sores, speak to your doctor about taking prophylactic medication
2 days prior to treatment
- Avoid drinking alcohol
- Stay as hydrated as possible
We also ask that you arrive at your appointment wearing no makeup, skincare lotions or SPF.
Following any cosmetic injectable treatment, it is completely normal to experience some swelling, redness, bruising and tenderness. These side effects are usually mild and should resolve within a few days.
To ensure your recovery is as smooth as possible, we advise that you follow the below aftercare instructions:
- Apply ice to the area intermittently throughout the following day
- Avoid strenuous exercise and heat (including hot showers, saunas, and LED light) for 48 hours after treatment
- Do not use any skincare products containing AHA’s, vitamin A (retinol), enzymes or scrubs for 48 hours after treatment
- Do not scrub or exfoliate the treatment area for 72 hours after treatment
- Do not massage the treatment area for a minimum of two weeks – after two weeks, you may gently massage the area as instructed by your physician
- Stay hydrated by drinking two to three litres of water daily
- If pain relief is required, use paracetamol instead of aspirin or ibuprofen
- If required, antihistamines can be taken to reduce swelling
Pain is subjective – everybody feels things different. Most people describe feeling some slight pressure or a ‘stinging’ sensation as the dermal filler is injected. However, whether or not you find dermal filler injections painful will depend on your own personal pain tolerance and the specific area treated. Regardless, dermal filler treatments are very quick, so you will not feel pain for very long.
No, dermal fillers are not permanent. The product will eventually be absorbed by the body, depending on the filler used, the area treated, and your skin type, lifestyle, and age. After your initial treatment, you can expect to return to Inigo Cosmetic for top-up treatments every six to 12 months. Dermal lip fillers usually last for up to six months.
If, for whatever reason, you are unhappy with your dermal filler results, don’t panic – you can have your filler adjusted. We implore all of our patients to return to the clinic for a follow-up assessment two weeks after treatment to evaluate their results. If needed, your physician may inject additional filler to create a more dramatic effect or improve facial balance. In cases where you wish to reverse your results, an enzyme can be injected into the treatment area that dissolves the product completely.
The right amount of filler is different for everyone and will depend on the area treated and your desired results. If you are looking to achieve a more natural enhancement, we may recommend beginning with a single syringe in the lips or in each cheek. However, if you still desire a fuller appearance once your swelling has subsided, we encourage you to return to the clinic to determine whether an extra ml of filler can help achieve your desired outcome. During your consultation at Inigo Cosmetic, we will discuss in detail how many syringes of filler may be needed to meet your aesthetic goals.
While dermal filler and anti-wrinkle injections are both very popular cosmetic injectable treatments designed to improve signs of age, they work in completely different ways to achieve very different results. Dermal fillers work to add structure and volume, usually to the lower half of the face, and offer immediate results. On the other hand, anti-wrinkle injections aim to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by blocking muscle movement. Anti-wrinkle results may take up to 14 days to appear, and the treatment is better suited to lines on the upper half of the face.
Due to Australian advertising guidelines, we are prohibited from publishing the brand names of dermal filler. At Inigo Cosmetic Brisbane, we use a range of different dermal filler products from various well-known brands. If you’d like more information, we can talk freely about your options during a consultation.