Nonsurgical cosmetic treatments continue to increase in popularity, especially facial fillers, Botox®, liquid facelift, and laser treatments. These nonsurgical treatments have some advantages since they can be started at a younger age, may help “hold off” the facelift, or be continued after facial surgery to help maintain a refreshed and younger appearance.
What is a facial filler?
Facial fillers are soft gels that are injected into tissues of the face, cheeks, and lips to enhance one’s appearance. A majority of current facial fillers are made of hyaluronic acid. which is normally found in the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring sugar molecule that attracts and binds water. The available fillers vary based on specific hyaluronic acid preparation, ie. thinner vs thicker, softer vs. firmer, etc.
Facial fillers are also referred to as fillers, dermal fillers, or facial injectables. Fillers may used in isolation or combined with Botox or Dysport® as part of a nonsurgical facelift or liquid facelift.
We’ve reviewed the large variety of facial fillers in blog posts previously. There are many facial filler brands available worldwide. The current family of hyaluronic acid fillers in the US include:
What is the “best” facial filler?
As with any plastic surgery procedure, there isn’t a “best”. These fillers used in lip and cheek injections are very similar. Some fillers are designed for more superficial treatments of fine lines and wrinkles, while others help add volume. In blind testing, some patients would likely have a very difficult time determining what was injected. Facial plastic surgeons and patients will have, however, their own personal preferences.
How long does facial filler last?
After treatment, your body starts to dissolve the facial filler gradually. Patients who are very thin or very athletic might notice the filler dissolving a bit faster. All fillers last about 6 to 12 months or longer, depending on factors such as the specific filler material, treated facial area, and tissue response to the filler. Drinking plenty of water and strictly avoiding smoking can help prolong the duration.
What are the side effects of facial filler injections? Are facial fillers safe?
Any aesthetic treatment has potential side effects or risks. Be sure to review these with your plastic surgeon and dermatologist. A majority of issues with facial filler injections are generally considered minor and self-limited.
Swelling or bruising is the most common side effect and typically resolves quickly after treatment. Be sure read our tips and tricks to reduce facial swelling after cosmetic surgery. Nodules, lumps, and irregularities may occur and also normally resolve with time. Risks such as infection or allergic reaction are much less commonly seen, especially when working with a board certified plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon, or dermatologist.
Do facial fillers replace facial surgery?
Filler injections are a tool that plastic surgeons use to help achieve a patient’s desired appearance. For those with significant skin laxity or loose skin, then eyelid or facelift surgery would most likely be required. However, for those with some early facial volume loss or hollowing, then facial fillers can be a good nonsurgical option to consider.
Have you considered nonsurgical treatments to enhance your appearance? Speak with a facial plastic surgeon for a facial filler evaluation. Share your thoughts below.