Visible signs of aging plague the best of us. Over time, vibrant and youthful skin will slowly age and change. Skin eventually thins and loses its natural production of collagen — a vital ingredient for plump and healthy appearing skin. Thin skin leads to visible signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines around the eyes, nose and mouth. For many, injectable fillers are the answer to this problem — they help older skin look and feel elastic and youthful.
Technological advances have made it possible to manufacture a variety of fillers to improve skin marked by aging. Most fillers are derived from natural substances (such as collagen) while others are artificially produced. The patient’s skin condition and aesthetic goals will decide which type of filler will be best to use.
A fat transfer is performed by harvesting excess fat from a donor site on the patient’s body. The fat is extracted using liposuction. These fat tissues are then purified and reinjected gradually into an area of skin with layering precision. Following injection, your doctor will massage the skin and ensure that the intended contour is achieved. The body then naturally absorbs fat. Results often last up to six months.
Collagen is a naturally occurring protein in humans and animals — skin, bone, cartilage, and teeth are rich in collagen. These are harvested and converted into a sterilized liquid form and used as a dermal filler. It is a popular filler for lip augmentation procedures. Some collagen is derived from animals, so patients using a dermal filler of this nature will require allergy testing ahead of the procedure to ensure that they will not have any complications.
Usually found in human bones and teeth, calcium hydroxyapatite is also harvested and processed to use as a liquid filler. You might know this filler as Radiesse®. It is considered one of the heavier substances and ideal in adding volume to deep creases. This particular filler product usually lasts longer than some of the others on the market.
Hyaluronic acid is another substance that is sourced from humans. Rich deposits of this substance are commonly found in ligaments and connective tissues. As with other natural substances, when used as a dermal filler, the results are natural and effective. However, they are not long-lasting — as the body reabsorbs the solution over time. Several brands make hyaluronic acid fillers, with one of the most popular being Juvederm®.
Polylactic acid is an artificial substance. When injected, it doesn’t just add volume underneath the skin, but it also triggers the production of collagen which helps in skin renewal. The contours will be visible immediately and the skin quality will be evident after several months. This filler can last up to a year or longer for most patients. One of the well-respected brands making these types of fillers is Sculptra.
Commonly known as BellaFill, PMMA injections are a popular dermal filler. It lasts longer compared to fillers that are made only from natural substances. PMMA is a hybrid of microspheres mixed with a collagen solution. The result is a more solid, heavy filler that works well for deep creases and for reconstructive purposes when a good amount of tissue is absent. This filler is considered longer lasting, meaning it has the potential to work for several years or longer.
With so many different types of fillers to choose from, filler injections have a variety of different uses and address a variety of different facial concerns. Some of the most frequently requested sites for filler injections are:
Lip fillers can address a number of issues both on and surrounding the lips. For those who wish to give themselves plump and beautiful lips, lip fillers can add volume to enhance the appearance of your lips. Lip fillers can also reduce the appearance of vertical lip lines that appear with aging.
Do you feel like you always look tired? Under eye bags may be the culprit — and fillers could be your answer! Under eye fillers can reduce the appearance of wrinkles and bags under the eyes, leaving your face looking more youthful and refreshed.
Face fillers are generally used to address wrinkles and fine lines on the face, particularly around the mouth and nose. Since face fillers smooth out the skin around the injection site, it can also help improve facial symmetry.
Lost facial volume can result in sunken cheeks that can detract from your appearance. Cheek fillers restore lost volume to the cheeks, giving you vibrancy and youthful bounce.
Injectable fillers are performed in the doctor’s office with the use of local anesthetic creams if necessary. It’s almost pain-free; the patient will only feel a prick from the injection. The substance will be injected gradually in even layers to make sure a natural-looking result and contour are achieved. Sometimes, it may take more than one full syringe depending on how much volume is needed.
Following treatment, you can expect to see almost immediate results. There may be slight swelling, bruising, and redness on the treated area, but this usually subsides after a few days. Patients will be able to return to a normal routine a few hours after treatment, but your surgeon may ask you to take a few days off from any strenuous exercise.
Dr. Leo Lapuerta is a triple-board-certified plastic surgeon with 20 years of experience helping patients reduce visible signs of aging. To turn back the hands of time and recapture your youthful appearance, Dr. Lapuerta suggests facial filler injections. These treatments can help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and shadows on the face. Dr. Lapuerta has been serving patients in Houston, Katy, and Pearland, Texas, for over two decades, and is an expert when it comes to filler injections.
If you are interested in learning more or would like to schedule a filler injections consultation, contact us today!