Dermal fillers were one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in the United States last year. According to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), soft tissue fillers were second only to Botox in the number of treatments performed in 2013. As fillers tend to last longer than Botox injections, over 2.2 million treatments on record is a testament to dermal fillers’ popularity. While many people think of facial fillers as an alternative method to Botox for filling in wrinkles, they actually work quite differently, and can be used to accomplish a variety of goals, including improving the appearance of the face after facial volume loss.
About Facial Volume Loss
Aging is largely influenced by the loss of certain tissues. In the face, depleted collagen and fat loss contribute to wrinkling, sagging skin, and a hollow appearance, as the support system for the skin begins to give way. In many cases, loss of volume in the face contributes as much, if not more, to aging than wrinkles do. Volume loss can also greatly contribute to the formation of wrinkles themselves, as well as to flattened cheeks, sunken eyes, and loose skin at the jawline. People who have more body fat are less prone to the negative aesthetic effects of facial volume loss, but are not immune to the problem completely.
How Fillers Can Help With Volume Loss
Fillers are often used for temporarily filling in “static” wrinkles (those not caused by repetitive facial movements), and are a great option for fine lines and wrinkles. However, fillers can fill in more than just wrinkles—they can add subtle volume to various areas of the face when administered by a skilled professional. By adding a little volume to the face, signs of aging, including a tired appearance, can often be softened temporarily. Demand for facial fillers has prompted the development of a wide range of filler products, many of which are geared for specific types of rejuvenation. Recently, fillers have been introduced to the market aimed at facial volume loss, some of which can last for over a year. As demand is likely to continue to grow in the next few years, patients may soon be offered even more options to suit their needs. Volumizing Fillers like Radiesse, Voluma and Sculptra are used commonly for mid-facial volume loss. Fillers like Restylane and Belotero can be used to fill tear trough depressions in some patients.
Other Uses for Fillers
Fillers are extremely versatile, and are not always used in just anti-aging procedures. These injections are also often used in natural-looking lip augmentation. This procedure, while temporary, is very popular and can give some patients the results they are looking for without the need for surgery. Duck lips are not the goal, however.
Benefits of Fillers
Versatility aside, thereare many reasons that facial fillers are so popular, and continue to gain fame in the plastic surgery industry. Here are a few reasons patients keep coming back:
Instant, Excellent Results
While surgery is a great long-term solution for facial rejuvenation, dermal fillers are difficult to beat when it comes to quick and beautiful results. Any localized swelling or redness from the injections subsides quickly, leaving only natural-looking results for the patient to enjoy.
Most people today lead extremely busy lives, and lengthy downtime just is not in the cards, even for facial rejuvenation. Fillers are a great option for those on the go, since they require no downtime, and patients can get back to their routines right away.
While no one likes to get injections, they are never as painful as expected, and the discomfort is very fleeting and minimal. Sometimes, topical anesthetic is used, but most patients tolerate dermal filler treatments quite well.
Besides the necessity of having the injections refreshed every six months to a year, the time commitment for dermal fillers is very small. Patients can be in and out of the office in no time at all. The injections themselves typically only take a few minutes to administer.
FDA approved fillers have gone through rigorous testing, and very few patients experience negative reactions to dermal fillers. Qualified doctors take precautions to prevent patients from experiencing allergic reactions or other complications.
Nearly every board certified plastic surgeon offers a range of dermal fillers, so it is relatively easy for patients to find an option that suits their needs. In addition, fillers are much cheaper than surgery, though costs can add up over time.
Which Is Right for You?
The number of different fillers available can be overwhelming for prospective patients. Unlike botulinum toxin, which only has a few brands and derivatives available, fillers come in a wide range of formulas and brands. It can be difficult to figure out which solution will be best for you, which is why patients should enlist the help of an expert facial plastic surgeon to plan and administer treatments.
Not all surgeons offer the same products, or have sufficient knowledge to give patients good results with a wide range of fillers, so it is important to choose a board certified surgeon known for his or her artistry with various fillers you are interested in. If you are looking for a knowledgeable facial plastic surgeon in the Boston area, Dr. Stuart Bentkover is known for his skill with dermal fillers, and would be happy to consult with you about your options. For more information, call Dr. Bentkover’s Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033), MA, offices to schedule a consultation.