Dermal Fillers - The Basics

There is now much greater understanding among clients, and in society as a whole, as to what dermal filler is, and how it differs from ant-wrinkle injections such as Botox (R). Clients will often request 'filler' for a certain area of the face, and this is especially the case with lips and cheekbones, where greater size and definition may be sought. Sexual dimorphism and the different objectives for aesthetic treatment in males and females will be addressed in a later post, but here it suffices to say that a thorough understanding of facial anatomy, the dermal filler products available, and technique, are all fundamental to providing successful, safe and lasting results for clients.

Dermal filler usually refers to a substance called Hyaluronic Acid (HA). You may reconise this as a component of moisturising creams and serums often marketed with HA at the fore! HA is a naturally found in human tissue, making it safe and its behaviour predictable following injection.

There is a multitude of brands, with many attractive-sounding (and often confusing!) names. What really matters, beyond the branding, are the properties of the specific type of HA contained in the filler at hand. These properties will determine, among other things:

- where in the face the filler should be injected

- how much volume will be added by a certain amount of filler

- how much water uptake will occur (and therefore how much additional subsequent volume will be added) after injection

- where the filler should be placed (on the bone, in the subcutaneous layer, superficially in the dermis or deep dermis)

- how long the filler will last once it has been injected

A lack of understanding of the properties of different fillers and inappropriate use will result in poor outcomes, present poor value for money, and can even be dangerous. The risks with dermal filler most commonly include temporary swelling and perhaps some bruising. If, however, the procedure is undertaken by somebody not trained with a detailed understanding of facial anatomy, there can be catastrophic consequences. An incorrect technique and poor management of it's consequences can lead to tissue death resulting in black, necrotic skin. In the most extreme of cases, blindness can also occur of dermal filler is injected into a vessel in the 'danger area' of the face.

Dermal filler use is on the rise, and this is something which should be celebrated. It can produce excellent results when used judiciously, and results in little to no downtime, and in general is a low risk procedure in the hands of a trained and qualified practitioner. At MAX, we exclusively use the Juvederm(R) range, from Allergan(R). Having an in depth understanding of each filler within a range enables us to make the best treatment decisions together with you, to help you to reach your desired goal. Speak to your practitioner today and find out what products they are using, and which of these could be indicated for your own treatment.