Also called soft-tissue fillers, dermal fillers, soft-tissue augmentation
As we age, our skin loses its youthful fullness. Fillers help to restore lost fullness to the face, lips, and hands.
Fillers are popular for several reasons. Patients like that they can return to everyday activities immediately after getting most fillers. They like the immediate results that many types of fillers deliver. Patients also like that they can get this treatment during an office visit. Some fillers require a few office visits.
Fillers are popular. To help you decide whether this treatment is right for you and to have the treatment performed safely, the AAD provides the following facts.
Warning: If you decide that fillers are right for you, it is important to know that injecting a filler is a medical procedure.
Having a filler injected in a non-medical setting can be extremely dangerous. To protect your health, you should never get a filler injected at a:
The results you see depend largely on the experience of the person performing this procedure. A dermatologist has the knowledge and experience required to inject fillers safely and effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions
The procedure varies with the filler your dermatologist will use, the part of the body to be treated, and your medical history. Here are some general guidelines about what you can expect:
Most filler treatments take between 15 and 30 minutes and require one office visit.
Before getting the injections, you may need an anesthetic cream applied to the area to be treated
Your dermatologist will inject the filler into the area, often giving you several injections to produce the best results.
You may feel a stinging or burning sensation as the filler is injected.
Most patients can return to their everyday activities after leaving the office.
To reduce any redness and swelling from the injections, your dermatologist may recommend icing the area for 15 to 20 minutes before you leave.
Before you leave the office, you should be able to apply makeup.
Wait until the next day to exercise or do any other strenuous activity.
Stay out of the sun and do not use a tanning bed or other type of indoor tanning.
Avoid touching the treated area for three days, unless you receive instructions to massage the area.
One filler, Sculptra, requires you to gently massage the treated area for about 5 minutes several times a day for 1 to 2 weeks. Your dermatologist will tell you if you need to massage the area.
This varies with the filler. Most fillers do not cause downtime. Be sure to ask your dermatologist whether you will have downtime.
This also varies with the filler. Most fillers fill the skin, so they produce immediate — or close to immediate — results. A filler also can stimulate your body to produce collagen, but this takes time.
Most fillers offer immediate results
To get natural-looking results, the person injecting the filler must have expertise in placing the filler.
Dermatologists recommend not overdoing fillers. Your results will look more natural with a conservative approach. For example, patients who have very thin lips should not get dramatically fuller lips. Creating fuller lips in these patients could be extremely unflattering because the lips might start to resemble a duck’s bill.
Most fillers offer temporary results and require repeat treatments to maintain the results.
Temporary fillers offer one key advantage. These can be injected as needed to replace lost fullness. This is advantageous because no matter what we do, our skin continues to age.
You should ask your dermatologist how long the recommended filler should last in the area you want treated.
If you get a temporary filler, you can usually have another treatment when the signs of aging reappear.
After receiving filler injections, some patients have minor, temporary side effects where they were injected. You may have:
These side effects tend to clear within 7 to 14 days — if not earlier.
Serious side effects are more likely when the person injecting the filler does not have adequate medical training and experience. To protect your health, you should never get filler injections in a non-medical setting, such as non-medical spa, salon, or someone’s home.
When fillers are injected in a non-medical setting or by an inexperienced provider, reports of more serious side effects increase dramatically. These side effects include:
This is one of the safest cosmetic treatments available. For years, dermatologists have been refining the use of fillers to diminish signs of aging. Today, dermatologists safely treat people of many ages and all skin colors.
With a number of fillers now available, we can diminish signs of aging that appear on the face, lips, and hands. Fillers can effectively:
Restore fullness to cheeks, hollow areas under the eyes, and deep creases.
Erase fine lines.
Lift the brow or a downturned mouth.
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