Dermal fillers

Mature lady

Dermal fillers were originally developed to treat soft tissue facial deformities, however, practitioners observed their potential value in the area of commercial, non-surgical cosmetic treatment since their application so obviously enhanced their patients’ appearances. The procedure involves injecting the filler material, in the form of a gel, directly into or just below the patient’s skin in areas where it can plump out lines and wrinkles.

Types of fillers

There are two main types of Dermal Fillers; temporary fillers consisting mainly of Hyaluronic Acid which will eventually be absorbed into the body and permanent fillers which are manufactured from longer lasting materials which are likely to remain in the body for many years. Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the cells of the human skin and acts to keep the skin plump as it attracts water which adds volume giving the skin a youthful appearance. Unfortunately natural Hyaluronic acid diminishes as we age causing the skin to sag and wrinkle.

Temporary measures

Temporary dermal fillers, such as one of the brand leaders Restylane, contain non-animal sourced hyaluronic acid which means that it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. These are generally used for lip enhancement and reshaping facial contours as well as line and wrinkle reduction. After local anaesthetic is administered the gel is injected into the skin giving an almost immediate dramatic result in smoothing out the wrinkle or defect. The manufacturers claim that side effects are minimal causing only 1 in 15,000 of patients to have an allergic reaction. The enhanced effect usually lasts between 6 and 12 months depending on the area of treatment, at which time the hyaluronic acid is absorbed into the body.

Longer term

Permanent dermal fillers are generally made from non-absorbable materials such as silicone and are not widely used in the UK. Permanent fillers are not absorbed by the body and they have been known to move from their original injection point to other areas of the body. Although this treatment produces the same immediate dramatic effects as the non-permanent injections, it is generally believed not to be as safe as the absorbable materials.

Associated risks

As with all cosmetic procedures there are always heath risks associated particularly with any product that is injected into the body. It is advisable to carry out thorough research on your chosen treatment and product and it is vital to choose a reputable clinic and practitioner. There have been too many horror stories regarding dermal fillers to ignore the possible side effects they may cause. The administering practitioner is just as important as the product so choose very carefully.