Plump and Smooth: Dermal Fillers Evolve

As women begin to notice changes to their faces — fine wrinkles across the foreheadlaugh lines, thinner lips and darker circles underneath the eyes — they often look for help to combat these signs of aging. Over-the-counter creams are limited in their effectiveness, and plastic surgery may be more than is needed, but dermal fillers offer an attractive solution: immediate, subtle results that can last from several months to a year or more.

Dermal fillers are designed to fight the signs of aging by plumping wrinkles, filling in hollowness and enhancing lips. Dermal fillers have been available for many years, but recently new kinds of fillers have become available through your dermatologist.
First, it is important to understand the difference between injectibles such as Botox and Dysport and dermal fillers. Although they are both delivered by injection, they serve very different purposes. As the name implies, fillers are designed to plump wrinkles, fill in hollowness and enhance lips, while Botox or Dysport targets and relaxes muscles to prevent new lines from developing.

The advantages of fillers are usually considered to outweigh possible risks. Fillers are generally cost-effective (starting at a few hundred dollars), easy to administer and natural looking. The effects commonly last four to 12 months. However, fillers can cause occasional bruising, mild pain or discomfort when injected and, in rare circumstances, allergic reactions. Thus is it always recommended to discuss this option with your dermatologist.

Increasingly popular, brand-named fillers can be classified into several categories, including collagen, hyaluronic acid (Juvederm, Restylane and Perlane) and calcium-based (Radiesse). However, new kinds of fillers — including synthetic and permanent options, have recently debuted on the market, making it even harder to evaluate the growing list of brands.

Fillers that use hyaluronic acid act as humectants (substances that preserve the moisture or water content of the skin). They increase volume and are best used for lips and wrinkles. New hyaluronic acid-based fillers on the market include Juvéderm XC containing the anesthetic lidocaine to help reduce pain during the injection procedure. Both Restylane and Perlane also have a new lidocaine-included version. Calcium-based Radiesse works to combat deeper creases around the cheeks. Another product, Sculptra, is especially good for the hollows in the skin. These products generally last 6-12 months, although some individuals experience longer lasting results, especially after several treatments.

The new wave of fillers aims to improve the longevity of the treatments. The most controversial may be permanent options such as silicone or Artefill, another synthetic product. Although these fillers sound appealing, experts question whether permanence is truly a benefit. Also, since these materials are often foreign to the body, they can lead to long lasting allergic reactions, such as nodules at the injection sites.

With so many options available, those interested in dermal fillers should consult with their dermatologist to discuss expectations, evaluate options and devise a plan specific to their needs. Look for a doctor who is well versed in using different types of fillers and who doesn’t have alliances with just one company. A doctor who is comfortable with different dermal fillers will choose the best ones for your needs, often using several kinds to achieve best results.

Dr Lisa Benest is a medical and cosmetic dermatologist in Burbank. She and her staff provide comprehensive skin examinations as well as an array of non-invasive, cosmetic procedures and offer a full line of skin care products. To learn more about how to take care of your skin as well as the most up-to-date treatments in skin care, schedule a Free Consultation with their cosmetic nurse. Check out their website for a complete list of all the treatments:

Lisa Benest MD
1624 W. Olive Ave #B
Burbank, CA 91506


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