Injectable Fillers Questions and Answers
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What is a filler?
A filler, commonly referred to as ‘fillers’, or known as injectable fillers or dermal fillers, is a substance injected into your skin to add volume and fullness to a specific area. The substance used for the filler (such as Juvederm) may depend on the administrator’s preference, or whatever substance may be most effective for the area in question, or for your specific goals. Fillers can be made of things like: calcium hydroxyapatite, a mineral-like compound found in our bones, or hyaluronic acid, which is found in some fluids and tissues in the body and can add plumpness to the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a common ingredient in many skincare products, usually as a hydrating agent, which is why you may be familiar with it. There is also polyalkylimide, a transparent gel that is compatible with the body, and polylactic acid, which helps stimulate the skin to make more collagen. There’s also a semi-permanent filler known as poly methyl-methacrylate microspheres (PMMA). Fillers are usually used on the face.
Are fillers for me?
Fillers are safe to use for most adults, but whether or not they are for you will depend on your specific situation and goals, as well as the advice of a licensed professional trained to administer fillers. Some people choose fillers because they want to enhance or alter the shape of their face in certain areas, for example, while others are interested in smoothing out a pesky line on their face.
Although some may think that fillers are only for older people with clear signs of aging, fillers can be used on and are in fact quite popular with younger clients, particularly those looking to fill in or enhance their lips, which is commonly done with fillers.
Can filler get rid of wrinkles and make me look younger?
There is no magic treatment that can completely get rid of wrinkles forever, and as a client, if any provider is making this claim about fillers or other treatments, you should be wary. Fillers can, however, plump up and smooth out wrinkles, fine lines, and target other common signs of aging on your face. Botox, another common treatment usually compared to fillers, freezes the muscles and stops them from contracting and causing or worsening wrinkles. Filler, on the other hand, does what it describes: it “fills in” the line, and thus has the effect of smoothing it out or plumping it.
This can in turn give you a younger looking appearance. However, as mentioned, there are other uses for fillers, such as plumping up the lips, or accentuating, defining or enhancing certain areas of the face, like the cheekbones. The effects of fillers can last from six months up to two years, depending on the client and type of filler used, and will usually need to be touched up or redone to maintain results.
Is filler safe?
In general, filler is safe, but it must be administered by a licensed professional in a sterile, medical setting, where any adverse reactions can be treated and monitored. Be sure to let your provider know of your medical history, including allergies, any medications or supplements you are taking, and any other conditions or illnesses that you live with. Side effects vary and are usually minimal, but may include:
- A skin rash, itching, or eruptions around the area that look similar to pimples
- Some redness, bruising, bleeding, or swelling at the site of the injection
- An appearance that may look unnatural or undesired, with aspects such as asymmetry, lumps and bumps, or an overcorrection of the targeted wrinkles
- Damage to the skin that could lead to a wound, infection, or scars
- The ability to feel the filler substance underneath the skin
- Vision problems
- Potential death of skin cells, as a result of loss of blood flow to the area.