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What are cosmetic fillers?
Cosmetic fillers are substances injected underneath the skin to make the skin appear fuller. Following the injection, the plumper skin shows fewer wrinkles and looks younger. Injectable cosmetic fillers have been around for decades. New medical advances have brought newer types of cosmetic fillers that are longer lasting, even permanent.
How do Cosmetic fillers work?
Our skin is held tight, smooth and youthful by collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid which all form a meshwork under the surface of the skin. As we get older, this meshwork losses its integrity with the skins surface consequently losing its perfect baby-skin smoothness. Fillers plump up the tissue underneath the skin, smoothing out the overlying skin to restore its firmness and youthfulness.
Pictorial showing how lines, wrinkles and folds are smoothened out and the skin above flattened out by using different densities of the dermal filler Restylane.
What are the types of fillers available?
Fillers can be made of collagen, hyaluronic acid, fat, Poly-L lactic acid, Calcium hydroxylapatite, and Polymethyl methacrylae (PMMA). They can be naturally derived or synthetically produced.
Collagen is the oldest and best known filler. The body naturally breaks it down so it needs to be repeated every 3 to 6 months to maintain results.
Hyaluronic acid as described above is a natural part of our skin. It’s concentration within our skin decrease as we get older. Newer fillers containing hyaluronic acid have been modified to break down slower so their results can last nine months or longer.
Fat can be removed from the thighs, belly or anywhere where they are unwanted and used as fillers not only on the face, but in the breasts and buttocks. Because it is your own tissue, there is no allergic reaction. Results vary and sometimes can be permanent.
Poly- L lactic acid (PLLA) (sculptra) when injected under the skin, stimulates the skin cells to produce collagen. It is non-toxic and has been used as suture material for many years. It is semi-permanent as its results can last months to years.
Calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse) is made with the same kind of minerals that give our bones strength and texture, but in a ground form suspended in water. It also stimulates collagen production with results lasting more than a year.
Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) is also derived from the same material used for fusion purposes in bone surgery. It doesn’t break down and its results are permanent.
In what situations do we use fillers?
Fillers can be used to:
- Fill out facial lines
- To plump lips
- To enhance the breasts, hips and buttocks via fat transfers
- To fill out abnormal defects like indented acne scars
- For non-surgical nose jobs
Choice of filler is individualized. At Skin101, we will work with you, to choose a filler that will meets your specific needs, circumstances and goals. This individualized and customized approach will help you achieve your desired appearance with natural and fantastic results.