The Filler Effect
As we age, our face naturally loses subcutaneous fat, causing facial muscles to work closer to the surface of the skin. Facial atrophy exacerbated by the effects of gravity, sun exposure and years of facial muscle movement take their toll on our physical appearance as fine lines, deep folds and volume loss or hollowing become more pronounced in the face.
To combat gradual signs of aging, a growing number of women (and men) are turning to dermal or soft tissue fillers for their restorative and aesthetic-enhancing properties previously only achievable with surgery - but at a lower cost and with limited-to-no recovery time.
Common areas treated by dermal fillers include:
Nasolabial folds (laugh lines)
Fine lines around the mouth
Forehead and temples
Volume loss on the back of hands
Dermal fillers are gel-like substances that are injected beneath the dermis to hydrate and cushion the skin – restoring volume, softening wrinkles and even enhancing facial contours such as lips, cheekbones, the jawline or chin. Next-generation dermal fillers have come a long way from their predecessors, offering a number of age reversing effects. Not only can they plump skin and fill in depressions caused by sagging tissue, but they also offer a whole new dimension of cosmetic beauty by augmenting features and creating facial symmetry.
Once injected, the filler integrates into the skin, attracting water molecules and hydrating the surrounding tissue. The most commonly used fillers are made of hyaluronic acid (HA), a compound made of polysaccharides (a type of sugar in its basic form) which is naturally found throughout the body in the joints, eyes and skin. HA-based fillers, such as Juvéderm, are proven to be safe and results last for a year or longer before the body gradually resorbs the filler particles. HA fillers yield very high patient satisfaction with a low probability of complications. Nevertheless, an added benefit of HA fillers is that they can easily be removed through the use of an injectable enzyme known as hyaluronidase.
“Proper assessment and treatment of a patient require a combination of clinical experience, knowledge of facial anatomy and a keen artistic eye,” says Dr. Paul Kuzel, a board-certified dermatologist and clinical director at Rejuvenation Dermatology. “You cannot look at wrinkles and sagging skin in isolation – you have to consider how volume loss in one area affects other areas. For example, minimizing the appearance of nasolabial folds is often best achieved by injecting filler along the cheekbones – it has a lifting effect that mitigates droopiness in the lower face.” At Rejuvenation, anti-ageing treatment plans are customized by a highly experienced medical team to meet the specific and unique aesthetic goals of each patient, while adhering to core values of patient safety, care and education.
So how do you determine if dermal fillers are right for you? “It varies from person to person, but looking at my patient population, there is no question that those who started earlier with small amounts are ageing better than those who didn’t. It’s much easier to play the game of prevention than the game of correction”, says Dr. Kuzel.