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Dermal Fillers: Everything You Need to Know Before Getting Injected

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Dermal Fillers: Everything You Need to Know Before Getting Injected

As we age, our bodies change naturally, and those changes most often include a newer set of wrinkles on our faces that aren’t as prominent as they once were. If you’re unhappy with them and you want smoother, younger-looking skin, getting injected with dermal fillers is one of the best solutions for minimizing those facial lines. It’s not just wrinkles too. When you lose some of the subcutaneous fat supporting your skin, the skin on the middle of your face will shift down and cause your cheeks to sag. Dermal fillers can help lift your cheeks and add support.

So what are the important details you need to know before getting injected with dermal fillers? It’s essential to read up on fillers and everything you need to know before getting injected. You shouldn’t confuse fillers with Botox, which is another popular injectable. Both are FDA-approved, but while Botox “freezes” the muscles to reduce wrinkles, dermal fillers are injected beneath the skin to help smooth skin and wrinkles. You should also know the different categories of fillers, how to choose the right one for you, precautions before taking them, and whether you’re a good candidate for the treatment.

Four Categories of Fillers

According to the FDA, there are four categories of dermal fillers, each named for the type of material they’re made of.

  • Hyaluronic acid Hyaluronic acid is an ingredient naturally produced by your body and already existing in your skin and cartilage. In general, hyaluronic acid fillers can last between 6 to 12 months.
  • Calcium hydroxylapatite This is a mineral that’s found in your bones. Fillers made with this material can last up to 18 months.
  • Poly-L-lactic acid This is a biodegradable synthetic material that’s also used to make medical products such as dissolvable stitches. These fillers may last up to 2 years.
  • Polymethylmethacrylate beads This is the only filler ingredient that can’t be absorbed by your body, which means the results of the treatment are permanent. Fillers with polymethylmethacrylate beads are only used around the mouth.

Among the four, hyaluronic acid fillers are the most common, especially since the ingredient helps the skin retain its moisture, therefore making your face look more plump and hydrated. Hyaluronic acid is also used in lotions as a great moisturizer, but these creams won’t be able to restore your skin’s lost volume, something that only injectables can do. When it comes to hyaluronic acid injectables, the two most popular brands are Juvederm and Restylane.

Why People Get Dermal Fillers

Most people aren’t ready or willing to undergo cosmetic surgery just to get their faces fixed. Dermal fillers and other injectables are the non-invasive alternatives to surgery and fillers can smooth wrinkles and add more volume to the face. Dermal fillers are also ideal for people who want to see a difference immediately after the session. Other non-surgical procedures, such as Botox, will start showing more prominent results after a few days. It should be emphasized too that dermal fillers aren’t approved by the FDA for body contouring, so doctors would usually use them for the face only. If you’re looking to increase the size of your breasts or butt, dermal filler injectables aren’t the solution.

How to Choose the Right Dermal Filler

Your doctor will explain the differences between each filler type in making the right treatment plan for you, but he’ll probably tell you that for more natural-looking results, your treatment will need to use more than one type of filler. This will depend on how each filler is supposed to be used such as filling out the cheeks and the concentration of the active ingredient. For example, Restylane, which is a brand of hyaluronic acid filler, has five different lines and each is used for different purposes. Restylane Lyft is used for “rebuilding” thinned cheekbones because of the “heft” of the ingredient’s larger particle sizes. On the other hand, Restylane Silk has smaller size particles, making it ideal for addressing fine lines and plumping the lips.

Precautions to Take Before Getting Dermal Fillers

Safety should always be your top priority when considering any medical procedure. In the case of getting dental fillers, you should visit only a physician with 18 years of experience, 5-star rating on all platforms, and an aesthetic eye. The extra certification definitely counts a lot since it’s proof that your doctor has completed additional training for this particular specialty. If you plan to get your dermal fillers at a medical spa, make sure that they have licensed and trained physicians to handle your injectable treatment. You need somebody who will know what to do in case of issues, such as infection, lumps, and discoloration, which can happen when injections aren’t done right.

Aside from doing your research online, ask your friends for referrals in order to get a really good doctor. This should be easier now since more people are becoming open about getting injectables and other cosmetic treatments.

Possible Side Effects of Dermal Fillers

Just like other cosmetic procedures, even non-surgical treatments such as dermal fillers come with their own set of risks. The most common side effects after getting your filler injections include pain, bruising, swelling, and redness, which should be minor and will go away within two weeks. Some patients get raised bumps under their skin, although this happens less frequently. This is treated with injections, medications, and sometimes surgical removal.

Another rare occurrence is when the doctor accidentally injects filler into the blood vessel, which can have an effect on your vision, but again, this is something that happens rarely. The signs that you have filler in your bloodstream are lots of pain and your skin turning blue, so you should seek emergency assistance right away. This is why it’s important to go to an experienced doctor for your dermal fillers and other cosmetic treatments.

Who Should Avoid Dermal Fillers

Your doctor will most likely not recommend you to get dermal fillers if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, since according to the FDA, there’s no research showing that the treatment is safe for those who are expecting a baby or recently had a baby. Your doctor will also remind you not to get a filler right before teeth cleaning or other dental procedures since these procedures will put pressure on your face and stretch your skin, which could cause the fillers to get misplaced. During your consultation, ask your doctor when it’s safe to get dental work.

What to Ask Your Doctor During Dermal Filler Consultation

Ideally, you should always ask for a consultation first with a good doctor before getting treatments done. It’s important for your doctor to know what your goal is and for you to know how he can help you achieve it. You may think dermal fillers are the solution to your problem, but your doctor may recommend other treatments more suited for your issue. He can also suggest a combination of treatments based on your skin type and desired results. Ask your doctor for before and after pictures of his patients as well as his training and certification. Each medical professional has different experience levels, techniques, and philosophies, and you should know these in order to know if a particular doctor is someone you can trust and become comfortable with.

Get a more refined appearance without altering your natural beauty. Let Anand Medical Spa provide you with dermal fillers and other cosmetic procedures for a younger-looking face. Located in NYC, Anand Medical Spa takes a holistic and preventative approach to beauty. Call now for a consultation and take the first step in becoming a more beautiful, confident you.


About the Author:

Dr. Sunanda Chugh is the Founder and Medical Director of Anand Medical Spa and has been practicing in NYC since 2004. She is a graduate of Cornell University and has completed her training at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital/Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Chugh has worked and trained with top Plastic Surgeons and Dermatologists in NYC. Her special interest on the effect of the aging process on the face and body inspired her to specialize in Aesthetic Medicine.

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