As more people are choosing the needle over the scalpel for facial rejuvenation, “Fillers” are reshaping faces as well as ideas about beauty at every age.
According to the August 2010 issue of Town and Country magazine, facial fillers are at the center of a quiet revolution in facial rejuvenation. These fillers trace their roots to the 1980’s when collagen and silicone became popular for filling lips. Over the past seven years, much has happened in the field of “injectables.” Various materials are now being injected into the face by doctors to produce a rejuvenating effect.
Fillers, on average, will make you look 7.3 years younger according to a study on patients aged 42-59 years of age. Some doctors promise even more. The most common fillers are the HA’s (hyaluronic acid) such as Restylane, Juvederm, and Perlane. These can last anywhere from 6 months to a year, according to where they are injected and what areas are injected. They are mostly wrinkle fillers although some revolumizing can be done. Sculptra (Poly L-lactic acid) is mainly for revolumizing most of the face and lasts about two years. Sculptra has proven to be an excellent product for this purpose. This is very pertinent because much of the sagging experienced with aging is from loss of volume, instead of loss of skin elasticity, as we all thought until the last few years. Of course there are the paralytics such as Botox which are a mainstay for the forehead and crow’s feet as well. Combinations of products are often needed to achieve the best results.
While many fear the idea of injections, especially in the face, patients generally report feeling discomfort rather than pain. Injections “are not fun,” however; the results seem to be worth the discomfort. Patients often say they feel like they’ve had a “mini face lift” without the downtime of an actual surgical procedure. Also many of the products have anesthetics in them now, and in my practice we use a numbing cream beforehand.
So how do you decide if fillers are right for you? If any aspect of your maturing face bothers you enough, you can with relatively little risk feel safe in having an injectable procedure. The most common downsides are bruising and rare small nodules, usually felt but not seen by the patient. The good news is that most fillers are not permanent, so if you don’t like the results, they are only temporary.
In the last few years, doctors have shifted from simply filling a line or a wrinkle to instead restoring volume in areas that cause the sagged, the lines and wrinkles.