Soft tissue fillers are substances that can be injected into the skin to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, plump lips, fill out hollow cheeks, improve scars, elevate deep folds, and repair various facial imperfections. The result is a smoother, more youthful appearance with minimal “downtime” and maximum safety.
A variety of soft tissue fillers are now available and the options continue to grow each year. Since filler substances do not involve major surgery, and are generally cost-effective, men and women are using these youth enhancing techniques more than ever.
The aging process generally causes a loss of volume in fatty tissue as the underlying collagen and elastin fibers begin to deteriorate. This most commonly occurs around the eyes, mouth, cheeks, the jaw line, the brow, and bridge of the nose. These age-related changes produce crow’s feet, laugh lines, furrows on the forehead, and folds around the mouth. Soft tissue fillers have the ability to fill and contour the aging face, allowing your dermatologist to restore vitality a more youthful appearance.
A filler substance is injected beneath the surface of the skin where it corrects the line or wrinkle by temporarily plumping and smoothing out the skin depression. Lip fillers like Juvederm Ultra XC and Restylane-Silk can also be placed into the lips to restore lost volume for a more youthful look, and Juvederm Voluma can be placed in the mid-face to reduce a gaunt appearance or enhance the cheekbones. Facial scarring from acne or injury also responds well to soft tissue filler techniques.
Dermatologists have developed a variety of filler substances to address a wide range of cosmetic concerns. Each filler brings subtle, distinctive benefits. Some provide longer-lasting results, others allow for more precision with fine lines, and still others can gradually bring the face into better balance. Soft tissue fillers are often considered a first line against aging skin and are frequently used in combination with other techniques for facial rejuvenation.
New and improved fillers such as Juvederm Ultra XC, Juvederm Ultra Plus XC, Juvederm Voluma, and Restylane-Silk are being used widely and gaining enormous popularity. These injectable products are made of hyaluronic acid which is a natural and basic component of human skin. The product is wholly synthetic and no allergy testing is needed. Hyaluronic acid is the framework of the dermis in the skin and a natural replacement material. It is suitable for larger folds in the skin around the mouth and cheeks.
The soft tissue filler process is relatively simple, and can be performed in your dermatologist’s office. Prior to the procedure, your face is cleaned and a topical anesthetic may be applied to the treatment areas. Sometimes a numbing injection may be administered. All soft tissue filler products are available with lidocaine, eliminating the need for a topical anesthetic or numbing injection. A very small needle is used to inject the filler directly into the wrinkle. You may feel a stinging or burning sensation as the filler is being inserted. Immediately after the procedure there may be some temporary swelling, redness, or minor bruising at the injection sites. This usually subsides and fades quickly. Makeup can be applied immediately after the treatment.
The length of time the improvement lasts depends on the type and amount of filler used and the areas treated. For example, results generally last up to 6 months with Juvederm Ultra XC and Restylane-Silk, 9 -12 months with Juvederm Ultra Plus XC, and 18 months with Juvederm Voluma. Lip filler tends to last a little less (due to the constant mobility of the area), and acne scarring correction tends to last longer.
In many instances, a combination of fillers and other dermatologic treatments can lead to an excellent result. Your dermatologist and staff can help you to decide the best approach for you.