TOP 10 THINGS ABOUT DERMAL FILLERS
- Dermal Fillers are medical products that can be injected into the skin to add volume.
- Adding volume to the skin can soften or remove wrinkles and restore a smoother and fuller contour to give a more youthful appearance.
- Dermal Fillers are a prescription medicine and a medical doctor needs to be consulted before any Dermal Filler treatment.
- The specific brand names of Dermal Fillers cannot be mentioned on websites as the Australian Government regards it as advertising and has banned it.
- The most popular Dermal Fillers used in Australia are temporary fillers based on Hyaluronic acid which occurs naturally in the skin.
- The commonest use for Dermal Fillers is to treat age related loss of skin volume especially lines and creases around the eyes and around the mouth.
- Dermal Fillers can be used to augment and enhance areas such as the lips and the cheeks.
- Dermal Fillers are a safe and effective non-surgical procedure when performed correctly but complications can occur especially with inexperienced injectors and with permanent fillers.
- If the cost for Dermal Fillers is far lower than in a cosmetic medical clinic then there are almost certainly compromises in the amount or quality of the product being used, clinic facilities and/or the experience and qualifications of the injector.
- The safest and best results with Dermal Fillers are achieved when an experienced and qualified practitioner uses temporary fillers in a medical clinic under medical supervision.
Frequently Asked Questions
WHICH IS THE BEST DERMAL FILLER?
Many different products have been used as Dermal Fillers. Generally the products are either Temporary Fillers that are based on naturally occurring substances in the skin, such as collagen or hyaluronic acid, or Permanent Fillers that are based on synthetic man made substances, such as acrylic polymers.
The most popular Dermal Fillers by far, both in Australia and around the world, are Dermal Fillers that are based on hyaluronic acid. The main reason is safety, because as natural products they are very well tolerated with much fewer side effects than longer lasting synthetic Dermal Fillers. There is no need to do any allergy testing before using Hyaluronic acid based Dermal Fillers. Another big advantage is that Hyaluronic acid based fillers can also be dissolved fairly easily if a patient is unhappy with the result, unlike synthetic fillers which can be very difficult to remove.
There are now quite a few companies that manufacture Hyaluronic acid based Dermal Fillers which have been approved for use in Australia. The specific brand names of these Dermal Fillers cannot be mentioned on websites as the Australian Government regards it as advertising a prescription product and has banned it. Each brand of Dermal Filler has a number of different formulations and these vary in the thickness of the filler to suit different areas and applications. For example, a very different thickness of dermal filler is used to treat superficial lip lines than the one used to treat deep cheekbone areas.
At the Cosmetic and Laser Medical Centre we specialise in the use of temporary fillers based on Hyaluronic acid and use a number of different brands and formulations to individualise treatment and optimise results.
WHAT ARE THE MOST POPULAR USES FOR DERMAL FILLERS?
The main use of Dermal Fillers is to treat age related loss of skin volume especially lines and creases that develop in the face. As we get older lines and creases occur in the skin due to the breakdown of the skin’s normal supporting framework of collagen and hyaluronic acid. Adding volume back into the skin through Dermal Filler injections can soften and remove wrinkles and restore a smoother and fuller contour to give a more youthful appearance.
The commonest area on the face to use Dermal Fillers is around the mouth and lips. With aging vertical lines appear on the lips, the lips become thinner and the corners of the mouth can start to droop (mouth frown). A deep line can develop between the nose and the corner of the mouth (Nasolabial fold) and between the corner of the mouth and the side of the chin (Marionette Lines). Dermal Fillers can fill the line of the wrinkle or crease and replace lost volume to give a smoother and softer appearance.
Dermal Fillers are also very popular around the eyes where deeper lines on the outside of the eyes (Crow’s Feet) or a hollow under the eye (Tear Trough) respond very well.
As well as treating lines and hollows Dermal Fillers can be used to add volume to augment and enhance areas such as the lips. The use of Dermal Fillers to improve lip volume and lip definition is not only done to correct age related lip thinning, but is also popular in younger women who want larger and fuller lips.
In recent years the use of Dermal Fillers to add volume to the cheeks has become popular, as loss of volume in this midface area has become recognised as a key component of facial aging. Correction of volume loss in the cheeks can give a lifting effect to the surrounding structures particularly the deep fold that can develop between the nose and the mouth.
WHAT CAN GO WRONG WITH DERMAL FILLERS?
Australian and International studies have shown most side effects with Dermal Fillers are not serious and are temporary such as pain at time of treatment and swelling and bruising after treatment. In experienced hands any pain or bruising and swelling can be minimised.
However whilst Dermal Fillers are a safe procedure when performed correctly, complications can occur, especially with inexperienced injectors or when the wrong product is used. Rare but serious complications have been reported with Dermal Fillers including allergic reactions, skin infection, local skin necrosis and even blindness from needle trauma to the eye or injecting filler into the retinal artery. It must be remembered that Dermal Filler injections are a medical treatment using a prescription product and should be performed in a medical clinic by medical staff. Dermal Fillers are not a simple beauty treatment and should not be performed in a salon, shop, spa, hotel, resort, or party setting.
All medical procedures carry risks and assessment by a medical doctor is mandatory before Dermal Filler treatment to evaluate whether there are any contraindications to treatment. Dermal Fillers should not be used if a patient is pregnant, breast feeding, or under 18 years of age. Caution needs to be exercised if there is a history of allergy or autoimmune disease.
The choice of Dermal Filler is very important. Synthetic Dermal Fillers, whilst they last longer, are associated with much higher rates of complications such as hard lumps (nodules) which may appear months to years after treatment. At the Cosmetic and Laser we only use temporary Dermal Fillers based on natural Hyaluronic acid, as they are safer with fewer complications and they can removed fairly easily if necessary. Even with natural Dermal Fillers the choice of which formulation is used is important, as using a thick product superficially can result in lumps and using a less concentrated product for deep injections will not last long.
The safest and best results with Dermal Fillers are achieved when an experienced and qualified practitioner uses temporary fillers in a medical clinic under medical supervision.
HOW LONG WILL DERMAL FILLERS LAST?
As a guide, for superficial areas like the lips, Hyaluronic acid based Dermal Fillers last about 6-9 months, whereas deeper areas like the cheek, Dermal Fillers last about 18 months.
The duration of effect of Dermal Fillers will vary with the type of product used, the area being treated and an individual’s metabolism. Hyaluronic acid Dermal Fillers come in a variety of formulations that vary in the thickness of the product and in general the thicker the product the longer it lasts. Dermal Fillers used in areas that have a lot of movement, such as the lips, will not last as long as areas that have little movement such as the Tear Trough. An individual’s metabolism also is important as some people seem to break down Dermal Fillers much more quickly. This is seen most commonly with patients who exercise strenuously. Dermal Fillers also do not seem to last as long in smokers.
WHAT IS THE COST FOR DERMAL FILLERS?
The cost for Dermal Fillers administered in our Melbourne CBD clinic will vary with the type of Dermal Filler, amount of Dermal Filler that needs to be used and whether local anaesthetic injections are needed. Dermal Fillers are produced as pre packed syringes of usually 0.5 or 1ml. The number of syringes required varies between individuals and the area being treated.
As a guide, having Hyaluronic acid based Dermal Filler treatment in a cosmetic medical clinic under medical supervision, expect to pay about $600 for a 1ml syringe. This amount of product is usually adequate for Lip Filler treatment or for Tear Troughs. When adding volume to deeper areas such as the cheeks often 2ml or more can be required for the best result. At the Cosmetic and Laser Medical Centre we do reduce the cost per syringe when multiple syringes of Dermal Fillers are being used. The Government will charge GST of 10% on all cosmetic treatments including Dermal Fillers.
Whilst cost is obviously important price alone should not determine where patients decide to have Dermal Filler treatment. If the cost for Dermal Fillers is far lower than in a cosmetic medical clinic, then there are almost certainly compromises being made in the amount or quality of the product being used, clinic facilities and/or the experience and qualifications of the injector.