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Fillers – Treatment & Side Effects

cosmetic injectables

What are Dermal Fillers for?

Dermal fillers are a minimally-invasive, non-surgical, and effective treatment for most wrinkle correction and facial rejuvenation. There are many factors that can contribute to the appearance of wrinkles and facial creases, including the lines that appear around the eyes, cheeks, and lips, and the nasolabial folds. Age is a major contributing factor, as the body slows production of key nutrients that contribute to the health, hydration, and firmness of the skin. In addition. other non-age related factors such as sun exposure, pollution, or even illness can also cause the skin to appear aged.

There are many dermal filler brands and products available which are made from a variety of materials, such as poly-L-lactic acid and calcium hydroxylapatite, though hyaluronic acid is one of the most popular ingredients. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance within the skin which adds hydration and contributes to other helpful cellular functions that keep the skin aeeparing youthful. When hyaluronic acid is lost, the skin becomes dry, loose and sagging, and wrinkles and lines form more easily. Dermal fillers replace this lost hyaluronic acid, providing instant plumping and rejuvenation to the skin. Dermal filler treatment can also help stimulate the production of other helpful nutrients, such as collagen, while some fillers even provide additional antioxidant benefits, to help combat free radicals and maintain lasting results.

When should dermal fillers be used?

Dermal fillers, which are also known as soft tissue fillers, injectable implants, or wrinkle fillers, are considered medical devices. They are indicated for the correction of wrinkles to create a smoother, more youthful skin appearance. They must always be administered by an experienced medical professional.

Common uses:

  • The treatment of moderate to severe wrinkles and folds within the face
  • Adding volume into the back of the hands
  • Several dermal fillers have been approved for lip and cheek augmentation
  • Some fillers are approved for the correction of lipoatrophy, which is a form of facial fat loss that is common in patients with HIV
  • And some dermal fillers are approved for the treatment of contour deficiencies, including the correction of wrinkles and acne scars

While dermal fillers are able to treat a number of skin and facial issues, there are some treatments that dermal fillers should not be used for:

  • Treatment to increase the size of the breasts (breast augmentation)
  • Treatment to increase the plumpness of the feet
  • Any treatment that involves injection into the bones, tendons, ligaments, or muscles

There are also specific warnings prohibiting the use of permanent silicone-based injectables for large-scale body contouring or enhancements. Disregarding these unapproved uses can possibly lead to serious adverse effects, including chronic pain, and even more permanent issues such as scarring, disfigurement, stroke, and even death.

Side effects

Dermal fillers are required to undergo controlled clinical studies to determine the safety and effectiveness of the product and its treatment. Though they are proven to be safe, there are still some side effects associated with these injectables. Side effects are typically mild and will resolve themselves without intervention within about one week.

These short term common side effects include:

  • Bruising, redness, swelling, or mild pain in the area of injection
  • Tenderness in the injection site
  • Itch or rash
  • If injected into the back of the hands, there may be some mild difficulty performing tasks with the hands

There are also some less common side effects, which include:

  • Nodules or granulomas developing under the skin
  • Infection
  • Necrosis of the skin

Though rare, there are more serious side effects that have been reported:

  • Anaphylactic shock
  • Displacement of the implant material from original injection area
  • Permanent nodules
  • Vision issues
  • Stroke

Before treatment

Dermal filler injections are a medical procedure and patients should be informed of the expectations of treatment.

  • Ensure the professional administering the filler injections is a licensed health-care practitioner with knowledge and experience in the field of dermatology or plastic surgery.
  • Ensure the doctor administering the injections has adequate training in the injection of dermal fillers.
  • Only receive injections from a professional.
  • Discuss the expectations and risks associated with dermal injections with a medical professional, and disclose his or her medical history, including any skin inflammations or infections, or allergies to the doctor performing the injections.
  • Discuss the possible side effects of treatment and seek medical attention if there is any pain, vision issues, signs of stroke, or white appearance to the skin near the injection site.
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