The Beautifying Benefits Of Dermal Fillers
When they were first introduced in the 1980s, dermal fillers were used to do exactly as their name suggests – to “fill” the lines and wrinkles in the face that are a natural result of aging.
In this article Dr Jeanne Botha, a Pretoria-based plastic surgeon and member of the Allergan Medical Aesthetics Academy (AMAA), explains that the beautifying benefits of dermal filling go well beyond its ability to restore volume to our aging faces.
History of the Dermal Filler
While the introduction of the first FDA-approved hyaluronic acid dermal filler in 2003 heralded a breakthrough in the cosmetic arena due to the longer-lasting results and ease of use, the real revolution in filler usage has occurred over the past couple of years as aesthetic doctors and plastic surgeons refine their use of this multidimensional product.
Dermal fillers are injected subcutaneously in minuscule amounts, essentially filling and augmenting the treated area. They can be administered in the doctor’s office, and results are instantaneous.
While not permanent, the effect of fillers can last up to 18 months, depending on the application site. Importantly, in the event that the patient is unhappy with the outcome, they are also fully reversible.
Over the past couple of years, there has been a dramatic change in how doctors use dermal fillers. When we started out, we used fillers to fill prominent lines on the face, in this way smoothing out wrinkles and providing the appearance of younger-looking skin. But over the years, we have discovered that fillers are perhaps better suited to volume restoration, which effectively replaces the volume that we lose in our faces through the natural process of aging. By replacing this volume, specifically over the cheekbone area, the facial skin is naturally pulled upward, often correcting the likes of deep lines around the mouth, while the skin is simultaneously pulled tauter, smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles.
From the Inside Out
This can be likened to a change in approach from a two dimensional perspective, to one that is more three-dimensional – or as it has been described by at least one proponent, “treating the face from the inside out”, as opposed to the outside in. Through this approach, more surgeons have realized the ancillary uses of fillers –and have begun to use them to much success in their practices.
Today, many surgeons are using fillers not only for anti-aging, but also for improving contouring, or hiding characteristics that might make a patient self-conscious. For example, dermal fillers can be used to make round faces appear thinner, by placing the filler specifically to produce more shadow. Prominent chins can be made to appear less prominent, and brows can be elevated. Fillers can also be used to fill a saddle in the nose, even out a bump or make a wider nose appear slimmer. Prominent orbital rims can be masked with the help of dermal filling, and lips can be reshaped or plumped.
Thanks to the rapid advancement of modern medicine, there is a wide variety of choice when it comes to dermal fillers, and specific products have been created for specific use. Plus, the additional advantage of dermal fillers is that they offer a natural skin-boosting effect, actually stimulating the production of collagen over time, thereby rejuvenating skin by improving its hydration and elasticity.
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