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As we age, our skin loses elasticity and fullness, wrinkles develop. Although this is a natural part of aging, many people’s self-esteem takes a hit when they look in the mirror. Fortunately, there are a few minimally invasive procedures that can turn back the clock on aging and keep skin looking youthful and full.

Dermal fillers can replace lost volume, smooth wrinkles in the face and lips, and restore a more youthful appearance. More than 1 million men and women choose to have fillers, and it is a safe and cost-effective way to look younger without surgery and without downtime. Most commercially available fillers are only a temporary solution, so for best results, you should return to your doctor every few months.

Popular Types of Fillers

Most filler injections are made with hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance that is found in the skin. Hyaluronic acid fillers last a few months to a year before the body absorbs the particles. FDA-approved fillers include:

·   Juvederm. A hyaluronic acid filler for lips, Juvederm is a popular lip filler. Juvederm’s lip-specific treatment is Volbella, but the other varieties may also be used on the lips for different types of patients and different results.  Juvederm Voluma is the thickest in their line-up and best used as a cheek lifter and filler.

·   Restylane. This product is used to plump up lips and results in fuller lips.  Restylane’s most recent filler debuted as a specialized filler just for lips is called Kysse.

·   Belotero. This is a thinner filler and is a great choice for lip implants and eye fillers in the lower eyelids.

Calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse) is another naturally occurring substance found in the body that is used in fillers. Fillers made with this material are typically a thicker consistency than hyaluronic acid fillers, and they typically last longer as well—about a year for some patients. This type of filler is best used for deeper lines and facial contouring – i.e. cheeks, jawline, and chin.   Radiesse is FDA approved for use on the face and in hands to restore the plumpness that hides the veins, and tendons that are revealed with aging.   As it is dissolved slowly by the body, Radiesse stimulates the production of collagen, which helps keep skin supple and elastic, and may lead to longer results after consistent and repeated use.

Additional types include Poly-L-lactic acid, Polymethylmethacrylate, and fat grafting. Consult with your doctor and medical team about the best option for you.

How much is too much?

With any medical procedure, there are always risks. Dermal fillers are minimally invasive, and so the risk of complications is very low. Dermal fillers cost depends on the provider performing the procedure and the type of filler used. You always want to go to a medical professional for dermal fillers who can knowledgeably suggest the best treatment for your goals.

Your medical team can ensure that your dermal fillers are not overdone. Overdone fillers are the result of using too much of the filler. This can result in an unnatural appearance and distorted look. Some people believe that more is better, so they use fillers to augment their appearance to the point that it does not look natural. However, overdone fillers do not affect anything over the long term. It does not stretch tissues, and it does not create additional signs of aging after they wear off. Most fillers used in the U.S. can be reversed. Remember, the amount of times a filler is used does not cause any detrimental change to a patient’s appearance. It is in the amount of filler used that results in an “overdone” appearance.

For patients who desire a natural look, it is important to go to a professional who knows how to perform these types of injections and who knows the right type and amount of filler to use.  It is an art.  When performed skillfully and artfully, fillers are a safe and cost-effective way to restore a more youthful appearance and give yourself an extra boost of self-confidence.

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