Skincare is a major industry, but not every skincare procedure is at the top of the list when it comes to popularity like dermal fillers are. Dermal filler procedures are among the most common in the skincare industry for many reasons, including convenience. They are used all over the country and the world to help clients restore their appearances. In fact, approximately 2.6 million dermal filler procedures were performed in the United States alone in 2018, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
Despite that popularity, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding the dermal filler process. If you are curious about dermal fillers, you need the answers to several questions. What are they? How much do they cost? Do they have side effects? Delving into those details is the only way to make sure you are comfortable with the dermal filler process and ensure it suits your schedule, as well as your budget. Here are some of the most important details to know about dermal fillers.
What Are Dermal Fillers and Where Are They Used?
Dermal fillers are volume-restoring materials injected under the skin. They are designed to fill in gaps or sunken areas. The result is the skin has a more full, round, or even appearance. They are commonly sought by skincare patients who wish to reverse “sunken” skin or conceal wrinkles.
Legal dermal fillers approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are approved as safe to use almost exclusively for face treatments. Use on other parts of the body, such as the buttocks is hazardous and potentially illegal. That is why dermal fillers are also often called facial fillers.
What Are the Possible Benefits of Dermal Fillers?
Dermal fillers are routinely used on multiple parts of the face, including lips, under the eyes, and cheeks. Each type of filler treatment has a similar purpose. The benefits you can reap from such dermal fillers depend upon your situation. For instance, if you have old scars dermal fillers can sometimes improve their appearance. Dermal fillers can also:
Reduce or Smooth Out Wrinkles
Lessen the Appearance of Fine Lines
Fill in Certain Facial Deformities (Sunken Areas)
Enhance Facial Contours
Reduce Shadowy Areas Under Eyes
Give Lips a Fuller, More Plump Appearance
Types of Dermal Fillers
There are several types of dermal fillers. One type is composed of polymethylmethacrylate beads, which are not absorbed into the skin. Therefore, they are more permanent than many other types of absorbent fillers. Here are some types of FDA-approved absorbent fillers:
Calcium hydroxylapatite is a natural mineral found in bones and teeth.
Poly-L-lactic acid is a man-made compound.
Hyaluronic acid is a natural sugar found in cartilage and skin.
It is also important to note some dermal fillers are not FDA-approved. When seeking dermal filler treatment, do not purchase untested, unapproved fillers, such as self-injected options. They are typically inexpensive, but they are also potentially hazardous to your health.
Dermal Fillers Versus Botulinum Toxin (Botox) Injections
There is frequent confusion over the difference between botulinum toxin (Botox) and dermal fillers. Dermal fillers work by filling in spaces beneath the surface of the skin. Botox is a toxin that temporarily paralyzes muscles to reduce lines and wrinkles. Although both forms of treatment are injected, they involve completely different procedures, recommendations, and risk factors.
Dermal Filler Costs
The costs associated with dermal filler treatment are dependent upon multiple factors. For example, such treatments are often in higher demand in large cities. Therefore, treatment costs are often higher in those areas. Costs are also influenced by they types of fillers used and the number of injections required during an appointment. Most clinics charge a specific rate per syringe injected. That rate ranges from $500 to $900, according to the ASPS.
Keep in mind most dermal fillers provide short-term facial improvement. As they are absorbed into the skin, wrinkles and other imperfections can return. That means the number of syringes needed for the initial appointment is only one financial factor. Another is the potential long-term investment for repeated procedures.
Preparing for a Dermal Filler Appointment
Leading up to a dermal filler appointment, your clinician may give you a list of instructions to follow. For instance, you may need to stop taking any blood thinning medication for a few days. If you are on such medication, ask your regular physician before changing your medication taking routine. The clinician may also ask you to avoid practices that can irritate or contaminate your skin or otherwise increase risk factors leading up to the procedure, such as:
Application of Creams or Lotions
What to Expect During a Dermal Filler Treatment
At your first dermal filler appointment you may need to fill out paperwork, so arrive a few minutes early. When the appointment begins, the clinician may apply a topical numbing agent to reduce pain. You may need to wait a few minutes for the agent to numb the area before the process can continue. Once the area is cleaned and numb, the clinician must inject the filler in the specific area or areas predetermined during consultation. Doing so only takes a few minutes. After the appointment you can resume normal activities, but you may have some temporary discomfort. Your clinician can recommend ways to reduce that discomfort without impacting the injection results.
Dermal Filler Potential Side Effects
Dermal fillers can cause some side effects. Most are temporary, such as redness, swelling, or bruising. If you want dermal filler treatment for a specific purpose, such as to look your best at a party, schedule treatment several days prior to the event. That way side effects have time to subside. If you experience severe pain, a fever, or any signs of infection, contact your clinician right away.
Dermal Fillers and Other Skincare Treatments
A final note about dermal fillers is they do not preclude you from qualifying for most other skincare treatments. You can opt to try dermal fillers, even if you have already tried different treatments in the past. Similarly, you can try other treatments after dermal fillers. In fact, your clinician may recommend a treatment plan that includes a combination of dermal fillers and other procedures to achieve your desired results.