Dermal “fillers” (eg Restylane, Teosyal, Juvederm), may be used as an alternative, or in addition, to muscle relaxants in the treatment of facial lines, wrinkles and creases. They can also be used to restore the fullness and curvature of the cheeks, as well as create a more pronounced appearance of the lips. Modern fillers contains hyaluronic acid, a naturally-occurring substance (found throughout the body), which is injected as a clear gel into the skin just below the wrinkle or crease, instantly filling it out and making it less noticeable, or into the area that requires volume resulting in immediate improvement in shape and contour.
Are they the same as Collagen?
No. Although used in a similar manner, modern dermal fillers have superseded collagen. Whereas collagen is animal derived, fillers are a totally non-animal product and there is therefore no risk of transmitting disease or causing an allergic reaction in individuals sensitive to animal products. They are available in various forms (eg Restylane, Restylane Touch, Perlane, or Sub-Q), the difference being the the “thickness” of the gel; the area of the face and depth of crease to be treated will determine which form is used. The duration of effect of modern fillers is also considerably longer than collagen
What Can be Treated?
Fillers can be used to reduce the appearance of most facial lines and enhance the lips and facial contours. Whereas Botox is most useful for the upper facial lines, fillers are more commonly used in the cheeks, lower face, for lip and “smile” lines and the nasolabial folds (the creases that run from the side of the nose to the corner of the mouth), although they can also be used to supplement the effects of Botox.
How Long Does a Treatment Last?
Fillers offers instantaneous results that generally last at least six months, but are not permanent. They are totally biodegradable, gradually being replaced by water, and eventually disappears totally from the body. (They can also be quickly and easily dissolved by injection in the unlikely event that the individual wishes to reverse the effect.) Whilst future “top-ups” are likely to be required to maintain the improved appearance, the amount (and therefore cost) required is often much less than the initial treatment.
Is the Treatment Safe?
Yes. Over 12 million Restylane treatments have been successfully carried out since its launch in 1996. Mild injection-related reactions such as redness, swelling, itching, and bruising can occur but usually resolve after a few days. Other types of reactions are rare – about 1 in 2000 patients can develop mild/moderate localised hypersensitivity swellings at the implant site that may start a few days after injection but typically disappear after about two weeks.
Treatment with dermal fillers starts at £320