What are fillers?
The majority of fillers we use in the US are comprised of Hyaluranic acid (HA), which is a natural sugar that is found in the body. It can be found in soft connective tissue, joints, cartilage, the fluid around our eyes, in our skin, etc.
As we age the level of HA in the body produces less and less. By the age of 50 it is estimated that we have half the about of HA that we had in our 20's.
"Our natural levels of hyaluronic acid decline with age due to exposure to free radicals and the aging process in general, and women over 50 are estimated to have half the hyaluronic acid they had in their youth. With the ability to hold up to 100 times its own weight in water, hyaluronic acid (a sugar found naturally in human skin) is responsible for retaining moisture in the skin. Hyaluronic acid binds to water similar to the way a sponge absorbs water. Because of this, it hydrates the skin in the treated region. Hyaluronic acid fills the space between collagen and elastin fibers, enhancing the skin’s plumpness." New Beauty.
Most of the fillers now have lidocaine mixed with the HA so pain associated with injections is significantly decreased. The appointment to get fillers takes 30 min to an hour depending on how many areas are injected. I like to fully numb my patients so the discomfort is minimal. Post injection there can be some swelling and bruising for the first few days post. I always tell patient's to give themselves two weeks before a big event so everything has fully settled.
How long do fillers last?
Depends on the area treated and product used. Areas that have more movement such as the lips usually last up to 1 year. Whereas the cheeks and tear troughs can last up to two years.
Some examples of fillers you may have heard of:
Juvederm Voluma, Vollure, Volbella, Ultra
Restylane Lyft, Silk, Refyne, Defyne
Most common areas injected:
Smile lines (nasolabial folds)