Dermal Fillers – Restylane, Juvederm & Sculptra
What are Dermal Fillers?
Dermal fillers are safe and popular cosmetic treatments for patients wanting to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the face and backs of hands. Dermal fillers work to restore youthful looks to the skin by restoring lost volume and by plumping up the skin. Botullinium Toxins on the other hand, such as Botox® and Azzalure®, work by reducing the nerve signals that cause muscles to tense up.
What treatments are available?
You can read more about dermal fillers below, but if you would like more information on specific treatments then please visit our Restylane, Juvederm, Sculptra and Botox information pages.
What’s the difference between Permanent and Temporary Dermal Fillers?
There are many different brands of Dermal Filler currently on the market, and with many new products being introduced each year by pharmaceutical companies it’s no wonder that patients can often find it confusing. Broadly speaking, there are two main categories of dermal filler, permanent and temporary.
There are big differences in the way in which temporary and permanant dermal fillers work to restore lost volume, and the risk of side-effects can also vary dramatically. Popular Fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm work to replace the Hyluronic Acid we have lost with age. Others work to stimulate the production of new collagen (Sculptra) or work by actually replacing the collagen we loose with aging with either human or animal collagen.
We only use temporary dermal fillers at the clinic, and the only brands we use are Restylane, Juvederm and Sculptra. This is because they are very safe and highly effective treatments which have been proven to work for thousands of patients around the world. The effects normally only last for a few months at a time, but the results and low risk of side-effects makes them ideal for use in clinical practice.
What are the risks of permanent side-effects from treatment?
The risks of any permanent or long-term complications resulting from the dermal fillers that we use at the clinic is very low. Whilst all injectables and fillers do carry with them some degree of risk, fillers based on hyluronic acid rarely result in long-term side-effects. Restylane for example has been used in over 10 million treatments worldwide, but like other hyluronic acid fillers has a very low incidence of long-term adverse side-effects* (Edwards & Fantasia, 2007).
Why don’t you offer any permanent dermal fillers at any of the clinics?
We don’t use permanent dermal fillers because they usually have a significantly increased risk of side-effects, since they are made up of ingredients which cannot be broken down by the body’s natural immune system. The results are often irreversable, and any mistakes, undesired results or allergic reactions to the filler can only be corrected by often disfiguring surgery. People often worry that they might end up looking like famous celebrities who have a ‘trout pout’. These are not caused by any of the fillers we use at the clinic and are instead the result of permanent dermal fillers or plastic surgery, which are often made of animal or human collagen. The temporary dermal fillers we use at the clinic are based on Hyluronic acid (Juvederm and Restylane),and do not have the same risks. Hyluronic acid is a naturally ocurring chemical already found in the skin and adverse reactions to the product are rare as it is not derived from human or animal tissue like some of the collagen based dermal fillers. The results are highly effective and will gradually wear off over a period of time as the body’s natural immune system slowly breaks down the filler.
If an insufficient amount of filler is used then a top up treatment can be easily provided in your review session. If on the other hand too much filler is used then there is an enzyme called Hyaluronidase that can be used to dissolve the excess hyluronic acid. For example, if a lump forms due to excess hyaluronic acid filler in one area then it can be easily dissolved. Our service is also fully supported by Dr Russell Emerson, a Consultant Dermatologist and expert on dermal fillers who we can always refer you to if there are any problems or complications resulting from your treatment. Or, if you prefer then you can always just leave the filler in place until the body naturally dissolves the excess hyluronic acid within the next few months.
Which areas can be treated using dermal fillers?
There are a range of dermal fillers available at the clinic which are designed for use on facial lines around the mouth, eyes, lips and backs of hands. During your consultation the different treatment options will be discussed with you and one of our specialists will recommend one or more dermal fillers to acheive the results you are looking for.
How long do they last?
Restylane lasts approximately between 4-6 months for the first treatment, although subsequent treatments often last longer. Juvederm can last for up to 12 months and Sculptra generally lasts between 12-36 months.
How safe are dermal fillers?
Dermal Fillers have been very popular for a number of years now and are widely accepted by medical professionals as a great way to restore volume to the face with an excellent safety profile. As with any injectable treatment, there are of course some potential side-effects which will always be explained to you in detail at the time of treatment. The U.S Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Juvederm ULTRA, Restylane and Sculptra for cosmetic use in the United States and recently the makers of Restylane celebrated that there have now been over 10 million Restylane treatments performed in clinics worldwide.
What causes the skin to age?
For many people, the younger they look, the better they feel about themselves. But age is an unstoppable process and, as the body ages, so does the skin and its appearance and characteristics change. Age, hormones, sun exposure, smoking all have part to play, causing fine lines and wrinkles. Skin feels more fragile and less elastic. As our age increases, the hyaluronic acid (HA) content of our skin – which is so important for water retention – decreases. The oil-producing (sebaceous) glands become less active and your skin becomes drier. The skin also loses fat, so it looks less plump and smooth and it also loses its youthful colour and glow. While all these changes are taking place, gravity is also at work, pulling at the skin, causing it to sag.