Complete Guide to Dermal Fillers: What are injectable fillers?

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have probably heard of dermal fillers but what exactly are they? In this extensive guide, we'll be covering everything you need to know about this popular injectable treatment.

What are injectable fillers?

Dermal fillers are substances injected into the skin to help restore lost volume to the face and accelerate collagen production in the skin, where collagen and elastin production has begun to deplete due to the normal ageing process.

 

What can dermal fillers do?

As we age, our faces naturally lose fat pads and collagen (this typically starts around the age of 25). The facial muscles then work closer to the skin surface, making smile lines and crow’s feet more apparent. The skin also loses elasticity. Dermal filler treatments are commonly known to be one of the best ways of preventing the signs of ageing. It’s also a great non-surgical alternative to treatments such as rhinoplasties, chin implants and face-lifts.

Injectable fillers are most commonly known to:

  • Plump thin lips
  • Enhance shallow contours and restore lost volume
  • Soften lines and wrinkles
  • Lift and shape the lower face (also known as jowls)

 

What are dermal fillers made of?

In general, fillers are categorised by the substance they are made from. The most common and safest fillers are made from Hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is a naturally occurring substance that is already found in your skin. It helps keep skin plump and hydrated. 

It’s important to note that most HA fillers are infused with lidocaine (an anaesthetic) to help minimise discomfort during and after treatment – thank goodness!

 

How do injectable fillers work?

Dermal filler treatment involves a gel-like substance being injected into specific areas of the face. The filler plumps the skin from the inside out to replace lost collagen to smooth lines and wrinkles and to replace lost fat in hollow areas (hello, chiselled cheeks!).

 

Are there any side effects of dermal fillers?

In general, injectable fillers hold very little risk, especially if you see a medical professional for this treatment. Severe complications from dermal fillers are uncommon. Some common, but mild, side effects include:

  • Bleeding from the injection site
  • Bruising
  • Infection at the injection site
  • Lumps
  • Skin redness
  • Swelling

In very rare cases, the filler may accidentally be injected into your blood vessels instead of under your skin. This can block blood flow (also known as vascular occlusion. This is very rare and can be prevented by seeing a medical professional who has full knowledge of human anatomy.

 

How much filler do I need?

Depending on the area being treated, and the desired effect, different amounts of filler will be needed to achieve your desired look. 

Amounts roughly range from 0.5ml of filler to 15ml of filler (15mls sounds scary, but we promise, it’s not!).  For deeper wrinkles, more filler will need to be injected and for superficial lines, less filler will be needed. The same applies to the likes of lip filler. We normally start with injecting 0.5ml lip filler and then increase it next time if desired. We are all about NATURAL results at VIVA, so often the amount injected will depend on what gives the most natural-looking outcome.

 

What kinds of dermal filler are there?

There are different types of dermal filler substances including calcium hydroxyapatite, polymethylmethacrylate and hyaluronic acid. Some semi-permanent brands of filler – including Sculptra, Ellanse and Radiesse – work by not only filling out lines and wrinkles but by also stimulating the body’s own collagen production. 

Hyaluronic acid fillers are the most popular and common types of filler and include brands like Juvéderm, Belotero and Restylane. This type of filler is popular for lots of reasons, the main one being that it is temporary (lasting roughly 6-18 months, depending on the brand and area injected). This means that it breaks down naturally within the body. Furthermore, should anything go wrong, HA fillers can be dissolved by a medical practitioner with a product called hyaluronidase.

When looking for a hyaluronic acid-based filler, ensure that it is FDA. FDA-approved HA fillers include:

  • Juvéderm products: Juvéderm XC, VOLUMA, VOLBELLA, VOLLURE
  • Restylane products: Restylane, Restylane Silk, Restylane Lyft, Restylane Refyne, Restylane Defyne, Restylane Kysse, Restylane Contour
  • Belotero 

At VIVA, we are proud to use the Juvéderm range, but before we get into it, let’s take a look at the other 2 popular dermal filler brands, Restylane and Belotero Balance.

Restylane

Restylane is a hyaluronic acid dermal filler. Some versions of the product line, such as Restylane Lyft, include lidocaine as well, meaning when injected, an anaesthetic is injected into the skin as well. This type of dermal fillers are sometimes used around the eyes, as well as on the back of the hands. It’s also used to smooth lines naturally around the mouth, enhance the lips, and contour the cheeks.

Belotero Balance

Belotero Balance is an HA dermal filler that is designed to integrate into the skin tissue.

While some fillers are designed to rebuild facial volume and structure, Belotero Balance, is a smooth, flexible gel filler that fills moderate-to-severe lines and wrinkles such as vertical lip lines above and around the lips as well as nasolabial folds and chin wrinkles. The difference between belotero and other HA fillers is that Belotero is injected into your skin superficially, and higher up in the dermis than other HA fillers would be, using a fine-gauge needle. Others such as Juvederm, are injected further down closer to the bone. This means they are more effective for restructuring the face and adding contour and definition where it might be lacking.

The Juvederm Range at VIVA Skin Clinics

Juvéderm® is a range of dermal fillers offered by leading aesthetics manufacturer, Allergan. Juvéderm’s® Vycross formulation is the next generation family of Juvéderm® hyaluronic acid dermal filler gels.

The Juvéderm range has many benefits including:

  • A smoother gel, allows for a comfortable treatment.
  • Less bruising and swelling in the days after treatment due to lower HA concentration, drawing less moisture and causing less reactionary inflammation.
  • Reduced discomfort from the Lidocaine (local anaesthetic) added to the formulation.
  • Very subtle and natural outcomes due to the smoothness of the gel and being able to inject it with more precision.
  • Better results because it’s easier to shape and mould once injected.
  • Longer-lasting due to its unique makeup of high and low molecular weight HA.

What products are in the Vycross range?

There are 3 different products in the range, all used for different areas of the face.

  • Juvederm Voluma – for improving mid-face volume (such as cheeks) and non-surgical rhinoplasty.
  • Juvederm Volbella – for longer-lasting results in dealing with under-eye hollows and crows’ feet.
  • Juvederm Volift – great for longer-lasting results for depressions in the nasolabial folds.

 

Why choose VIVA Skin Clinics for your next Dermal Filler treatment?

At VIVA Skin Clinics, we are proud to use the best of the best when it comes to products, as we know these will give our patients the most natural-looking and effective results.

We are fortunate enough that our medical director, Dr Rupert, has been selected to be part of the Allergan faculty where he regularly conducts training for other medical professionals using the Juvederm range. Therefore, he knows the range like the back of his hand!

Interested in a dermal filler treatment with us? Book a consultation with one of our skin specialists today to discuss your aesthetic goals!