Fillers have become an increasingly popular procedure over the past few years, ranking highly with BOTOX® injections as the two most common non-surgical aesthetic treatments in the United States..  There are, however, some key differences between both. 

BOTOX® is made up of toxin produced by bacteria that freezes muscles to minimize movement, thereby decreasing the appearance of lines and wrinkles from facial expressions. On the other hand, dermal fillers have the goal of adding fullness to areas that have thinned because of aging. Essentially, dermal fillers combat the loss of facial volume that is caused by aging.  

Through the following blog, we share some key insights to know about dermal fillers and what the procedure involves. 

What are Dermal Fillers? 

Dermal fillers are used by doctors to fill lines, decrease skin folds in the face, add volume to the lips, and sometimes are used to restore volume to larger areas such as the cheeks and temples.  Fillers have become very popular among patients because of how their youthful, natural-appearing results, minimal downtime, reversibility, and relative low cost when compared to surgery.    

According to Medical News Today, the top reasons why fillers are applied include: 

  • To fill in recessed scars
  • To plump thinning lips
  • To reduce or fill in wrinkles under the eyes 
  • To enhance shallow areas in the face

Fillers can be used alone or in combination with other surgical or non-surgical procedures.  Most often, though, they are used in combination with other injectables like BOTOX®. The results from fillers are fairly rapid – from instantly to hours or day, but how long they last can greatly vary depending on the filler use. 

Results from dermal fillers are noticeable almost immediately. Depending on what type of fillers used, results will last from 9 months to a year. Some thicker formulations for areas like the cheeks or temples may last 2 years or more.  During this time frame, fillers won’t completely disappear but start fading away rather slowly. 

Types of Fillers 

There are multiple types of fillers designed to treat distinct areas and signs of aging. In the past, collagen and silicone were used to restore volume to areas of the face.  However, collagen was short-lived and had adverse side effects in patients. Silicone also had the potential for complications like scar formation or migration within the tissue.  This is unfavorable since these effects can be permanent.  Because of this, filler compounds have changed. 

The main substances used in dermal fillers include: 

  • Hyaluronic acid: mainly used to add plumpness to the patient’s skin. 
  • Poly-L-lactic acid: stimulates the skin to produce more collagen for a youthful result. 
  • Others include Calcium hydroxylapatite,  Polyalkylimide, and Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres, a semi-permanent fillers. 

At Stallworth Facial Plastics, Dr. Stallworth is experienced in administering the entire family of JUVÉDERM®products including JUVÉDERM VOLUMA®, ULTRA® and ULTRA Plus®, VOLBELLA® and VOLLURE®, as well as the gamut of Restylane®products including Silk®, Restylane-L®, Refyne®, Defyne®, Lyft®, and Contour®.  All of these are comprised of hyaluronic acid, but each with differences in their formulation, and thus their indications.  There are also non-HA fillers approved for specific indications such as RADIESSE® and Sculptra® that are also offered.

Safety of Dermal Fillers

The safety of fillers, as with any type of plastic surgery procedure, comes down to the experience of your surgeon. FDA-approved fillers are extraordinarily safe, but of course, come with some temporary side effects right after the procedure. Some of these include:

  • Temporary swelling, in the lips
  • Small bumps where you were injected 
  • The risk of bruising at the injection site.

These side effects will typically disappear and/or smooth out within a couple hours to a week upon getting the fillers. However, it’s essential to find a skilled surgeon to administer the injections to minimize the risk of these effects and maximize the results of the fillers.

There are also potentially more serious reactions including injection into a blood vessel leading to skin necrosis, scarring, and even blindness that can occur from errors in technique or in placement of fillers.  For these reasons, it is even more imperative to consult with a board certified surgeon that has extensive knowledge of facial anatomy and experience with filler injections.

Ready to take the next step in getting fillers?  

Dr. Stallworth personally performs all injections for his patients.  He does not utilize nurse injectors or clinic staff to carry out these procedures, always prioritizing the best possible results for every patient.  Schedule an initial consultation today to get started!