DERMAL FILLERS PUTNEY – Frequently Asked Questions

What are dermal fillers?

Dermal fillers, also known as soft tissue fillers, are gel-like substances injected beneath the skin to restore volume, smooth out wrinkles and folds, and enhance facial contours. They are a popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment that can help reduce the signs of ageing and achieve a more youthful, rejuvenated appearance.

Types of Dermal Fillers

There are several types of dermal fillers available in the UK, each with its own unique composition and properties. They can be broadly categorised as follows:

  • Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Fillers:

    These are the most commonly used dermal fillers and are composed of a naturally occurring substance found in the body. HA fillers include brands like Juvederm, Restylane, and Belotero.

  • Collagen-Based Fillers:

    These fillers are made from purified collagen, a protein naturally present in the skin that provides structure and firmness. Examples include Evolence and Cosmoplast.

  • Synthetic Fillers:

    These are non-animal-derived fillers made from synthetic materials like calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse) or poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra).

How Dermal Fillers Work

Dermal fillers work by adding volume and hydration to the treatment area, thereby plumping up the skin and smoothing out wrinkles, folds, and depressions. The injected filler acts as a scaffolding, supporting the skin and tissues from beneath, resulting in a more youthful, rejuvenated appearance.

Different types of fillers have varying properties, such as the ability to attract and bind water molecules, which can enhance their plumping and hydrating effects. The effects of dermal fillers are temporary, with the longevity of results varying depending on the specific filler used and the treatment area.

What areas of the face can be treated with dermal fillers?

Dermal fillers are versatile and can be used to treat various areas of the face to address a range of concerns related to ageing and volume loss. Some of the most common treatment areas include:

Nasolabial Folds

These are the deep creases that run from the corners of the nose to the corners of the mouth, also known as smile lines or laugh lines. Dermal fillers can effectively fill and soften these folds, creating a smoother appearance.

Marionette Lines

These are the vertical lines that extend from the corners of the mouth towards the chin, often becoming more prominent with age. Fillers can plump up this area, minimising the appearance of these lines.

Cheeks

Over time, the cheeks can lose volume and appear sunken or hollow. Dermal fillers can restore youthful fullness and lift to the cheek area, providing a more contoured and rejuvenated look.

Lips

Lip fillers can enhance the size, shape, and definition of the lips, creating a fuller and more voluptuous pout. They can also help to smooth out vertical lip lines (smoker’s lines) around the mouth.

Under-Eye Area

Fillers can be used to treat tear troughs or hollows under the eyes, which can cause a tired or aged appearance. By filling in these areas, the under-eye region appears smoother and more refreshed.

Temples

Age-related volume loss

As we age, the temples can become increasingly hollow and sunken.

Rejuvenating effects

Dermal fillers can help to restore volume to this area, creating a more youthful, rejuvenated look.

It’s important to note that the suitable treatment areas may vary depending on the individual’s concerns, anatomical features, and the specific filler used. A skilled and experienced injector can recommend the most appropriate areas to target for optimal results.

What are the main ingredients in dermal fillers?

The main ingredients in dermal fillers can vary depending on the type of filler, but they generally fall into three main categories:

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Fillers

These are the most popular and widely used dermal fillers in the UK. The main ingredient is hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance found in the body that helps to hydrate and plump the skin. Popular HA filler brands include:

  • Juvederm
  • Restylane
  • Belotero

HA fillers are known for their ability to attract and bind water molecules, which contributes to their plumping and hydrating effects.

Collagen-Based Fillers

These fillers are composed of purified collagen, a protein that naturally occurs in the skin and provides structure and firmness. Examples of collagen-based fillers include:

  • Evolence
  • Cosmoplast

While collagen fillers were popular in the past, they have largely been replaced by HA fillers due to their lower risk of allergic reactions and longer-lasting results.

Synthetic Fillers

These fillers are made from synthetic materials rather than natural substances. The main ingredients in synthetic fillers include:

  • Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA):

    Found in Radiesse, this filler is composed of calcium-based microspheres suspended in a gel carrier.

  • Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA):

    The main component of Sculptra, PLLA is a biodegradable synthetic material that stimulates collagen production over time.

Synthetic fillers are known for their ability to provide long-lasting results, but they may require more treatment sessions than HA fillers.

Regardless of the type of filler, all dermal fillers used in the UK must meet strict safety and quality standards set by regulatory bodies such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Are dermal fillers safe?

Dermal fillers are generally considered safe when administered by a qualified and experienced medical professional in a clinical setting. However, as with any cosmetic procedure, there are potential risks and side effects that should be carefully considered.

Safety Considerations

Regulatory standards

In the UK, all dermal fillers must be CE-marked and approved for use by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This ensures that they meet strict safety and quality standards.

Practitioner qualifications

Dermal fillers should only be administered by trained and qualified medical professionals, such as doctors, dentists, or nurses with specialized training in injectable treatments. Proper injection techniques are crucial to minimize risks and achieve optimal results.

Infection prevention

Fillers are injected into the skin, so proper sterilization techniques and hygiene protocols must be followed to prevent infections or contamination.

Patient suitability

Patients’ medical history, allergies, and skin conditions should be thoroughly evaluated before treatment to ensure their safety.

Potential Side Effects

While generally safe, dermal fillers can cause some temporary side effects, including:

  • Swelling, bruising, redness, or tenderness at the injection site
  • Itching or skin discoloration
  • Lumps or unevenness (which can usually be corrected by the practitioner)

More serious but rare complications can include infection, vascular occlusion (blockage of blood vessels), or allergic reactions. These risks are minimized by choosing a qualified and experienced injector.

Long-Term Safety

Established safety profile

Many dermal fillers, particularly hyaluronic acid-based fillers, have been used for years and have a well-established safety profile.

Ongoing research

However, as with any cosmetic treatment, the long-term effects are still being studied. It’s essential to follow up with your practitioner for any concerns or touch-up treatments.

Overall, dermal fillers are generally safe when performed by qualified professionals using approved products and following best practices. However, it’s crucial to have a thorough consultation and discussion about potential risks and benefits before undergoing any cosmetic procedure.

Are there any side effects associated with dermal fillers?

While dermal fillers are generally safe when administered by a qualified professional, like any cosmetic procedure, there is a potential for side effects. Most side effects are temporary and mild, but it’s essential to be aware of them before undergoing treatment.

Common Side Effects

Swelling and bruising

Some swelling and bruising around the injection sites are common and typically resolve within a week or two.

Redness and tenderness

The treated areas may appear red and feel tender or sensitive to the touch for a few days after the injections.

Itching or discomfort

Mild itching or a feeling of tightness in the treated areas can occur, but these sensations usually subside within a few days.

Lumps or unevenness

In some cases, the filler may not distribute evenly, leading to small lumps or unevenness under the skin. These issues can typically be corrected by the practitioner through massage or additional injections.

Rare but Serious Side Effects

While rare, there are some potentially serious side effects associated with dermal fillers, including:

  • Infection: If proper sterilization techniques are not followed, there is a risk of introducing bacteria into the injection sites, leading to infections.
  • Vascular Occlusion: In very rare cases, dermal fillers can inadvertently block blood vessels, potentially leading to skin necrosis (tissue death) or blindness if the filler enters the vasculature around the eyes.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may be allergic or hypersensitive to the ingredients in dermal fillers, which can lead to severe swelling, rashes, or other allergic symptoms.

Minimizing Risks

Practitioner selection

To minimize the risk of side effects, it’s crucial to choose a reputable and experienced injector who follows strict safety protocols and uses high-quality, approved dermal fillers.

Patient responsibility

Patients should also provide a detailed medical history, follow pre- and post-treatment instructions, and report any concerns or adverse reactions promptly.

Most side effects associated with dermal fillers are temporary and can be managed effectively by a skilled practitioner. However, it’s essential to weigh the potential risks and benefits carefully before undergoing any cosmetic treatment.

How much do dermal fillers cost in the UK?

The cost of dermal filler treatments in the UK can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the type of filler used, the area being treated, the extent of treatment required, and the qualifications and experience of the practitioner. However, here’s a general overview of what you can expect to pay:

Average Costs

  • Lip Fillers: Typically ranging from £200 to £500 per treatment session.
  • Cheek Fillers: Costs can range from £300 to £800 for each cheek area.
  • Nasolabial Folds (Smile Lines): Treating these lines can cost between £300 and £600 per treatment.
  • Under-Eye Fillers: Expect to pay £300 to £600 for treating the under-eye area.
  • Liquid Facelifts (Multiple Areas): A comprehensive liquid facelift, addressing multiple areas, can cost anywhere from £1,000 to £3,000 or more.

Factors Affecting Cost

  • Type of Filler:

    Premium, branded fillers like Juvederm or Restylane tend to be more expensive than generic or lesser-known brands.

  • Practitioner’s Expertise:

    Highly experienced and qualified injectors, such as cosmetic doctors or nurses, may charge higher fees for their services.

  • Geographic Location:

    Costs can vary based on the region or city, with treatments often being more expensive in major metropolitan areas.

  • Extent of Treatment:

    The more areas being treated or the greater the amount of filler required, the higher the overall cost.

Additional Costs

It’s important to note that the costs mentioned above are typically for the treatment itself and may not include additional fees for consultations, follow-up appointments, or touch-up treatments, which can add to the overall expense.

While dermal fillers can be a significant investment, many individuals find the results well worth the cost for the confidence and rejuvenated appearance they can provide. It’s essential to research and choose a reputable, experienced practitioner to ensure optimal results and value for your investment.

Are dermal fillers painful?

Pain Management Techniques

Topical Numbing Creams:

Before the treatment, a topical anesthetic cream is typically applied to the areas being treated. This helps to numb the skin and minimize discomfort during the injections.

Lidocaine-Containing Fillers:

Many dermal fillers now contain lidocaine, a local anesthetic, which helps to reduce pain during and after the injections.

Ice Packs:

Applying ice packs to the treatment areas before and after the injections can help to numb the skin and reduce swelling and discomfort.

Injection Technique:

Experienced injectors use specialized techniques, such as slow and gentle injections, to minimize discomfort and potential trauma to the surrounding tissues.

Areas of Discomfort

While the pain management techniques mentioned above can significantly reduce discomfort, some areas of the face may still be more sensitive than others during the injections. These include:

Lips:

Due to the high density of nerve endings in the lips, lip filler injections are often reported as the most uncomfortable.

Nasolabial Folds (Smile Lines):

The area around the nose and corners of the mouth can also be relatively sensitive.

Bony Areas:

Injections near bony prominences, such as the chin or cheekbones, may cause more discomfort than softer areas of the face.

Individual Tolerance

It’s important to note that pain tolerance varies from person to person, and some individuals may experience more discomfort than others, even with the use of pain management techniques. Communicating with your injector about any discomfort you experience during the treatment is important so that they can adjust their approach or provide additional numbing if necessary.

While dermal filler injections are not entirely painless, the majority of patients report that the discomfort is manageable, especially when compared to the potential benefits of the treatment. With the use of modern techniques and pain management strategies, most individuals find the procedure to be well-tolerated.

What is the recovery time after getting dermal fillers?

Immediate Aftereffects

Immediately following the treatment, you can expect some swelling, redness, and bruising around the injection sites. These are normal side effects and typically resolve within a few days to a week. Your practitioner may recommend applying cold compresses or taking over-the-counter pain medication to help manage any discomfort or swelling during this initial recovery phase.

Downtime Considerations

Lip Fillers:

Lip treatments often result in more swelling and bruising, which can last for several days. It’s advisable to plan for a few days of downtime after lip filler injections.

Under-Eye Fillers:

Treatments around the delicate under-eye area can lead to significant swelling and bruising, which may take up to 2 weeks to fully resolve.

Other Areas:

For fillers in areas like the cheeks, nasolabial folds, or forehead, most individuals can return to their regular activities within 1-2 days, although some residual swelling or bruising may persist for a few more days.

Post-Treatment Care

To ensure optimal healing and results, it’s important to follow your practitioner’s post-treatment care instructions, which may include:

Avoiding strenuous exercise or activities that increase blood flow to the treated areas for the first 24-48 hours

Applying cold compresses intermittently to reduce swelling

Sleeping on your back and avoiding excessive pressure on the treated areas

Avoiding alcohol and certain medications that can increase the risk of bruising or swelling

Final Results

While the initial swelling and bruising may take a few days to subside, the final results of your dermal filler treatment may not be apparent for up to 2 weeks. This is because it takes time for the filler to settle and integrate into the surrounding tissues. Once the swelling has fully subsided, you can enjoy the full, natural-looking results of your treatment.

By following your practitioner’s guidance and allowing for proper recovery time, you can minimize downtime and ensure the best possible outcome from your dermal filler treatment.

Can dermal fillers be combined with other cosmetic treatments?

Common Combinations

Dermal Fillers and Botox/Dysport:

Fillers are often paired with neuromodulators like Botox or Dysport to address both static wrinkles (with fillers) and dynamic wrinkles caused by muscle contractions (with neuromodulators). This combination can provide a more complete facial rejuvenation.

Dermal Fillers and Lasers:

Laser treatments, such as fractionated CO2 or Erbium lasers, can be used in conjunction with fillers to improve skin texture, tone, and tightness. The lasers address surface-level concerns, while the fillers restore volume and contour.

Dermal Fillers and Skin Treatments:

Fillers can be combined with various skin treatments, such as chemical peels, microneedling, or radiofrequency treatments, to achieve a more comprehensive rejuvenation of the skin’s appearance.

Dermal Fillers and Surgical Procedures:

In some cases, fillers may be used to complement or enhance the results of surgical procedures, such as facelifts or brow lifts, by adding volume and definition to specific areas.

Benefits of Combining Treatments

Comprehensive approach

Addressing multiple concerns simultaneously, such as fine lines, wrinkles, volume loss, and skin texture

Harmonious results

Achieving a more natural, balanced outcome by targeting different aspects of facial aging

Treatment efficiency

Potentially reducing the overall number of treatments required by addressing multiple concerns simultaneously

Personalized plans

Tailoring the treatment plan to each individual’s specific needs and goals

Considerations

When combining dermal fillers with other treatments, it’s essential to work with a qualified and experienced aesthetic practitioner who can develop a safe and effective treatment plan. They will consider factors such as the appropriate sequence and timing of treatments, potential interactions or contraindications, and the overall safety and suitability for your individual needs.

By combining dermal fillers with complementary treatments, you can achieve a more comprehensive and natural-looking rejuvenation, addressing various concerns and achieving your desired aesthetic goals.

How long do dermal fillers last?

Duration by Filler Type

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Fillers:

HA fillers, such as Juvederm and Restylane, typically last between 6 to 12 months, with some of the newer formulations lasting up to 18 months or longer.

Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA) Fillers:

Fillers like Radiesse, which contain CaHA microspheres, can last between 12 to 18 months or longer.

Poly-L-Lactic Acid (PLLA) Fillers:

Sculptra, a PLLA filler, works differently by stimulating collagen production over time. Results can last up to 2 years or more, but multiple treatment sessions are often required.

Factors Affecting Longevity

Treatment Area:

Fillers tend to last longer in areas with less muscle movement, such as the cheeks or temples, compared to areas with more movement, like the lips or nasolabial folds.

Metabolic Rate:

Individuals with faster metabolisms may break down fillers more quickly, leading to shorter-lasting results.

Lifestyle Factors:

Activities like smoking, excessive sun exposure, or a poor skincare routine can accelerate the breakdown of fillers.

Amount of Filler:

Generally, larger volumes of filler tend to last longer than smaller amounts.

Maintaining Results

To maintain the desired results, most patients will need periodic touch-up treatments as the effects of the dermal fillers gradually diminish over time. Your practitioner can recommend the appropriate timeline for touch-ups based on your specific treatment plan and desired outcomes.

It’s important to note that while dermal fillers provide temporary results, they can be safely re-administered as needed to maintain your refreshed and rejuvenated appearance. Regular follow-up appointments with your practitioner are recommended to ensure optimal results and address any concerns or adjustments needed.