Aging. It’s an uphill battle to keep your skin from sagging south. You can use all of the lotions, potions, and magic you want but your skin will begin to lose its suppleness and elasticity. Truth.
As we age, the fat deposits on our cheekbones as well as under our eyes, and in our lips begin to lose volume. Our nose actually gets wider while our jaw turns from a straight, taut line, to a droopy squiggle. This loss of volume contributes to the lines, facial wrinkles, and nasolabial folds that our faces contort to as the aging process progresses.
So, no matter how high performing the skincare line you’re using, you won’t be able to defy the natural aging process without some sort of dermal filler. About 2.6 million women and men get dermal fillers each year. And that number is rising as the Gen-x population reaches the age at which they need a little help looking younger.
The Truth About Fillers
Maybe it doesn’t matter what your face looks like over the age of 40. In fact, aging is a privilege and some prefer to wear that badge of honor on their face. Totally okay, and I’m not being snarky. But, there is nothing wrong with wanting to show your age on your terms. It’s the same reason we dye our hair and wear makeup. We’re trying to put our best selves forward. I know that when I look good, I feel good too. People with fillers still look like they’re getting older but do so in a slower way. In fact, if you see someone in their fifties with a taut jawline, cheekbones or minimal marionette lines, more than likely they have filler.
Recently, I have done some research on fillers. I was wondering what they are made of, how long they last, and if there were any health risks involved with getting them.
What Are Fillers?
Most fillers, such as Restylane and Juvéderm, use hyaluronic acid. They are FDA approved. Hyaluronic acid is used to give skin a plump, hydrated look because of its ability to draw water into its cells. Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the skin which is why dermatologists love to put it into anti-aging beauty products, so it can help plump the skin. Unfortunately, rubbing a skin cream on your face will not have the same effect as injecting it under your skin.
Dermal fillers are gradually absorbed into the body and can last anywhere from 6-18 months depending on the type and placement of filler used.
I still don’t look like I’m 25, but I also don’t look like I’ve had anything done. Now, I’m looking fresher and more awake. (you can see all of the injection sites in this pic) No overdone lips or cheeks. I wanted a natural look. Amy used a combination of Restylane Refyne, Juvederm Voluma XC, and Juvederm Ultra Plus XC on my cheeks, lips, and chin.
Cost of Dermal Fillers
Costs can range from $600 to $950 per syringe. Look for promotional sales from your dermatologist or nurse practitioner. Still can’t afford it? Ask your doctor or med spa to let you know when the filler supplier like Allergan, is doing “free” training events. Of course, this does put you at risk for not getting it done correctly. But, I’ve found that the doctor supervising the injections guides the trainee every step of the way. I have done this a few times without injury or poor filler placement. As long as you are going to a reputable doctor or med spa, you should be okay.
Benefits of Dermal Fillers
Immediate & Visible Results
After each syringe goes in, the doctor or nurse will hand you a mirror to compare it with the side which didn’t get done. You’ll see the same you only fresher by puffing out those sunken in recesses of your face.
No Recovery Time
This is not like plastic surgery where you have a few weeks to a month of recovery time. No. After the 45-60 minutes of your appointment, you’ll walk out and be good to go.
Stimulate Collagen Production
Injecting filler deep into your skin actually stimulates collagen production. This in turn can keep your skin plumped as the hyaluronic acid absorbs into your body. So you have more of a long-term benefit from your own collagen production in your skin.
Risks of Dermal Fillers
First of all I want to mention that you should only get dermal filler treatments from board-certified, experienced physicians and nurse practitioners. They have gone through extensive training on how the human face actually ages, so they know how to “reconstruct” the foundation of building back lost volume without you looking like a freak. It’s so important! Never go to someone who does this as a side-hustle part of their practice. Go to legit practitioners of dermatology and plastic surgery to get the best and safest results.
Bruising, Bleeding & Swelling at the Injection Site
A professional with tons of experience will know how to inject and avoid bruising and bleeding for the most part. Some of it comes down to your own body chemistry. Swelling should be minimal but will subside after a day or two. You will be given an Arnica Cream which will help these symptoms subside or not even happen in the first place.
A good practitioner will understand where to inject to make sure both sides of your face look even. Not overfilling one side versus the other. Usually, the side you sleep on will have more volume loss, so she/he will know how to balance that out with the right amount of filler.
If the filler isn’t placed deep enough, you may feel a lump. Sometimes it’s because the filler needed to be massaged into place better. Again, this is why you go with a pro.
Extremely Rare Risks You should know about:
According to the FDA, if the dermal filler is inadvertently injected into a blood vessel it could cause scarring, blurred vision, partial vision loss or blindness.
Or, an allergic reaction that may lead to severe anaphylactic shock that requires emergency medical help.
I met with Amy Flanagan at Images Med Spa in Hinsdale who along with her work associate, also Amy, took some before pictures and put a numbing gel on my face for about 20 minutes. They also gave me a squish ball I could squeeze when Amy would be injecting me. (I squeezed the ball a lot) The filler has lidocaine inside of it too, so after the first “poke” you don’t really feel much. Although, for those who are squeamish, you may feel or hear the gel filler going in. Kind of like a crinkly sound. But, really not a big deal.
Amy would tell me when she was about to stick me, but due to her expert injection abilities, (and the numbing gel), I wasn’t in any discomfort.
I had some light bleeding for the pokes nearest my mouth, but it went away quickly. Amy put a topical Arnica Cream on my face and gave me one to take home and use several times per day while my skin healed from the trauma. I had very little bruising, in fact nothing much that a little makeup couldn’t conceal.
Dermal fillers are a cosmetic procedure that has gotten a bad rap because of the stigma of women who have “over-filled” themselves. You know who I’m talking about…the ones who have had so much filler pumped into their lips and cheeks that it’s the first thing you see when they walk in the room? No thank you! If it’s done right, you won’t notice it, you will look like yourself, only fresher and well-rested.
Every practitioner has its own techniques, philosophies, and levels of experience. If you know someone who has had it done, and you liked the result, you should ask who they went to.