What if there was a quick, relatively painless way for you to look years younger — all without leaving the comfort of your dermatologist's office? Younger women who want a more youthful look are turning away from surgical procedures like facelifts and trying cosmetic injectables. What do you need to know about these miracle workers?
What are fillers, anyway?
Cosmetic fillers are materials that are injected under the skin to fill in deep lines and make them look fuller. The newly plumped skin appears firmer and less wrinkled. While this isn't a new technology, the newer versions of fillers are longer-lasting than previous versions. When administered by a professional, they create a subtle effect that takes years away — and is much less harsh than the tight-faced facelifts of the past. Here is a roundup of a few of the more popular fillers.
Restylane, Juvederm and Perlane are brand names for hyaluronic acid, which is used for mild to moderate facial creases or lip augmentation. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in our soft connective tissue and also in the fluid surrounding our eyes. It is also injected into the joints of people who suffer from arthritis, to provide extra cushioning and ease pain. Results last six months or more, and up to 18 months after reinjection. It can also be used to soften scars or change the appearance of bony hands.
Radiesse and Radiance are two fillers that use calcium hydroxylapatite, which is found naturally in human bones. This is a heavier filler, which is great for your deep creases — think nasolabial folds, marionette lines and frown lines. It can also be used in the cheeks to enhance fullness.
Sculptra and New-Fill are brand names for polylactic acid, which is a synthetic material that stimulates your body's own production of collagen. These fillers work really well to fill laugh lines and fill out nasolabial folds, as well as plumping up the lips. Unlike other dermal fillers, polylactic acid doesn't produce immediate results. Over a period of a few months, it stimulates collagen production, so you will notice results gradually.
Potential side effects
As with any invasive medical procedure, there are potential side effects that you should be prepared for. Expect some bruising and swelling, which should only last a few days. Complications are uncommon, but may include asymmetry, bleeding, infection, itching, temporary numbness or skin rash. There is virtually no down time with dermal fillers, and you can resume regular activities right away. Your doctor will let you know what to expect in your situation.
Where do I sign up?
Like any medical procedure, you should only choose a qualified medical professional to administer dermal fillers. Knowing where to inject these materials for exactly the right look requires experience and knowledge. Board-certified plastic surgeons and dermatologists are trained in the proper technique for using dermal fillers and creating exactly the youthful look you want.
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