What Are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers can be used to fix a variety of concerns related to facial aging, including:

  • Adding volume and smoothing out the deep creases that run from the nose to the mouth (called nasolabial folds or laugh lines).
  • Plumping thin lips and smoothing out vertical lines around the edges of the lips.
  • Augmenting cheeks to enhance their shape, often restoring youthful fullness.
  • Filling out depressions (hollows) under the eye area.
  • Making indented scars from acne or chicken pox more even with surrounding skin.
  • Increasing volume to fill out gauntness in the lower cheek or temple area, which most often occurs due to fat pads shifting beneath the surface of skin.

How Dermal Fillers Work

  • Dermal fillers are a naturally-derived or synthetic material that is directly injected into skin with the purpose of plumping that area to the point where the wrinkle, depression, or fold is gone. Depending on the type of filler, the effects can last anywhere from six months to two years; for semi-permanent or permanent fillers, the effects can last up to five years, and there are reports of even longer-lasting results.
  • Don’t confuse dermal fillers with Botox. Although both procedures involve injections, Botox is most often injected around the forehead and wrinkles around the eyes (crow’s feet) to stop muscle movement that results in wrinkles. It has nothing to do with the plumping smoothing effect dermal fillers have.
  • Because they work in different manners, many people elect to get both Botox and dermal fillers—the combination can produce a remarkably younger-looking face.

Synthetic and Natural Dermal Fillers

There are two primary groups of dermal fillers: synthetic and natural.

  • Naturally-derived fillers (the most widely known is hyaluronic acid) have a much smaller risk of causing an allergic reaction but reactions can occur. Results are immediate but will only last from just three to 18 months (occasionally up to two years) because the filler eventually breaks down, taking the results, for better or worse, with it. Once the filler starts to dissipate you need to go back in and get more filler injected to maintain results. Most people who get fillers will need at least one follow-up injection within a year.
  • Synthetic fillers last much longer than naturally-derived ones and are considered semi-permanent though there many who would call them permanent because they really don’t dissipate. The wrinkles start to return only because your face continues to age or you continue to get sun damage due to being lax about protecting skin with sunscreen daily.

When to Get Dermal Fillers

  • There’s every reason to consider dermal fillers to correct signs of aging that are beyond what skincare products can do. It’s not that great skincare can’t make a huge difference in the appearance of your skin, but age, muscle movement, fat loss, gravity, and sun damage among other factors will eventually take their toll. Without question, fillers can help improve the appearance of deep lines and give skin a more supple, youthful appearance in ways that skincare simply cannot.

Dr. Diana Breister Ghosh is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the only plastic surgery board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties. She is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and the San Diego Plastic Surgery Society, and is an expert in plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery.

Her specialized services include breast augmentation (including silicone breast implants), breast lift (mastopexy), tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), brow lift, and face/neck lift.
Dr. Breister Ghosh is also recognized as an expert in state-of-the-art surgical body modification, body contouring and soft tissue sculpting following bariatric and major weight loss surgery. Additionally, she excels in performing specialized facial procedures that help restore skin and aid in reducing effects of aging without surgery, including laser facial resurfacing, Botox®, Restylane®, Perlane®, Juvederm™ and Sculptra® and Bellafill®.

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