Dermal fillers, sometimes known as facial fillers, are substances injected into the face to eliminate wrinkles, raise scar tissue, improve contouring and replace soft tissue volume loss.
There are several substances like hyaluronic acid and hydroxyl apatite that are used for fillers. You and your dermatologist can talk about your goals and the areas you want injected to decide which filler is the best fit for you.
In general, fillers last from six months to a year, although some clients have reported results lasting two years or more. There are many things you can to help ensure a successful outcome.
Before the Procedure
Meet with your dermatologist to discuss the results you want to achieve. Many people want to smooth out wrinkles along the forehead and laugh lines around the eyes. Another trend is to make the lips fuller.
Don’t be surprised if the dermatologist suggests starting out with a small dose. It’s easy to add more filler if you want it, but it’s a lot harder to remove the filler if too much is injected.
On the day of the procedure, arrive at the dermatologist’s office with a clean face. That means no makeup, not even lipstick or a light foundation, and no lotions. If the doctor tries to inject the filler through makeup or lotion, it could lead to an unattractive infection.
The First 24 Hours
There are things you can do, or avoid doing, during the first hours after the procedure to ensure it will be a success. First, avoid pressure against the treated area. Pressure could cause the filler to shift and give you a lopsided look.
Avoid baseball caps, ski masks, turbans and helmets. If you can manage without your glasses or sunglasses, avoid wearing them. If you must have your glasses to drive or to read, go ahead and use them. Glasses are usually too lightweight to cause major problems. Follow these precautions for the first 24 hours.
Another step you can take to improve results is to avoid heavy sweating for 24 hours. It’s possible that some of the newly injected filler may come out as perspiration. Also, if you’re doing a heavy workout, you could displace the filler. Give it a day or so to set before you get back to your workout routine.
After the injection, you may feel some pain or itching at the injection site. Avoid scratching or picking at the spot which could lead to an infection. It’s also a good idea not to apply intense heat or intense cold as this might irritate the injection site. Don’t drink alcohol, which may increase bruising.
On the night after the procedure, try to sleep with your head elevated to reduce the swelling. You might try sleeping in a recliner or putting an extra pillow on your bed.
Many people enjoy a relaxing facial massage, but it’s better to give up this pleasure for about 24 hours until the filler sets.
Finally, you probably don’t like to go out of the house without every speck of makeup perfectly applied. To avoid infection and irritation, though, you should wait about 24 hours to resume your usual skin care routine.
Long Term Care
Your fillers are not intended to last forever. The average length of time is six months to a year. There are some things you can do, though, to make the fillers last a little longer.
First, drink plenty of water. Most experts suggest drinking eight glasses of water a day. If you don’t like regular water, try coconut water, iced tea or tomato juice. This will help keep your body healthy in general and help you heal more quickly from the procedure. It will also help hydrate the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and scars.
The other thing you can do is use plenty of sunscreen. Sunning yourself is fun and relaxing, but it ages the skin horribly. Make it a point to use a sunscreen of SPF 45 or higher. Apply it whenever you come out of the water and every four hours when you’re out in the sun.
Once the filler wears off, you and your dermatologist need to talk about your next option. Some people choose to have another dermal filler. Others prefer to have a different procedure like a face lift. Your dermatologist can help you go over the pros and cons of each option.
Andres Bustillo, MD FACS has a board certification from the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He has special training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Bustillo practices in Miami. He volunteers his time with the Face to Face Foundation and Faces of Honor, national non-profit organizations to help victims of domestic violence and scarred war veterans.
This is a collaborative guest post.