The wide range of dermal fillers give doctors the ability to tailor a treatment to a patient’s specific goals, whether that’s discreetly plumping up lips, adding definition to cheekbones or jawlines, or filling in lines. In other words, they’re popular for good reason.
But that versatility and the range of products have also contributed to lots of misconceptions. It can also be hard to tell which filler is right for you and how long you can expect your results to last. I’m going to try to clear much of that up here, by answering the questions I’m asked most often about fillers.
What are injectable fillers?
Let’s start with the most fundamental question: What are injectable fillers? They basically fall into one of two categories, hyaluronic acid fillers and biostimulators. Hyaluronic acid fillers are reversible. Biostimulators, generally, are not.
Hyaluronic acid fillers (think Juvéderm and Restylane products) help to attract water and plump up the area that they’re injected into. Biostimulators like Sculptra and Radiesse try to stimulate the body to produce additional tissue or volume. As a result, they can take longer to produce the desired effect.
How are injectable fillers different from neurotoxins?
Neurotoxins, which are also known as Botox, Dysport, and Xeomin, are injectable solutions that temporarily block nerve receptors in the muscle, preventing lines and wrinkles from forming. Injectable fillers treat lines and wrinkles, too. But there are different kinds of wrinkles. Static wrinkles typically occur from loss of volume, and they’re generally best addressed with injectable fillers. Dynamic wrinkles, on the other hand, result from repeated muscle contractions – think forehead and brow wrinkles. They can be prevented and temporarily reversed with neurotoxins.
Who’s a good candidate for an injectable filler?
Filler can fill subtle contour depressions or areas that lack volume. It can’t lift the face. So, filler is not an appropriate treatment for someone with loose or sagging facial skin. If you’re looking to add a little more definition to your lips, or have your smile lines filled in, you’re a great candidate for filler. So are people who want a little more volume in their cheeks or their under-eye area.
How long will the results last?
As you can imagine, with so many different products, how long your results will last will depend largely on the specific filler your dermatologist uses. Also complicating the equation, some metabolize a product faster than others. That said, you can safely expect your results to last between six months and a year. Generally speaking, the softer, more moldable products (think lip fillers) will land on the lower end of that range, while the firmer fillers (cheek and jawline fillers) will last the longest.