For many years, facial aging was blamed on decreased skin elasticity or sagging skin. Anyone seeking facial rejuvenation was treated with a facelift to remove the skin excess. In the last couple decades, plastic surgeons began to realize aging was more complicated than that. Skin does lose elasticity and stretch-out, but at the same time there loss of facial fat and volume. A lot of the “extra skin” isn’t extra at all!
For men and woman in their 40s and 50s wanting to look their best, this knowledge provides options other than surgery, facial or dermal fillers. After the 50s adding volume helps (and should be part of the rejuvenation process), but most likely surgery would be needed for perfect result.
Many fillers are FDA approved for reversal of facial aging and it very easy to be confused about which is the right product for you. Below is a very simplified way to think about and classify facial fillers.
Facial Filler Options
- Hyaluronic Acid Fillers: Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a natural substance that the body uses to keep skin thick and firm. HA naturally decreases with age and sun damage, which makes it a logical choice for replacement. Additionally, HA is a strongly attracts water further increasing the volume and quality of skin. HA fillers have a soft and natural feel and can be safely injected close to the skin surface. The are ideal for fine lines, wrinkles, and lip augmentation. There are many HA’s available for increasing facial volume: Elevess, Hydrelle, Hylaform, Juvederm, Perlane, Prevelle, and Restylane. All these products are slightly different, with minor advantages and disadvantages. Dr. Hubbard will help you decide which if any hyaluronic acid fillers is right for you.
- Calcium hydroxylapatite: There is only one calcium hydroxylapatite filler available, Radiesse. It is the heaviest of facial dermal fillers, naturally occurring in human bones. Because it is heavy and semi-permenent it’s often used to fill the moderate-to-severe creases such as nasolabial folds, marionette lines and frown lines. It’s also used to enhance fullness of the cheeks and other facial contours.
- Polylactic acid: There is only one FDA approved polylacic acid filler, Sculptra Aesthetic. Sculptra works differently that all other dermal fillers. Polylactic acid does not add volume, it stimulates your body’s own production of collagen. It’s known to work particularly well in the lower half of your face, to fill the lines caused by laughing, to augment thin lips, to fill hollow temples and fill out deep nasolabial folds. This substance is unlike other dermal fillers because it doesn’t produce immediate results. Instead, it stimulates your own body’s collagen production, so results appear gradually over a period of a few months and usually takes three monthly treatments to achieve desired results.
- Fat: it is now possible to utilize “extra” fat from other places in your body to increase your facial volume. Fat is harvested using liposuction techniques. The fat is processed to keep the fat cells alive and then injected under the skin like other facial fillers. Some of the fat cells will not live through this process, but the vast majority will!
Where are facial fillers injected?
- Nasolabial Folds form as a result of cheek dissent. Placing filler in this area serves to camouflage the transition between lip and cheek.
- Corners of the mouth tend to turn down with age. Placing filler under the skin can help support and upturn the corners of your mouth.
- Whether young or old, some women wish they had more lip fullness. Certainly with increasing age the lip loses volume and small wrinkles begin to form on the edge of the lip. Adding filler to the lips can decrease these fine wrinkles as well as add volume to the lip itself.
- Deeper lines on the face develop in many places. Placing a lightweight filler under a wrinkle can fade and often disappear the line altogether.
- Baggy lower eyelids can be one of the most obvious signs of aging. Placing fillers in the lower lids is a highly effective tool for filling in the tear trough. Unfortunately, the area has excellent blood supply, bruising and swelling are common.
- Hollow upper eyelids are another common sign of aging. The eye appears sunken into the eye socket and the upper eyelid has excess thin, crepey skin. Injecting filler in this area gives a fuller more youthful eye.
Facial and dermal fillers are not a “cure all” of facial aging. But, in the early stages fillers can do amazingly well at camouflaging the effects of mother nature. Injections can be uncomfortable and topical anesthesia is usually needed. Afterword expect some downtime as bruising and swelling are not unusual, but not as bad as a surgery. With the right fillers, in the right places, you could have a more youthful look tomorrow.
During your consultation Dr. Hubbard will discuss with you your goals and expectations and determine if this is the right procedure for you. To schedule your private consultation with Dr. Hubbard please email our office or call directly at 214.370.4813.