18 Mar Dermal Fillers, filling in the lines
There are so many ways, surgically, on getting the perfect look or restoration of the youthful look, but many are worried of the downtime and the pain that they’ve to go through. Not to mention, the hefty price they’ll need to pay for the surgeries.
Although “beauty is pain” is a common term used to describe plastic/cosmetic surgery, and here we talk about not just physical pain from the surgery but also the heart pain from spending all that dough, pain is not necessarily the number one turn off factor for cosmetic procedures.
In this era where we’re this close (or probably already possible) to have floating in mid-air hoverboards, pain is no longer an issue for cosmetic procedures. You don’t need to go through all the uuhs and the arghs and the bruised up battered face of post-surgery with the great invention of dermal fillers.
Dermal fillers are injectable (non-invasive) medical device implants that fills up wrinkle lines and restoring lost volume on the face due to aging. It is a process of creating fuller and smoother facial texture.
There are four types of absorbable dermal fillers that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). At Shens Clinic, we use three of these temporary fillers namely, Hyaluronic Acid fillers, Hydroxyapatite and Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA).
Hyaluronic acid is a type of sugar found in the body tissues, mainly the skin and cartilage. When combined with water, it swells in gel form and that causes the smoothing and filling effect.
Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are made from bacteria or rooster combs. In some cases, these fillers are chemically modified to make it last longer in the body.
Hyaluronic acid fillers can last up to about a year and a half, depending on the amount use and the breakdown process happening in the body.
Also known as Calcium Hydroxyapatite, atomic formula of Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2, is a major component and essential ingredient of teeth and bone. It makes up bone mineral and the matrix of teeth, giving the rigidity. It is mixed in a gel-like solution and injected into the targeted area on the face or under the skin in the back of the hand.
Calcium Hydroxyapatite has a lasting effect of about 18 months. It is visible in X-rays and may conceal underlying features.
Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA):
PLLA is biodegradable, biocompatible man-made polymer. To put it simply, it is generally prepared by going through thermal degradation process.
PLLA filler is different than of Hyaluronic Acid or Hydroxyapatite filler as its effect become increasingly apparent over time, usually over several weeks. It reinforces skin structure by working within the deep dermis to replace lost collagen.
PLLA collagen effect, as mentioned above, would increase over time and this effect can last up to about 2 years.
Other types of absorbable dermal filler:
Collagen is a type of protein that can be found in the body naturally. It is the key food for the body that holds the whole body together in providing strength and structure as it forms scaffolds in the body.
FDA approved collagen fillers are purified collagen from cow (bovine) or human cells. It is the shortest lasting, generally up to 3-4 months.
Although fillers are generally safe and effective, it still worries some patients knowing that it’s a product, which may or may not cause side effects on some, would not be compatible enough. Hence, we introduce Fat Grafting, a more natural way to replace lost volume. I will talk more about fat grafting in my next post.
Till then, thank you for reading!