Fill me in, All You Need to Know About Facial Fillers
Ageing affects the face in many ways. Facial skin becomes thinner, stretched and wrinkled, losing its natural elasticity and suppleness. The muscle structure of the face yields to gravity and sun damage, adding to the droopiness of ageing skin. Loss of soft tissue tends to give a shrunken appearance to the overall face, making the eyes and mid-face area look sunken and tired. Mid-facial changes are also a result of bone loss in the teeth and changes in the jaw. Even the bones of the face change, contributing further to that aged look both men and women so dread.
The role of elastin and collagen in the skin
Elastin is an elastic fibrous protein found in the skin’s connective tissue. It helps keep the skin flexible, tight and smooth. Elastin helps the skin go back to its normal shape after being pulled, flexing muscles or opening and closing the mouth. Without sufficient elastin, the skin can’t get back to its smooth normal shape once stretched.
Elastin usually decreases as we age. Over-stretching of skin, as happens sometimes with pregnancy, can also be the result of insufficient elastin.
Collagen is the main structural protein in connective tissue, accounting for about 30 percent of the protein in our bodies. Collagen is found in ligaments, tendons, bones, blood vessels, the cornea of the eye and in the gut, as well as in the skin. You could call it the ‘glue that holds the body together’ and not be exaggerating.
Collagen gives skin its strength and elasticity. Production of collagen slows down with age, making cell structures gradually lose their strength. The skin becomes fragile and less elastic, and wrinkles begin to develop.
Filling in lost volume
There are many ways to address changes in the face. Injectable treatments are the most popular means of keeping signs of ageing at bay, at least for a while. In keeping with consumer demand—maintaining appearance is a perennial industry—many global companies have produced well researched and thoroughly tested injectables to give the ageing face a helping hand.
Alternatives to injectables include non-invasive facial skin rejuvenation and skin tightening treatments, which aim to spur new collagen growth in the skin.
Natural dermal fillers
Injectable dermal fillers that supplement the lost collagen or stimulate new collagen production in the skin are very popular wrinkle erasers. Both types of filler contain ingredients found naturally in the human body. Some injectables are sourced from animal connective tissue.
Synthetic dermal fillers
Instead of trying to supplement natural collagen or stimulate its growth, synthetic dermal fillers replace lost volume in the face with injectable materials not naturally found in the body.
How long do facial fillers last?
The effects of most dermal fillers last less than 12 months. Some produce results lasting beyond 18 months. It depends on the product.
It also matters where the fillers are injected. Parts of the face that are constantly moving, such as the lips and jaw, may not hold the results of dermal fillers as long as less active areas, such as the forehead.
Safety and the experience of injectors should be your key concerns
The most important aspects of facial filler treatments should be safety and the experience of injectors. Safety has two aspects: product safety and the injection process.
Dermal fillers require prescriptions in Australia. Make sure that the product is genuine and matches its packaging, especially with respect to its country of origin. Always ask to see the package your injectable comes in.
When a doctor with experience injects your dermal fillers, you can be confident that they know what they are doing and follow professional and ethical guidelines. Having your injections under medical supervision also makes the process safer in the unlikely event of an allergic reaction or other medical emergency.
At the risk of sounding like a cliché, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Posted on 02 Sep 2013