1. What exactly are Dermal Fillers?
Dermal fillers are injectable medical devices that help to smooth skin and wrinkles and also replace lost volume in the face. They are injected beneath the skin using a needle or a cannula and are most commonly made from hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic acid is naturally produced within the body and is found in both our skin and cartilage. It is also a common ingredient in many skin care products because it helps skin to maintain moisture.
As we grow older our bodies produce less hyaluronic acid and this starts to make the skin appear looser, more sagging and less hydrated in appearance.
Dermal Fillers can be safely used to rejuvenate your appearance by replacing lost volume and increasing definition where needed. Giving you a plumper, more hydrated and refreshed appearance.
2. How do I know which dermal filler to try?
An experienced Aesthetic Practitioner will be able to explain which treatment is best for you and which dermal filler would be most suitable for the desired look.
There are many different brands of dermal filler available. For safety reasons, we prefer to use FDA approved brands. For example, popular dermal filler brands in our clinic are Restylane, Juvederm and Teoxane but there are many more available. There are also a lot of newer names to the market but we personally prefer to use the brands with years of scientific evidence behind them.
Not only are there different brands, but within those brands there are different fillers suitable for different areas of the face. So, it is really important that you visit a practitioner with the knowledge and experience to know which products work best where!
3. What should I consider when looking for a practitioner to perform a dermal filler treatment?
It goes without saying, safety should always be your absolute number one priority when considering any medical procedure.
When considering dermal fillers here in the UK you have to be extra cautious as there are no regulations in place to keep you safe.
There are a lot of excellent, safe practitioners out there but there are also plenty who simply shouldn’t have a needle in their hand! So, you have to do your homework and make sure that the practitioner you trust with your face is experienced and properly trained.
A medical aesthetic practitioner is able to deal with all aspects of your care. Because, as much as we don’t like to think about it, things can go wrong. In the event of an allergic reaction, an infection or an occlusion (blocked artery or vein) you will be safer with a medically trained practitioner who is able to prescribe and administer the required treatment (a doctor, dentist or nurse prescriber).
If something goes wrong, then you want a practitioner who can prescribe the correct care without having to involve a third party.
4. What should I ask during the consultation?
I think as a patient it’s always really important to talk about what your goals are and what areas of your face you would like to treat. Quite often we have patients come in and ask ‘what can you do with my face?’ and the answer will always involve me giving them a mirror and telling them ‘tell me what you don’t like and we’ll go from there’.
So, I would say that you should tell the practitioner what it is that concerns you and then give them the opportunity to tell you which treatments would be of most benefit.
You should also ask about your practitioners training and experience. How long have they been performing dermal filler procedures and how often do they do it? Is it their full-time passion or a one day per week side line from the NHS? Neither is the wrong answer but it’s important that you understand their level of experience prior to consenting to treatment.
Don’t be afraid to ask for proof of qualification. It’s important you do; and any reputable practitioner will welcome the opportunity to show you.
If they aren’t a prescribing medical practitioner then ask them how they access emergency medications. Any non-prescribing practitioner must have a prescriber to support them in their practice. Don’t be afraid to ask them about this.
Ask to see before and after images. Quite often the images you see on social media are filtered, different angles, different lighting, etc, and they don’t always give an accurate representation of what can be achieved. When attending consultation ask your practitioner if they have any images of a similar treatment performed that they can show you.
And lastly, you and your chosen practitioner should communicate about realistic results and your expectations. This should be very clear from the outset.
5. What are the possible side effects of fillers?
It’s normal to experience some minor side effects after a dermal filler procedure. Some of the more common side effects can include any of the following:
· Mild swelling
· Some bruising
· Slight pain/discomfort at the injection sites
Luckily, the above side effects are not long-lasting.
More severe risks are also possible although thankfully these are much less common! Severe side effects can include an allergic response, an infection or even a vascular occlusion (where filler is injected into an artery or vein).
It is important that you are aware of the possible side effects and complications and that you monitor the treated areas after your aesthetic treatment, just in case. Any changes should be reported back to your treating practitioner – for example any heat, redness, change in colour, new onset pain. Basically, any concern you have is a concern to get checked.
6. How much do dermal fillers cost?
Price does vary considerably and it is important to remember that you are not only paying for the dermal filler but also the time and experience of your chosen practitioner and clinical environment. The cheaper prices around tend to be offered by the less experienced practitioners or those using cheaper/new to the market dermal fillers. There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s just important to consider when you are comparing prices.
If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is! Don’t be lured in by the ‘special offers’, free filler competitions and so on. If it’s cheap, or reduced or on a special offer then you should really ask yourself why.
7. How long will dermal filler results last?
With time, your body naturally breaks down hyaluronic acid fillers. Dermal Fillers can last on average between 4 and 18 months. This does vary dependant on the area that the dermal filler has been placed. It also varies from one individual to another and will depend on your general health and wellbeing. Generally, you can maintain the look of your dermal fillers by having repeat/touch up treatments once or twice per year.