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Fillers have been used since ancient times when various forms of waxes were injected under the skin. More recently, modern use of fillers started with the use of collagen derived from animals. The most successful products however have been the hyaluronic acid fillers which have been around for the last ten years. Popular brands for this product are Restylane, Juvederm, Teosyal, and Esthelis. 

What are Fillers?

Fillers are products that are injected in or under the skin to treat lines and deeper furrows or to enhance certain desirable facial characteristics, such as cheeks or lips.

Hyaluronic Acid Fillers

Hyaluronic acid is a substance found extensively in our bodies, localized mainly in our skin and joints. It is a very clear crystalline gel that acts as one of the substances that add support and volume to our skin and helps with the lubrication of joints. Hyaluronic acid fillers are synthesized totally in a laboratory to look chemically exactly like human hyaluronic acid. As such there are no concerns about allergy as the body sees the substance as belonging to the body, as opposed to collagen or other foreign or animal derived substances.

Hyaluronic acid fillers work by creating volume in or under the skin. Within the skin it can lift fine lines to soften or eliminate their appearance. Deeper in or under the skin they can lift deeper skin furrows or even enhance areas of the face. Cheek bones, cheek hollows, lips, laugh lines and drooping mouth corners can be corrected this way and restore ones face to a more youthful look.

Pre-Treatment Procedure Care:

  • Try to avoid taking Aspirin or similar products (e.g. Advil & Aleve) for approximately 4-5 days before procedure.
  • Be prepared for some swelling and possibly bruising in the injected area as each person reacts differently. (cold packs are supplied to apply to the treated area.
  • If there is a history of cold sores, it is advisable to begin preventative treatment.

Before the treatment the skin is anaesthetized or "frozen". A freezing cream may be used on the skin, or for the areas around the mouth, including the lips, a dental type of freezing may be used as when a dentist freezes for filling a decayed tooth. No pain killers are needed after the treatment.

Post-treatment Procedure Care:

  • Do not rub or massage the injected areas.
  • Apply a cold pack or compress to reduce swelling and/or bruising to the injected area.
  • For lip injections avoid using a straw, & drinking from a bottle, no intense kissing for 3-4 days following procedure.
  • For any other concerns, please contact your treatment provider.

The effects of filler treatments can be very dramatic, considering that there is no surgery involved, and therefore none of the risks of surgery. There are some expected side effects, however, that one should plan for when getting fillers.

After the treatment there is some swelling of the treated area that lasts less than 24 hours, and can be minimized by using cool compresses on the treated areas. There may be some bruising that can last 1 or 2 days, and can be covered with cover up make up. Cheek augmentation or treatment of any deficiencies around the eye area can cause a bruise resembling a "black eye", but which again could be covered up with cover up makeup. This particular effect may last about one week.

The results last between six months to a year or more depending on the product and depending on the area injected. Some long-term studies show that a small percentage of the filler's effect remains permanently, as it stimulates the body's own collagen to replace some of the treated area. That is why over time smaller amounts injected are needed to maintain beneficial effects.