There’s been loads of talk of dermal fillers in the last few years, and you may have decided you want to give them a go. But before you rush out and get fillers to minimise the look of lines, reshape your nose, plump up lips or cheeks, or add definition to your jawline, there are several things you should know. Let me fill you in - sorry couldn’t resist!
Botox or fillers? What do you really want?
So, it really depends on the area you want to target. Dermal fillers work well on those pesky static lines - think marionette, nasolabial, laugh lines and tear trough lines, as well as the cheeks, neck and jowl area. If you are looking to reduce the appearance of dynamic lines (those that are caused by repeated expressions), such as 11s, forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet, you’ll more than likely need to consider Botox (botulinum toxin) rather than fillers.
Is your dermal filler practitioner medically qualified?
Ok, so this is a big one. There are so many people out there who claim to be able to perform dermal filler treatments, but in fact it takes real skill and a medical background to be able to do it safely and effectively.
Do your research before booking directly with a practitioner to see what their qualifications are. If they are a non-medically trained practitioner who has done a weekend or online course, steer clear.
If someone is offering a filler treatment that is a much lower price than others, this should be enough to start the warning bells. A couple of old sayings come straight to mind here: “You get what you pay for” and “Buy cheap, buy twice” - you may find yourself having to shell out extra money for someone to fix a botched job.
What type of dermal fillers are there?
There are various types of dermal fillers, including lip fillers - to plump or reshape lips, cheek fillers - giving a younger, more plumped up appearance, anti-wrinkle fillers and liquid nose jobs (liquid rhinoplasty).
In the past, practitioners used permanent fillers such as collagen, but nowadays, the most common and popular type is hyaluronic acid (HA) based. This works well as HA is a substance that occurs naturally in the body.
What’s the recovery time after dermal fillers?
The great thing about fillers is that the recovery period is actually pretty short. You can go back to work the same day, and, after just two to three days, any swelling and redness should have diminished. So, no need to book lengthy holidays just to hide away - you can get straight back to your normal routine.
What are the side effects of dermal fillers?
Aside from localised swelling and redness (caused by the needle or cannula), some people notice mild bruising around the treated area after dermal fillers. In rare cases, some experience allergic reactions such as longer lasting swelling and redness, itching and bumps, and in really extreme cases, blindness can occur if a filler is incorrectly placed. So, we can’t stress enough just how crucial it is to choose a medically qualified and experienced practitioner.
If you suffer with cold sores or fever blisters, you might be more susceptible to a break out after dermal fillers, so take antiviral medication before your treatment to help reduce the chances of this happening.
Can you afford to keep getting dermal fillers?
While dermal fillers can give you a great look, what many people don’t realise is that to maintain this look, you need to repeat the procedure once every 6-24 months, and each treatment can cost from between £200 and £450 depending on the type and amount of filler you have. If you don’t repeat the treatment, your skin will return to the way it was before the original treatment. This can be expensive, so thinking carefully about whether you can afford to keep getting them is really important.
Do you have realistic expectations?
Dermal fillers are not intended to change your appearance, just enhance what you already have - and we’re all about staying as natural and as much like you as possible. So, if you’re expecting anything more than that, you could end up disappointed with the results. Speak to your practitioner about your expectations so that they can advise you on whether or not they are achievable.
Is there anything you should avoid before getting fillers?
In the week leading up to your dermal filler appointment, you should avoid taking ibuprofen and aspirin (although you can still take paracetamol if needed - phew!), vitamin E and fish oil supplements as these can all exacerbate bruising or bleeding. However, if you're taking any prsecribed medications that contain aspirin, do not stop taking it. Instead, make sure you chat with your GP or practitioner first.
If you’re pregnant, trying for a baby or breastfeeding, dermal fillers are not recommended. Always speak to your practitioner about when is a safe time to have them.
Check out our handy treatment guide for more on dermal fillers.