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Do Fillers Ruin Your Face?

Fillers get a bad press as being responsible for turning celebrities into puffy, feline, pillow-faced caricature versions of themselves. We asked one of Glowday's AMAZING experts, Dr Brony Elder, a dentist, clinical trainer and aesthetics practitioner at Ametrine Aesthetics, to tell us honestly, will fillers ruin your face?

The taboo surrounding dermal fillers is still very present today, however a shift is occurring in people's perception of what filler is and who has fillers.

What are dermal fillers?

In 2021 the market of dermal fillers is booming. There are so many brands out there, some reputable and others not so much. I’m going to focus on hyaluronic acid dermal fillers. The purpose of dermal filler is generally to smoothen, lift, hydrate and add volume to the tissues of the body and face. The varying different brands and products available come in different formulations, but it is important to understand what filler is, and how they work within the tissues of the face. Hyaluronic acid is naturally found within the body, and simply put is the body’s own natural form of moisture. Dermal filler production uses the long strands of this molecule and chains them together in a process called cross linking. This creates a gel. These gels differ in stiffness, and this is important as a very stiff gel dermal filler that could be used within the cheeks would not be suitable to be used in the lips.

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How are dermal fillers used?

Dermal fillers are specifically injected into sites of the face to add volume, enhance or to reduce wrinkles and lines. The product must be injected safely with regards to the following:

  • The correct depth: if a dermal filler is placed too superficially there could be complications involved such as lumps or a blueish tinge that can be seen through the skin. If injected too deep, the effects may not be noticeable.
  • The correct method: practitioners use a range of methods to inject dermal filler. This could be with a fine needle or could be using a micro-cannula which is a flexible tube with a blunt end that slides through tissue safely.
  • The safest positioning: the facial anatomy is highly complex, the many components of the face include: skin, muscle, bone, fat, arteries, veins and nerves to name a few. Any practitioner who is injecting into the tissues of the face need to be aware of this anatomy as complications can occur.
  • The correct preparation of the patient: undergoing a dermal filler treatment is a medical procedure. As a patient it is important that you are prepared for this such as avoiding alcohol for 24 hours, having something to eat prior to the appointment and other aspects which your practitioner will make you aware of.
  • Sterile injections: the practitioner will make sure that the skin to be injected is sterile and clean. If the surface of the skin is not cleaned appropriately this can lead to infections

Dr Bryony is also a clinical trainer for Acquisition Aesthetics teaching doctors, dentists and nurses foundation and advanced skills in facial aesthetics.

What treatment is right for you?

Any treatment should be underpinned by an excellent consultation that is led by the patient - you! You should guide the clinician into areas of concern or treatment outcome desires. Following this the clinician will devise a treatment plan based on careful facial assessment.

  • Symmetry: Features are initially assessed for symmetry, this identifies any areas which perhaps lack volume, shape or contour. This will be discussed and generally the symmetry will be treated initially to harmonise the features.
  • Facial proportions: The face is assessed both horizontally and vertically. These proportions are discussed with the patient and treatment is focused to restore desired proportions. This is essential to good and appropriate filler treatment. Generally the mid-face in females is typically where volume is lost through aging, and this will result in volume being gained in the lower facial third (from the base of the nose to the chin) this can result in the appearance of jowls and nose to mouth lines. Filling these regions with dermal filler can result in adding volume and the proportions, therefore, will not be in keeping with ideal proportions. Therefore adding dermal filler to the regions where volume initially was can lift and contour the face appropriately.
  • Skin: careful assessment of the skin and overlying tissues is an essential part of a good consultation. Without assessment of the skin’s texture, radiance, hydration and general quality could lead to poor results from dermal filler treatment. Therefore quite often clinicians may advise skin care in conjunction with any dermal filler treatment plan, to gain the best possible results.
  • Filler Choice: a practitioner will make a judgement as to which dermal filler is the most appropriate for your treatment. As dermal filler varies between brands and types, the clinician has to appropriately plan for the correct qualities such as thickness, strength, longevity and how dynamic the product is for the correct region. For example, in lip augmentation an appropriate product that is able to provide volume but not be so thick that the lips are rigid and not able to be dynamic in speech or eating.

This patient has had filler in her cheeks, tear troughs, lips and nasolabial folds (smile lines), by Dr Bryony, rejuvenating and refreshing without the pillow look!

So, will fillers ruin my face?

As a patient it is hugely important to do your research, ensuring that the practitioner you choose is appropriately trained in the treatments they are providing. As dermal filler treatment can have complications, your practitioner should be appropriately trained in management of complications, as without this experience this could lead to irreversible damage. Practitioners should thoroughly assess the face both at rest and dynamically and through this create a bespoke treatment plan and feed this back to the patient. This should include a rationale behind the treatments and an appropriate plan that is clear and easy to understand. Treatment should be provided as safely as possible and you should be supported throughout and after treatment.

So following the basic aspects above, no, fillers should not ruin your face, they should enhance, support and make you feel like the best version of yourself!

Dr Bryony used filler in this patient's cheeks, jaw, nasolabial folds and chin for a complete 'glow up'
If you're interested to find out how fillers can be used in your face to help you refresh and rejuvenate your appearance, why not see the practitioners offering dermal fillers near you - simply click here and search

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