I’m considering a dermal filler to help smooth the lines and wrinkles on my face. I’m a woman, 58 years old, and I don’t have any significant sun damage. What’s my best choice?
That will depend on several factors: how pronounced your lines and wrinkles are, any allergies that might react with the ingredients in the filler, and where you want to see improvement.
If you’re looking to ease “lines of expression” that form because of muscle action beneath the skin, a dermal filler is not your best choice. The underlying muscle will continue to cause repeated motions that will bring those lines back quickly. A muscle relaxing injection will be a better answer.
For the lines and wrinkles that simply form with the passage of time, as the face loses collagen and volume, there are a number of dermal fillers that will do a fine job.
Most popular are the hyaluronic acid fillers like those in the Juvéderm line, Restylane, or Perlane. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the human body. These products are approved for treating moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds, and effects last six months to a year.
Fillers can also be made of synthetic materials, substances that do not occur naturally in the skin. These include Radiesse and Sculptra. Addressing deep lines and folds, they sometimes have longer-lasting effects than hyaluronic acid fillers, and all have similar side effects of redness, swelling, and/or bruising at the injection site.
Collagen wrinkle fillers were among the first dermal fillers developed, and while their effects are not as long-lasting, the results may look more natural than those delivered by other fillers. These fillers are effective on the small lines that form around the lips (bleeding lipstick lines), the lines that form between the nose and the corners of the mouth, crow’s feet, frown lines, and lines on the forehead.
Finally, there are fillers that make use of fat or other tissue taken from another part of your own body. They are not commonly used, but these fillers can treat fine lines and creases on your face, and results can be permanent in some cases.
Keep in mind, though, that none of these fillers halts or reverses the aging process. Natural changes over time will require additional treatment to maintain our smoother appearance.
Written by Dr. Halaas