Few aesthetic treatments are more popular these days than injectable fillers. But even as their popularity increases, misconceptions about fillers persist. For anyone looking for a cosmetic dermatologist in Houston, it’s important to separate fact from fiction regarding injectable fillers such as JUVÉDERM® and RESTYLANE®.
Before we tackle them, it’s helpful to understand what fillers are and how they work. A filler is an injectable gel-like substance that is designed to minimize certain lines and wrinkles by adding volume. Most fillers these days are made with hyaluronic acid, a substance that’s naturally found in the body which helps absorb water. BOTOX® Cosmetic, on the other hand, is not a filler. It’s a neuromodulator. It works by limiting the movement of tiny facial muscles which cause wrinkles to develop.
Now, on to those myths:
Myth 1: Anyone can perform cosmetic injections. The stories you may hear about disappointing results can often be traced back to an inexperienced or untrained injector. Choosing the right injector is crucial. Even though cosmetic injections seem like relatively simple procedures, they require precision and the ability to assess a patient’s individual needs based on facial anatomy. Injecting too much or too little of a filler can lead to unintended results, as can placing the injection in the wrong location.
Myth 2: Getting fillers is very painful. Years ago, filler injections could be fairly uncomfortable, depending on the patient’s pain tolerance. Now, however, virtually all fillers are formulated with an anesthetic called lidocaine, which takes away the sting of an injection. And topical numbing creams can be applied before the injections for anyone who wants an extra level of protection.
Myth 3: Your face will look fake after getting fillers. This is related to the first myth that anyone can perform filler injections. If your injector is inexperienced or ill-equipped to perform the treatments, then you may not be happy with the results. It may be that you don’t notice any difference — or you may look lumpy. Similarly, lip enhancement fillers require a delicate touch to avoid getting the dreaded “duck lips” that do appear unnatural. The goal of fillers is to create results that give your face a refreshed, but natural appearance, and that’s exactly what you’ll get in the care of an experienced injector.
Myth 4: The results are permanent. Fillers are lasting longer and longer. Certain products are approved by the FDA to last up to 2 years. But most fillers last between 6 months to a year, and they don’t produce permanent results. It’s also important to note that the results of hyaluronic acid-based fillers (which make up the vast majority of options) can be reversed. If a patient is unhappy with the outcome, a provider can inject hyaluronidase, an agent that dissolves the hyaluronic acid used in the filler.
Let’s close with a closer look at the results. In these before-and-after photos, you see a 55-year-old woman treated with JUVÉDERM to soften the “smile lines” or nasolabial folds: