With ageing facial volume is lost, particularly around the cheeks, eyes and jowls. Wrinkle formation follows. Facial volume can be easily restored with a filler gel made of Hyaluronic acid (HA). Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance (a complex sugar) that stabilises the skin structure, attracts and binds water, and contributes to the elastic properties of the skin that allow it to remain tight. Injections of Hyaluronic acid into the skin are thought to replenish its natural support structures damaged by aging. HA is commonly used to restore facial volume in areas such as the cheeks and the lips and to fill wrinkles.
Over time, fillers are gradually and naturally degraded in the human body. Depending on the filler used, the effect generally lasts for between six and nine months and in some circumstances longer. Follow-up treatments are needed to maintain the effects of cosmetic fillers. Sometimes a “refinement” treatment is needed soon after a session to make small adjustments.
Usually a local anaesthetic injection will be administered thought a very fine needle before the injection of the filler. This will ensure a comfortable experience. The filler itself also often contains local anaesthetic. Your doctor will inform you exactly which filler has been prescribed for your treatment and how it will be used.
It is important to enter all cosmetic treatments with realistic expectations. Your doctor is the best source of guidance for what can be expected from your treatment.
Any management strategy for volume restoration and wrinkle management must include a quality skin care regime, avoidance of excessive sun and pollution exposure and avoiding smoking. Wrinkles can also be managed in some circumstances with chemical peels, laser and IPL (intense pulsed light). Each of these are used in specific clinical conditions. Your doctor is the best source of information.
You should avoid taking any medicine or supplements that might increase your chance of bruising or bleeding for a week before and a day after your treatment. The commonest offenders are Aspirin, Anti- inflammatory medication, Vitamin E and Fish Oil. Please consult your usual practitioner regarding regular medication to be sure it is safe to withhold.
After your treatment with fillers you should avoid the following to maximize your benefit:
- Avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight, UV light, freezing temperatures or using saunas, Turkish baths or facial waxing for two weeks
- Avoid massaging and/or putting pressure on the injection for a few days
Injections of fillers can cause some of the risks listed below. Although the risk of developing a serious complication is small, your doctor will monitor you closely, and, should a complication occur you should contact them so they can use their best medical judgment to do whatever is necessary to treat the problem.
Risks associated with the use of fillers include pain, redness, swelling, bruising, tenderness or itching sensation in the treated area. These common side effects typically resolve within a few days. Occasional cases of bumps and pimples, sometimes accompanied by redness, may occur a few days to a few weeks after the injection. These common side effects are temporary and generally disappear spontaneously in a few days. Very rare cases of reversible discolouration at the injection sites and allergic reaction have also been described after Hyaluronic acid injections. In addition, rare cases of infection and abscess (hard and swollen sore that may contain pus), granuloma (small accumulation of tissue) and blocking of blood vessels causing damage to surrounding skin have been reported. If you experience any inflammatory or other reactions that last more than 1 week, you should notify your doctor immediately. If necessary, appropriate treatment may be prescribed.
If you have previously had a filler treatment (permanent or non-permanent) you should notify your doctor prior to receiving further treatment. The possibility of unknown risks exists. The safety of fillers for use during pregnancy, in breastfeeding females or in patients under 18 years has not been established and therefore they should not be used under these circumstances. Please notify your doctor if you have epilepsy, porphyria (enzyme disorder), any allergies (including hypersensitivity to hyaluronic acid or lignocaine), an autoimmune disease, a tendency to develop keloid scarring or are taking any medications (including anti-coagulant treatment or aspirin), herbal or vitamin supplements. Injection treatments are best avoided if there is local skin infection in the area to be treated.