What are fillers?
Dermal fillers are a type of minimally invasive treatment approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enhance facial volume, minimize deep-set wrinkles, and smoothen skin.
Dermal fillers can generally be classified into 3 categories:
- Temporary Fillers
Such fillers tend to last up to 1 year and are generally made of hyaluronic acid, a naturally-occurring substance in our bodies that keeps our skin supple and hydrated.
- Temporary Fillers
- Semi-Permanent Fillers
Such fillers tend to last between 1 to 2 years. Like temporary fillers, they are also made of hyaluronic acid, but also include a silicone derivative for longer-lasting results.
- Semi-Permanent Fillers
- Permanent Fillers
Permanent fillers tend to last more than 3 years.
What can be improved with fillers?
Fillers can be injected into many parts of the body, and the different types of fillers available include:
- Cheek fillers
- Chin fillers
- Eyebrow fillers
- Forehead fillers
- Lip fillers
- Nose fillers
- Under eye fillers
Some of the more common uses for fillers include the treating of:
- Deep facial lines: Nasolabial lines (laughing lines), marionette lines
- Volume loss: tear troughs, cheeks
- Face augmentation: lips, nose shaping
How do fillers work?
Fillers increase the tissue layers that they are injected into, causing increased volume in the injected area, and can have different effects depending on the desired outcome.
Nose fillers, lip fillers, and chin fillers are generally the more popular choices for the augmentation of your facial features, while cheek fillers are useful in reducing the appearance of hollow or sunken cheeks. Under eye fillers, forehead fillers, as well as laughing line fillers, are effective in reducing wrinkles or fine lines – some of the more common signs of aging.
What can I expect during the procedure?
Just before the injection, either a topical anaesthetic cream or a regional nerve block injection will be applied to the treatment area. Once the area has been adequately anaesthetized, the filler will be safely injected into your skin. The effect is immediate with little to no downtime.
Are there any side effects?
Common side effects can include redness and swelling, which should subside a few hours after the injection. Rarer side effects include bruising, which should subside within 3 days.
To reduce the occurrence and severity of such side effects, any substance that can hinder blood clotting should be avoided. The usage of proper topical medications and cold compresses can also help to relieve minor side effects.
Are there any cautions I should take before or after the procedure?
7 – 10 days before the procedure, you should avoid taking any medication that can hinder blood clotting, such as:
- Fish oil or Omega-3s
- Ginkgo biloba
- Vitamin E
After your filler procedure, take care not to rub, massage, or use force over the injected area. Abstain from other facial treatments, saunas, and high-impact sports for at least a week.
Are fillers safe?
Approved fillers have been used in the aesthetic industry for a number of years and have proven to have an excellent safety record. They have also been used widely in other medical uses, such as in dissolvable stitches.
To minimise any complications that could arise, it is advisable to undergo your filler procedure with an experienced doctor.
What should I look out for in a filler?
Some properties in an ideal filler include:
- Safety: the filler chosen for your treatment should have non-carcinogenic properties
- Effectiveness and durability
- Non-migratory: the filler should ideally stay in place where it is injected
- Physiological properties: the filler should ideally be made of substances naturally found in the body to increase your body’s probability of accepting the filler
Given the many types of fillers available in Singapore, it is advisable to consult Dr. Kok, who will assess your skin condition, understand your concerns, and recommend a filler best suited for the areas that you would like treated.
What is the difference between fillers and botulinum toxin injections?
Although both procedures address concerns relating to facial aging and involve injections, botulinum toxin injections temporarily stop muscle movements that result in the formation of wrinkles. However, they lack the plumping, smoothing effect that fillers have.
Am I a suitable candidate for fillers?
Most people are suitable candidates for fillers, especially those who are looking to combat mild to moderate signs of aging or enhance their facial appearances.