What are Dermal Fillers?
As people age, wrinkles commonly appear on the face. These may occur because of heredity, the movement of facial muscles, sun exposure, and other factors. Many people would like to get rid of wrinkles. Dermal fillers are substances that are injected into fine to moderate wrinkles in order to “fill them up” and reduce their appearance. There are several different substances available, each with its own risks and benefits. Please view the page for each filler to learn more about it.
If you’re choosing injections of dermal fillers, make sure you’re choosing it because you really want it, not to please someone else or to fit an imagined ideal. No one else can make the choice for you; it’s your body, and you’re in charge of it. After you do your research and understand the procedure, if you believe that dermal fillers are right for you, then proceed. To help you in your decision-making process, we have some information about the risks and benefits of having injections with dermal fillers. Each filler has its own page:
Please note that this page is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for qualified, individualized medical advice. You should discuss your potential elective procedure with your own doctor(s), including your primary care physician and the doctor who will perform your procedure if you decide to proceed.
How it’s done
Anesthesia is not always necessary for injection of dermal fillers, but it may be preferred by some people. The needle for the injections is somewhat larger than the extremely fine needle for botox, and the associated sensation of the injection is also greater. There are several options for local anesthesia. One is a numbing cream, which needs to be applied about an hour before the injection, covered with plastic, and left on until very close to the time of injection. Another option is the application of cold, which will cause temporary numbness. Lastly, local anesthetic may be injected with a very small, fine needle, which is less painful than the needle for the dermal filler. However, there is also the option of skipping the anesthesia altogether and simply tolerating the sensation of dermal filler injection.
The provider, who may be a plastic surgeon or a trained nurse, will first evaluate your face to determine where injections of dermal fillers would be appropriate. Sometimes, areas on your face are marked for treatment planning purposes. Next, the areas to be injected are thoroughly cleaned. If you’re receiving local anesthesia, it will be injected at this time; if cold is being used for anesthesia, it will be applied for a few minutes at this time. Then the dermal filler will be injected. The result will be evaluated, and more filler may be injected if the provider deems it necessary. Once the desired effect has been reached and treatment is finished, you may be offered an ice pack for your comfort.
Preparing for the procedure
Choosing your doctor
While cosmetic dermatology procedures may be offered at spas and beauty salons, they’re actually technical procedures that should be performed by qualified medical professionals. Your provider should have the degree MD (Medical Doctor), or should be an RN (Registered Nurse) or PA (Physician’s Assistant) who is under the direct supervision of an MD. Ideally, this doctor should be trained and board-certified in either plastic surgery or dermatology.
When you go to a doctor’s clinic for your procedure, be aware that the doctor whose name is on the clinic may not be directly involved in your treatment; you may never even meet him or her. Sometimes, the doctor doesn’t even stay at the clinic during the day! For safety reasons, it’s best to have an MD on-site who has examined you personally. This is because while the risks from these procedures are small, adverse reactions can and do happen, so you want someone present who can deal with problems if they do arise. When you call to schedule an appointment, ask who will be performing the procedure and whether a qualified physician will be present in the clinic during the procedure.
For more help in your search for a cosmetic dermatologist, visit our How to Find the Best Cosmetic Dermatologist page. At Doctor Review, you can also search providers for patient reviews to help you find the very best.
Getting ready for the procedure
If you would like to use numbing cream for local anesthesia, you will need to get the cream ahead of time and apply it about an hour before your injection. After putting on the cream, you should cover it with plastic wrap or another impermeable covering, and leave it on until the procedure. Other than that, there is no need for any preparation for dermal filler injection.
The injected areas may have some bruising, swelling, or redness right after the procedure. This will usually resolve within a few days. You can resume normal activities immediately after your dermal filler treatment.