1. Hyaluronic acid, an all-natural component found in the skin
At Accent on Skin, we use dermal fillers made of hyaluronic acid, which is naturally found in the skin. Thanks to its ability to store moisture, hyaluronic acid is what gives your skin a plump and hydrated look. Hyaluronic acid fillers are a gel-like substance that creates volume in the skin. Once injected, they begin to integrate into the substance of the skin, attracting water molecules and hydrating the surrounding tissue.
Whilst other types of filler exist, they are less popular as they are non-reversible. This is a major disadvantage because these fillers cannot be dissolved in the event of complications.
2. Botulinum toxin and dermal fillers, similar yet different
Both are used to improve or prevent the signs of ageing, but fillers and muscle relaxants are very different. While fillers are typically used to restore facial volume and plump the skin, Botox or Dysport (brand names for botulinum toxin A) temporarily block nerve signals in the muscles where it’s injected, to restrict movement and treat lines and wrinkles in your skin caused by movement, such as frowning or squinting.
3. Dermal fillers used to treat facial lines as well as enhance facial features
Fillers were first used to treat facial lines and deep creases in order to improve signs of ageing. More recently, fillers are also used to define and enhance facial features, such as creating sharper cheekbones and more defined jawlines. Filler can also be used on other parts of the body such as the neck and hands to rejuvenate skin appearance.
4. Commonly injected in different areas of face in different ways
Fillers are a gel-like substance that are injected into different areas of the face and skin. The depth of injection and consistency of the filler dictates the results that will be achieved: deep injections with firm fillers create volume and shape to the face, mid-depth injections with medium-firm fillers reduce the appearance of creases and deep wrinkles, whereas superficial injections into the dermis with soft fillers help to smooth out fine lines and plump and hydrate the skin.
It is also worth noting that fillers can be injected in different ways: using a needle or a cannula. A cannula is a blunt tube that deposits filler underneath the skin and can be used to treat any area of the face, in particular the tear troughs, cheeks, or jawline.
5. Natural and expected results are achievable with Fillers
Almost all of our clients shudder at the thought of looking “fake” and this often puts people off ever considering having filler treatments. In reality, it is practically impossible to “over-do” fillers in a single cautious treatment. Where things can go wrong is, when people keep adding filler over numerous sessions until their results look disproportionate and unnatural.
It is our responsibility as the aesthetic practitioner to guide our clients away from treatments that will give poor aesthetic or clinical results. It’s therefore important to spend some time with us before your treatment discussing your goals to make sure we understand your aims.
At Accent on Skin it’s essential to understand that we work with you to achieve your results. We won’t give you “trout pout” or “hamster cheeks”, you won’t walk out looking like you’re ready to sign up for MAFs!
The results following a filler treatment will always vary from person to person and the areas treated. It is normal for there to be some swelling and possibly even some bruising for a few days after facial fillers, but generally you will see an immediate difference in volume and shape of the treated area. The results tend to improve as the swelling settles and the filler begins to sit more naturally in the skin. This may take around two weeks.
It is important to consider the timing of your treatment, do not have treatment immediately before an important event, you want to allow time for the filler to settle.
6. Result may last from 6 to 18 months, depending on type of fillers used
Every face is different and this will depend significantly on the type of filler used and where it was injected. Deep fillers, used to replace volume and mimic bone structure, should last 12-18 months (sometimes longer). Medium depth filler, used to mimic superficial fat and improve creases, or in lips generally lasts 9-12 months. Light filler used for fine lines and plump the skin lasts the shortest around 6 months.
7. The best filler to use depends on the area to be treated
At Accent on Skin, we use both well-recognised brands Restylane and Teosyal. Ask us about our choice of filler for you and the area we are treating. It is important and reassuring to understand the physical properties of the filler, and how it is suited to the area being treated. For example, if we are treating the lips, you would want a soft and elastic filler that can move smoothly with the natural movement of the lips.
Fillers are considered a medical device in New Zealand and unfortunately have few restrictions or regulations. As such, we often look towards the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States for guidance on filler use and safety. In order for fillers to gain FDA approval, the pharmaceutical company must prove safety as well as efficacy. Both Restylane and Teosyal dermal fillers have been approved for use by the FDA.
8. Do your research and feel free to ask questions
Ask as many questions as you need to prior to treatment, and you can always go away and think about the treatment if you need more time. Make sure you are fully confident and at ease with us. Sometimes seemingly awkward questions about qualifications, training and experience are good ways of sussing out if your practitioner is someone who is able to put you at ease.
And on that note, make sure you are seeing a registered health practitioner (registered nurse or doctor). Unfortunately, in New Zealand, fillers are considered a “medical device” and are unregulated, meaning that anyone, including you, could inject it with no consequences.
Ask us what filler will be used and the reasons for that choice, how much will be injected, what technique of injection will be used (needle or cannula?), how long will the results likely last and if there are any risks and side effects. It’s also worth asking about alternatives to filler treatment, as there may be an alternative treatment option that may be right for you.
Finally, and importantly, ask what can be done if things go wrong. Can we treat filler complications? Are we able to dissolve your filler if needed? What protocols do we have in place to manage these? Do we have emergency equipment on site?
9. Less is usually more and better
When it comes to fillers, less is more – subtle and natural. Not only should filler be almost invisible to the eye but if done correctly shouldn’t feel as though it is there. Medical developments have improved fillers to the point that the best ones are those that go undetected. They should enhance natural features, rather than drastically change them. At Accent on Skin, we understand how to inject and place fillers in a way that makes them look more natural.
Hyaluronic acid fillers integrate with the skin and form part of the natural architecture of the dermis. This process takes approximately one month. Once integrated, you will not be able to feel that there is filler in the skin. It is always possible to add more filler later and you should never feel pressured to have more than what you are comfortable with.
10. Not the result you wanted? It’s not the end of the world!
Please keep in mind that filler can take up to one month to fully settle. At Accent on Skin, we always offer a free follow-up appointment to review your treatment. In most cases, you can usually have things adjusted or dissolved if necessary. Hyaluronic acid fillers are naturally broken down by the skin.
On average, this process takes 12-18 months but it does depend on the filler used and area treated. Areas with little muscular movement or tension such as the tear troughs, temples or jawline tend to last well; whereas areas with more movement or tension such as the lips, nose and cheeks will tend to last less.
11. Know the risks of using fillers over a long period of time, if any
As hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in the body, it is accepted by our bodies as being natural – there is no evidence to suggest that long-term use is at all damaging. In fact, long-chains of hyaluronic acid such as those found in fillers are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
12. Cheaper isn’t always better
You can’t expect designer clothes that last from Kmart, and the same goes for cosmetic medicine. Though it may be tempting to go with a cosmetic treatment that’s on the cheaper side of the spectrum, it’s not always the safest route to take. Dermal filler treatments with genuine products usually start at around $650.
13. Ensure that you’re the ideal candidate before getting the treatment
It’s important to understand that dermal fillers are not for everyone or every circumstance. They are not suitable for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. They are also not suitable for those who may be sick with any type of infection, as infection could spread to the injection site, regardless of how distant the infection is.
If you are considering getting dermal fillers, it’s essential you have your up-to-date medical history discussed with us to ensure that the treatment is right for you.
At Accent on Skin, our aim is to give you a beautiful and natural result. For more personalised information, feel free to reach out to us.