What are Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Fillers?
Hyaluronic Acid is a natural protein present in the skin, where it plays an important structural role. They offer a safe, quick and effective way of smoothing out wrinkles and folds. Hyaluronic Acid can also be used to enhance lips and shaping facial contours.
It was developed as a cosmetic treatment to improve facial features. When it’s injected into the skin it is naturally integrated into the tissue, adding volume. It can therefore be used to smooth out facial folds and wrinkles as well as to enhance lips, for example, producing a fuller or more pouting lip.
The major benefit of having dermal fillers is that improvement can be seen virtually immediately and lasts between 4-6 months. Actual results vary person to person and it is important to have realistic expectations of the treatment. This will be fully discussed during your consultation.
There are a number of different brands that all use hyaluronic acid and which one we use depends on the type of filler needed. All dermal fillers come as a clear gel, which is injected along the fold or wrinkle line into the skin in small amounts with a very fine needle. The different options will be fully discussed at your consultation.
How do they work?
When injected into skin it is naturally integrated into the tissue adding volume to it. It can therefore fill out defects or enhance the area it is injected into.
What can it be used for?
Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers were developed as a cosmetic treatment to improve various facial features. They can be used to smooth out facial folds and wrinkle lines. They can also be used to enhance lips, producing a fuller or more pouting lip. We now also use hyaluronic acid dermal fillers for contouring and enhancing cheeks to give a more youthful appearance.
How effective is it?
Most people who undergo treatment will see an improvement but some may not be totally satisfied with result. This is usually due to unrealistic expectations and rarely to the development of side effects. In trials looking specifically at patient satisfaction most report at least 80% patient satisfaction levels.
How quickly will it work?
A major benefit of hyaluronic acid dermal filler treatment is that improvement can be seen virtually immediately, there is no lengthy wait to see the result as with many other cosmetic procedures.
How long will it last?
This depends on many things, the cosmetic improvement should last between 4 – 6 months but it may be less initially. Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers degrade with time, how quickly this happens depends on how you look after your skin. It is very important to keep your skin well moisturised and avoid extremes of heat and cold. It is also important to reduce sun exposure use an SPF +30 and avoid smoking.
Can I repeat the treatment?
Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are an inert material so you can have further injections as soon as the cosmetic effect has worn off.
How is the treatment done?
Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers come as a clear gel, this is injected along the fold or wrinkle line into the skin in small amounts with a very fine needle. For the lip it is injected along the border to produce the pout or into the lip to provide a more fuller lip.
Is it painful?
For most wrinkles or skin folds no pain relief is necessary, you feel a sharp prick followed by stinging sensation. When enhancing lips or treating lines on the top lip a local anaesthetic is required. A topical anaesthetic will be prescribed to numb the lip tissue this will be applied approx. 45 minutes prior to procedure.
How long will it take?
The treatment itself is relatively quick and should take around 15-30 minutes.
What side effects will I see?
During the treatment you may get some bleeding at the injection sites. If you are using aspirin or any similar medication, be aware that these may increase the risk of bruising and bleeding at the injection site.
After the injection some common injection-related reactions may occur, such as swelling, redness, pain, itching, discoloration and tenderness at the implant site. They typically resolve within 24– 48 hours.
Other types of reactions are very rare, but about one in every 2,000 treated patients have experienced localized reactions thought to be of a hypersensitivity nature. These have usually consisted of swelling at the implant site, sometimes affecting the surrounding tissues.
Redness, tenderness and rarely acne-like formations have also been reported. These reactions have either started a few days after injection or after a delay of two to four weeks and have generally been described as mild to moderate and self-limiting, with an average duration of two weeks.
Very rarely one in every 15,000 treated patients may get a granuloma formation, this is where the skin becomes lumpy and inflamed. Some may even experience ulceration or urticaria.
If you have previously suffered from facial cold sores, there is a risk that the needle punctures could contribute to another eruption of cold sores.
What do I need to do before any treatment?
No special preparations are needed before treatment: we will however need you to remove any make up from the area to be treated. Avoiding aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen (nurofen) for a couple of days before treatment may reduce the risk of bruising, but this is not essential.
What precautions do I take after?
Avoid touching the treated area within the following 6 hours. After that, a light make-up can be applied and the area can be gently washed with soap and water. Until the initial swelling and redness have resolved, do not expose the treated area to intense heat (e.g. solarium and sunbathing) or extreme cold. Keep the area clean to avoid infection washing with soap and water will help – but there is no need for antiseptics or special creams.
Can anyone have treatment?
Hyaluronic acid dermal filler treatment is not recommended for anyone who is pregnant or breast feeding. It is not recommended within 2 weeks of laser treatment or chemical peeling. It is important that you wait until the skin has completely healed. Similarly it is wise not to have any other skin treatment after treatment for at least 2 weeks. Treatment is not recommended in any area where the skin is inflamed, infected or if you have any other active skin disease in the area to be treated.
How much will it cost?
The cost of treatment will depend on the amount of dermal filler and local anaesthetic we use to produce the desired effect and this is dependent on the area you want treating. The exact amount we need is difficult to judge without seeing you, but the receptionists would be able to give you a rough idea of the costs involved. Once we have seen and assessed you by a medical practitioner we will be able to give you a much more accurate figure.