How to Choose a Dermal Filler

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Dermal fillers can restore fullness and reduce wrinkles around the mouth and lips, lessening the appearance of facial lines, acne and other scars in a natural-looking way. The cost of fillers, and how long their effects last, varies widely. Injected into the skin in a doctor's office with minimal recovery time, dermal fillers have become increasingly popular, with a broad range of products offering an effective and cost-effective alternative to cosmetic surgery.

Take a good look at your face to decide on the areas that might benefit from a dermal filler. When skin ages, it may start to sag or wrinkle, losing volume. Dermal fillers restore fullness, and it may be used to soften vertical lines between the eyes and above the lips ("smoker's lines"), lessen the lines extending from the nose to the mouth, reverse "frown lines" around the mouth, add volume to lips, and fill in acne and other scars. Once you have identified the areas that you might want to treat, you can decide on the dermal filler that might work best for you.

Understand the differences between dermal fillers. There are several types of temporary fillers: collagen (which lasts 3 to 6 months), fillers based on hyaluronic acid (which last up to a year), and those which use either calcium hydoxylapatite or poly-lactic acid, which can last up to 2 years or longer. The longer-lasting fillers tend to be more expensive.

Know the procedure for dermal fillers. After a physician applies a topical numbing cream (or injects a small amount of anesthetic), dermal fillers are injected with a tiny needle into lines, wrinkles and scars. If a patient experiences pain, it is usually mild and goes away soon. Side effects of fillers may include bruising, allergic reactions, bacterial infections and others.

Consult with a physician to determine the best filler for you. Most practitioners offer free consultations, and because new fillers come out frequently, a good professional will be able to inform you on expected results and possible side effects of different dermal fillers.

Consider the factors involved in choosing a dermal filler: price, longevity and effectiveness in addressing specific cosmetic issues. An informed decision may increase your overall satisfaction with the procedure and results.

Tips & Warnings

  • The effects of almost all dermal fillers used today are temporary. Even if you are not satisfied with the results, they will go away eventually. Talk to friends who have used dermal fillers to find a good practitioner. If you do not feel comfortable enough with a physician to freely ask questions, consult with another. A busy practice often signifies practitioners with a lot of experience, who have satisfied patients and fresh dermal filler. Look for one.
  • Avoid practitioners who are significantly less expensive than others. Dermal fillers are a fixed cost for physicians; if a deal sounds too good to be true, avoid it. Avoid practitioners who are aggressive about trying to get you to fill more areas, or use more filler.

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