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Are Dermal Fillers Safe?

As we age, our skin changes; fine lines form, wrinkles appear and we began to notice blemishes on our skin surface; all mainly due to the loss of collagen and elasticity in the skin. While ageing brings maturity, no one likes the signs of aging showing on our face and body!

For decades, one of the best and proven reverse aging treatment has been fillers. In experienced hands and with the right dermal filler type and dosage, dermal fillers can do wonders for anyone of any gender, age and skin conditions.

The key is in using the right filler for your skin condition and lifestyle. Over years, dermal fillers have been proven safe, effective and long lasting.

About dermal fillers

Dermal fillers treatment refers to the injection of substances beneath the surface of the skin in order to fill up hollowed areas, smoothen wrinkles and fine lines and to lift sagging skin.

So what do dermal fillers do and what are the types available?

There are various types of fillers available, and the current two (2) major classes are HA (Hyaluronic Acid) and non-HA.
Non-Hyaluronic Acid are the bio-stimulators such as Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA), Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) and PolyCaproLactone (PCL).
To date, hyaluronic acid is the most commonly known filler.

Use of dermal fillers

The uses of dermal fillers are mainly for treating varying signs of aging. Effects of fillers and their lasting is dependent on the specific type used. Hence seek professional advice to help you determine the best filler for your needs, whether it is for plumping up thin lips, enhancing or to fill in a shallow area on the face, decrease or to remove shadow and wrinkles (eye-bag) under the eyes. Dermal fillers is capable to fill-in or soften the look of recessed scars as well.

Are dermal fillers safe?

This is a common question asked by those who are considering dermal filler treatments. And the answer is, depends.
Dermal fillers are relatively safe but as the treatment involves injections, related side effects which can occur includes tenderness, swelling, bruising and in worse cases, infections. However these are mild reactions and will resolve in days. In the hands of an experienced and skilful doctor there should be no complications.

Different fillers yield different results so a patient should seek professional medical advice before deciding on getting fillers done.
Be sure to research and select a doctor who is well-versed in using that certain dermal filler, as then he/she would possess the ability to bring out the best results with it.

Safety and risks of each type:

While dermal fillers are safe, we cannot ignore the side effects that might occur after a treatment. Skin rash, itching, pimple-like eruptions, redness, bruising, bleeding or swelling, undesirable appearance, skin damage, ability to feel the filler substance under surface of skin, blindness or other vision problem and death of skin cells are some of the varied side effects for each type of dermal fillers.

Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA)

Calcium hydroxylapatite is a natural mineral-like compound substances that are commonly found in human bones. It treats moderate-to-severe creases such as nasolabial folds, marionette lines and frown lines, enhancing fullness of the cheeks and other facial contours, and improve volume in area facial wasting (can occur in HIV positive where they need to take certain medicine). This type of filler is known to produce a very natural result with minimal side effects. One of the reason for its popularity is because it is bio-synthetically produced. As that means that no animals or animal products are being used, the risk of allergic reaction are lower.
An example of Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA) is Radiesse.

Hyaluronic Acid (HA)

Hyaluronic acid is great for improving skin contour and for reducing depressions in the skin due to scars, injury or lines. It is naturally produced by your body and thus does not activate much side effects. An advantage of HA is the option of “reversing” the effects if there are unsatisfactory results. You can request your doctor to inject hyaluronidase to breakdown the previous HA filler and in time, it will naturally secreted from your body.
Examples of HA fillers are Belotero (Balance, Intense, Volume, Hydro, Soft), Restylane, Teosyal and Juvederm.

Poly-L-lactic Acid (PLLA)

Poly-L-lactic acid is biocompatible (meaning it is safe to use in the body) and is classified as a biodegradable synthetic substance. Its application as a filler is quite recent, though it has been used in medicine for a number of years including in devices such as dissolvable stitches. Classified as “collagen stimulators” due to the acid’s capability to smoothen out fine lines by helping your skin rebuild natural collagen—the filler gel, it self -dissipates a few days after treatment.
Poly-L-lactic acid is also used to treat deeper facial wrinkles, and results can last for more than 2 years.
FDA approved Poly-L-lactic acid fillers include Sculptra® Aesthetic.

** CaHA and PLLA both possess biostimulatory properties. However, CaHA lacks long-lasting results and for PLLA, immediate effect.

Last but not least is PolyCaproLactone (PCL), another collagen biostimulator. It revitalise collagen production and combines durability with immediate outcome, making it superior to CaHa and PLLA.
Ellanse is a PCL biostimulator and it had been well-documented to be safe and efficacious.

Risks and precautions

Current dermal fillers in the market has been scientifically documented and backed up with comprehensive studies that support its safety and efficacy. Dermal fillers, in particular HA fillers contains substances that occur naturally in the body, and thus the risk of allergic reaction is minimal.
As long as you seek qualified medical advice, and had thoroughly discussed your condition and medical history with your doctor, there is little to worry about adverse effects that could result from dermal filler injections.

Conclusion/ Final Thoughts

Although injection of dermal filler into the face may seem simple, it is not. Without training and experience, a doctor may cause permanent serious damage to your face. Only trained, qualified doctors can ensure that your procedure is done safely and properly
Do not be swayed by low prices. You have one face for the rest of your life, and is it not worth risking of disfigurement for the sake of some savings.
Injectables are best handled by certified doctors, not beauticians or beauty therapists.

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