Have you begun to notice subtle changes to your face? Perhaps you’re developing ‘puppet lines’ at the corners of your mouth, or feel your cheeks are looking ‘flat,’ or maybe your lips seem to be shrinking before your eyes. Believe it or not, many of these visible signs of aging are due to volume loss from changes in bone, fat pads, and tissue.
Though it is difficult to reverse the impacts of aging directly in the bone, fat pads, and tissue, we can use dermal fillers to replace the volume that has been lost to help smooth lines, lift cheeks, and plump lips, restoring a more youthful appearance to the face. In this post, we answer some common questions about fillers, from what they do and what results look like to how long they last.
Answers to Your Top Questions
What exactly are dermal fillers?
Dermal fillers are gel-like substances that are injected under the skin to help address lost volume. There are a variety of filler products on the market, but here at White Orchid Spa, we use the JUVÉDERM® family of fillers made out of hyaluronic acid (HA).
HA is a sugar found naturally in our body that holds a thousand times its weight in water; by using HA in fillers, we can place the hyaluronic acid in the area of need, allowing it to draw in water and create a ‘filling’ effect. Since HA is something our bodies already produce, this type of filler is safe and appears very natural.
Why is there a ‘family’ of fillers?
Though we use JUVÉDERM, we choose a “member” of the ‘family,’ depending on the area being treated and the goal we’re seeking to achieve. There are many members included in the ‘family’ as each filler has unique properties and purpose. For example, JUVÉDERM VOLUMA® has a great lifting capacity that is wonderful for enhancing and defining the cheeks. On the other hand, JUVÉDERM Ultra has a lesser lifting capacity, which works very beautifully in the lips. Other fillers are more flexible, such as JUVÉDERM VOLLURE, which is designed to stretch and move with the animation of the face and is great for smile lines.
When you have a consultation, your nurse practitioner will customize a treatment for you utilizing different ‘members’ of the ‘family’ to achieve your goal. Injecting fillers is never a one-size-fits-all treatment, and having multiple options to choose from allows us to achieve the best results.
What to expect during a dermal filler treatment?
Just before the actual treatment, the area to be treated will be cleaned, and a topical anesthetic to numb the area may be applied. The JUVÉDERM filler contains lidocaine as well, which can minimize any discomfort felt. Once the area is prepared, your nurse practitioner will then inject the chosen filler product strategically beneath the skin. It does take multiple injections, but our goal is to keep the treatment as comfortable as possible!
You can also combine your dermal fillers with other anti-wrinkle treatments like BOTOX® for full face rejuvenation—it’s a procedure you may know as a liquid facelift.
When will I see results?
You can see the results immediately after receiving your injections. However, patients may experience mild bruising, swelling, and redness that will subside over the coming weeks. We recommend scheduling your treatment at least 2 weeks before an important and following your post-treatment instructions for the best results.
How soon can I wear makeup after JUVÉDERM injections?
Keeping the injection sites sterile for up to 24 hours after getting fillers is essential. Applying makeup during this time increases the risk of infection, so we recommend waiting a full day after your treatment before using makeup.
What should I avoid after getting fillers?
Fillers don’t involve downtime, but you should postpone the following activities for a couple of days after the injections:
Sun exposure: UV rays in sunlight can be incredibly damaging to the skin and can cause your dermal filler to break down more quickly. This is especially true during the first 2 or 3 days after your injections.
Hot showers, hot tubs, saunas: Heat accelerates the breakdown of fillers in the first 12 to 24 hours after getting injections.
Strenuous workouts: Excessive sweating caused by high-intensity exercise can irritate the skin, and significantly increasing your heart rate elevates your metabolism. This prevents your body from completely absorbing the filler.
Drinking: Consuming alcohol during the first 24 hours after your appointment thins the blood and slows the healing process. It might also cause your face to flush, which interferes with the filler settling into place.
Rubbing the treatment area: This can disturb the filler and cause it to migrate where it’s unwanted. You should also sleep on your back for the first 2 nights after getting fillers.
Swimming: If you swim for exercise, take a break for about 3 days. This falls into the category of both strenuous exercise and sun exposure. It can also risk infection.
How long do dermal filler results last?
Hyaluronic acid fillers typically last from 6 to 18 months. Injections in the lips and around the mouth area tend to wear out more quickly due to the increased mobility of the area. In comparison, injections placed more deeply with a denser product can last well over a year.
Will I look “overdone”?
Absolutely not! Here at White Orchid Spa, our nurse practitioners take a very natural approach; the goal is to restore volume that has been lost, not dramatically change your natural appearance. The best-placed filler is undetectable!