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This treatment is currently only available at New Town Skin Cancer Centre.
Dermal fillers come in a variety of materials and are used to subtly improve the appearance of the ageing face by smoothing fine lines and wrinkles as well as replacing some of the volume loss that occurs as we lose fat from various parts of our face as we age. They can also be used to correct anatomical variants such as depressed nasal bridges and receding chins, and enhance aspects of a youthful face to create symmetry.
Dermal fillers can be used in areas where anti-wrinkle injections have effectively treated the “active” wrinkles but where resting wrinkles remain. These include the brow, crow’s feet around the eyes, creases around the mouth and nose, and lines around the forehead, lips and jaw. The treatment can also enhance the lips and reshape the chin.
These treatments are temporary because they are eventually absorbed by the body and the process is reversible.
Types of dermal fillers
The original filling material was derived from collagen, but in the past 15 years there have been huge technology advances in this area with most filling material now being sourced from naturally occurring substances found in the human body. They are classified as temporary, semi-permanent or permanent.
The products we use are from reputable companies based in Australia, FDA approved, used extensively in Europe and the USA, and incorporate either hyaluronic acid or calcium hydroxyapatite.
Choice of filler
The choice of filler depends on the area to be treated, the depth of filling required, the effect desired, and the characteristics individual to each patient’s face. We advise a step by step, minimalistic, gradual approach to achieve subtle and beautiful results over time.
As part of your initial skin consultation, your doctor will take photos of your face and discuss all treatment options regarding dermal fillers individualised to your facial shape, symmetry, skin type and age.
It is important that your skin is clear of rashes, infections or cold sores. If you are prone to cold sore outbreaks it is advisable that you mention this to your doctor at the time of your initial consult and commence a course of anti-viral medication a week prior to your appointment and for a week afterwards.
If you are taking any medications or supplements that promote bruising (and are not medically necessary), stop them at least two weeks prior to your appointment. Do not stop any medications without consulting your GP first.
You will be seated upright in a height-adjustable chair. Facial volume and correction cannot be made correctly if the patient is lying back without the effects of gravity apparent. All makeup must be removed beforehand and your face will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution. We mix our fillers with a local anaesthetic prior to injection but, if you are extremely needle-phobic, speak to our nurse about application of a topical anaesthetic cream at least 30 minutes prior to your appointment.
Injection sessions usually take between 30 and 45 minutes. A nerve block is often advisable for injections in the lip area. This can be discussed with your doctor at the time of your initial consultation.
It is not uncommon to have bruising at injection sites for up to a week following treatment. This can be alleviated using ice packs and topical arnica in the post-injection period. We advise all our patients to undergo 20 minutes of red light treatment (available at our centre) immediately afterwards, which helps decrease the bruising and promotes collagen remodelling.
A temporary sensational swelling can last anywhere between 12 hours to three days post-filler treatment. Most people return to work and their normal routine the next morning after treatment. It is our practice to review our patients at two weeks post-treatment for further product placement if desired. A reversal agent can be used to alleviate swelling.
Hyaluronic acid fillers can produce excellent results for a period of six months (for the more superficial fillers) and up to 12 months (for the deeper, more robust fillers) post-injection treatment.
Calcium hydroxyapatite is an excellent volumising filler for those patients with deep hollows and furrows of the face. It can create the appearance of high cheekbones and can produce a subtle, more defined jaw line and chin, reversing the downward reverse-V effect of the ageing face. It stimulates the body to produce its own collagen so that the effects seen immediately after treatment only continue to improve with time and can produce an effect lasting up to two years. It is also extremely effective in improving depressions and irregularities around the nose without the need to resort to plastic surgery procedures.
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