Hyaluronic Acid Fillers - What you need to know
Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Filler is a temporary dermal filler used to reduce the appearance of unwanted fine lines and wrinkles, improve face shape and contour and enhance facial features. Common brands of this type of dermal filler include: Restylane, Juvederm and Belotero. It works differently to Botulinum Toxin wrinkle relaxing treatments, which are mainly used to reduce lines and wrinkles on animation.
Hyaluronic acid is naturally occurring in our skin and body tissue, it is constantly being broken down and replaced by the body. Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are made of complex sugars which are compounded with a bonding agent, to help them resist being broken down too quickly by the body. There are various types of dermal fillers, all formulated with different properties which affect the way the filler behaves in the tissue. For example, a firm robust filler, with minimal elastic properties is most suitable to add definition to the cheekbone, while a soft smooth filler may be more appropriate to address fine lines around the mouth. During a consultation I will recommend which filler (if any) I feel would be the best fit for your specific needs. All hyaluronic acid filler is hydrophilic, in other words it works by binding to water molecules in your tissue, so staying well hydrated will help to maximise your results.
My philosophy on dermal fillers is to recognise and respect that every face is unique and beautiful (or handsome) in its own way. I love to use filler in a way which highlights your most attractive features and distracts from those you are less fond of… all while respecting facial proportions, animation and principals of beauty. My goal is to help enhance your unique beauty and discover your most confident self.
If any of the following apply to you, we will need to discuss your suitability for treatment further, please be sure to mention them on your medical record *
Chronic health conditions
Acute illness on the day of treatment
Currently pregnant or breastfeeding
Unstable mental health conditions
Unstable heart conditions
Poor dental health, recent or planned dental procedures
Overseas travel in the next 10 days
Previous reaction to dermal filler
History of permanent or non-HA fillers
Sunburn in treatment area
Active skin infection or disorder on the face
*This list is not comprehensive, other conditions may also apply that will be detailed on your medical form and discussed during consultation.
Like all medical procedures, there are possible side effects and adverse events associated with treatment. The risk of these is heightened significantly if;
the dermal filler is not a hyaluronic acid based filler
higher risk areas are being treated such as the nose or frown (this only applies to dermal filler, not wrinkle relaxing treatments),
the injector is not well educated on facial anatomy or fails to take steps to prevent, recognise or act on early signs of a possible complication.
So what can go wrong? Common side effects include swelling, bruising & tenderness. I tell all patients to expect one or all of these to some degree post treatment. Lips and tear troughs (under eye area) are particularly prone to swelling and bruising. The severity or absence of these will vary between treatments, injection sites and individuals. You might be fine, with no bruising or swelling at all, however it is best you are prepared (ice, concealer, antihistamines, arnica, hirudoid or topical Vitamin K, oral and/or topical vitamin C are all ways you may be able help to reduce the effects of these and/or speed up the healing process). Injections may trigger a cold sore reaction in some individuals who carry the virus – if you are prone to getting cold sores prophylactic treatment starting the day before your treatment is recommended.
Of course, I will take every precaution to try and minimise the incidence of these side effects, however unfortunately given the unique nature of ones anatomy, there may be vessels and anatomical structures I cannot detect under your skin surface and every individual responds differently to bruising/swelling.
Swelling tends to be at its worst 24-72 hours post treatment. So please do not be alarmed if you experience swelling during this period. If the swelling is excessive, please do not hesitate to contact me. As above, lips and undereye treatments are most prone to this.
There are things you can do also to help reduce the likelihood of these tissue responses.
For 2 weeks prior to your procedure, you may wish to consider eliminating or reducing the consumption of the following:
Gingko biloba, ginseng, ginger, glucosamine, turmeric, fish or krill oil, omega or primrose oil, cloves, St Johns wart, anti-inflammatory medications (such as ibuprofen & voltaren), anticoagulants. If your medication/supplement is prescribed or recommended by your doctor, please discuss with them prior to stopping or reducing your consumption.
For 2 days prior avoid excess alcohol
On the day of treatment limit coffee or caffeinated tea and avoid makeup if possible
On the day of treatment, and for 3 days following, avoid strenuous exercise, spa baths, saunas, steam-rooms & excessive sweating.
If you do experience bruising/swelling:
Apply ice to the area for 20 minutes (through a moist tea-towel – not directly onto the skin) and then off for 20 minutes. This may be repeated as often as necessary for 24 hours post treatment.
Taking an oral over the counter antihistamine, may be beneficial in some circumstances.
Sleeping with your head elevated (at least 45 degrees) may help reduce the likelihood of you waking with excessive swelling.
Taking oral arnica and/or Vitamin C or applying arnica/hirudoid /Vitamin K or Vitamin C topically to the area may help to reduce the duration of your bruising/swelling.
Red LED light may be beneficial to assist healing and reduce inflammation.