Dermal Fillers

Posted: May 16, 2022 By: Comment: 0

To fill or not to fill… that is the question!

Dermal fillers got a bad rap a few years ago with the whole “alienisation” of natural features. Thankfully, the trend over the last few years is solely focused on maintaining natural features and real results without distorting the patient’s own features.

Dermal fillers have been used in aesthetic practices for 20 years now already. It doesn’t really feel that long but what is amazing about this, is that so much has changed since their introduction into the cosmetic market 2 decades ago.

As doctors or scientists, medicine is always evolving, and this is the same with aesthetic treatments. Safer, more effective methods are constantly being sought to maintain the reputation in the market. The same goes for dermal fillers – what was injected 20 years ago is very different (and now safer) than what is being used now. This is great news for us!

What are dermal fillers?

First of all – this is a misnomer. We now refer to “fillers” as “injectable gels” because that is exactly what it is – a gel! The great majority of injectable gels on the market are made up of a substance called hyaluronic acid. HA is naturally occurring in the human body making up a big component of skin and connective tissue. The HA in injectable gels is just made in a way that it can be injected and have longer longevity than our own HA in the body.

Why do we use injectable gels?

These gels restore volume which is often as a results of weight loss, inevitable aging, and loss of supporting structure in the face.  This can improve the “tired”, “saggy” and “sad” look that some patients complain about. We also use them to sculpt and accentuate features in the face.

Areas we usually inject are cheeks, lips, temples, jawlines, chin and nasolabial folds to name a few. The gel can be injected with a needle or more often a blunt longer needle known as a cannula.

What are the side effects?

  • Bruising is common due to the use of needles and the vasculature of the face
  • Swelling is inevitable in the first few days as a results of the HA
  • Occlusion of a blood vessel (which is an emergency and your doctor should be comfortable managing this)
  • Allergic reaction to the constituents of the specific gel which was injected
  • Tenderness and pain in the areas

Most injectable gels can be dissolved or reversed with another injectable enzyme which makes a lot of patients feel more at ease about the procedure.

How long do they last?

We use different gels in different areas. They are not permanent. One injectable gel used in the lips is very different to one used to sculpt jawlines and cheeks for instance. Each gel has its own longevity with most lasting 12 – 18 months on average. HA is naturally broken down by our own body’s processes over time.

Are you a candidate for filler?

Maybe – a thorough consultation is always suggested first before treatment to assess whether expectations are reasonable, rule out any contraindications and at times, suggest an alternate treatment which may be more suitable for the patient’s concern.

Both myself and Dr Nadine here at Elan HealthStyle, have been fortunate enough to undergo basic and advanced training in using dermal fillers. This includes diploma training and the Allergan mentorship program which started in 2021 and is extending into 2022 for advanced techniques and hands on sessions. We always opt for natural results with the goal of looking refreshed rather than “done”.

– Dr Allison Blair.



Allison Blair

All stories by: Allison Blair

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