Dermal filler products come in a wide variety. Each product has unique formulation that has a distinct density, texture and depth of injection, meaning that certain fillers work better for specific areas of concern.
Generally, dermal fillers are grouped according to the substance they’re made from. One thing you should always remember is that make sure that you’re getting FDA-approved brand name dermal fillers, which can only be accessed through a licensed physician.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is naturally occurred substance found in your skin. It promotes hydration of the skin, making the skin hydrated and plump. HA fillers are usually gel-like and soft. Results are short-lived, lasting between 6 and 12 months before the body naturally and eventually absorbs the substance. Some HA fillers are combined with lidocaine to lessen discomfort during and after the procedure.
Common hyaluronic fillers include Belotero, Juvederm, Perlane, Restylane and Voluma.
Poly-L-lactic acid is a biodegradable, biocompatible (which means it’s safe for use in the body) substance. For many years it has been used in various medical devices such as dissolvable stitches. The result of poly-l-lactic acid filler last over 2 years and it promotes collagen production. It is considered to be a ‘semi-permanent’ filler. Because it is a thicker type of filler, it is often used for deeper facial wrinkles. Example of Poly-L-lactic filler is Sculptra Aesthetic.
Polymethylmethacrylate is a biocompatible, synthetic substance that has been used in medicine for decades. When administered as dermal fillers, PMMA turns into a tiny ball or microsphere that stays underneath the skin for many years, providing long-lasting results. It is ideal for medium to deep facial wrinkles. It also contains collagen to provide firmness and structure on the skin. PMMA filler available in the market include Artefill.
Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA)
Calcium hydroxylapatite is a naturally occurring substance that present in our bones. When administered as a dermal filler, the calcium particles, which are nearly microscopic in size, is suspended in a smooth gel. Compared to hyaluronic acid filler, the consistency of the CaHA filler is usually thicker. The result lasts longer than HA filler, typically more than 12 months. CaHA is also believed to help stimulate the production of collagen and is used for deeper lines and wrinkles. Example of FDA-approved CaHA fiiller include Radiesse.
Choosing Your Provider for Dermal Filler Treatment
When choosing a provider for filler treatment, make a decision the same way that you would for a surgical procedure. Even if it is a minimally invasive procedure, it is still a medical procedure that entails specific knowledge, training and skills to ensure the best results.
Whoever you choose, be sure that the provider has a deep knowledge of facial anatomy, a surgeon’s precision and skills and a seasoned aesthetic eye. Ask for any before and after photos of each possible provider’s past clients.