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  • Writer's pictureDr Husham Al-Shather

All what you need to know about dermal fillers

Updated: Jun 9, 2021

What are dermal fillers?

Fillers are gel-like substances that are designed to be injected into different parts of the skin to add fullness and restore volume. Fillers also enhance the facial contours, soften wrinkles and smooth lines. It is a quick and cost-effective rejuvenation treatment that has been chosen by more than a million women and men annually to achieve youthful looks without surgery.


What are dermal fillers made of?

Aesthetics doctors use a variety of approved filler products. Generally, fillers can be classified according to the material they are made from.


  • Hyaluronic acid, a natural substance that is produced in the skin and found in many body fluids and tissues.

  • Calcium Hydroxylapatite, a natural mineral based compound, primarily found in bones.

  • Polyalkylimide, a clear synthetic gel that is biologically compatible with the body tissues.

  • Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (PMMA), a synthetic semi-transparent filler that has been used in medical practice for a long time.

  • Polylactic acid, a synthetic compatible material that stimulates the skin to make natural collagen.


What are the most commonly used dermal fillers?

The most commonly used dermal fillers are Hyaluronic acid-based fillers (HA fillers). Hyaluronic acid is a very safe and natural substance that is found naturally in the skin. HA fillers are soft gel-like substances that help to keep skin hydrated and plum. Approved HA fillers include Juvéderm, Restylane and Belotero.


What type of filler is best for me?

There are many types of dermal fillers in the current practice, and each product is uniquely designed to correct different signs of aging. Each filler is formulated to have specific density, texture and depth of injection. This means that fillers are area specific and certain products work better for certain areas. Therefore, it would be difficult for you to know exactly which product is best for you without consulting a specialist aesthetics practitioner.


What areas can dermal fillers treat?

The treatment is tailored to your needs to provide you with best results. Depending on the product selected, dermal fillers can treat the following areas:

  • Cheeks: cheek fillers can fill and lift the whole face and give you a natural and youthful look.

  • Nasolabial folds (the border between the nose and the cheek): fillers smooth and fill the border.

  • Lips: lip fillers define the border of the lips and add volume to the lip body.

  • Under Eye (Tear Trough): a deep crease under the eye between the cheek and the lower eyelid causing a tired appearance. Fillers add volume and restore natural products.

  • Jawline and chin: fillers define and sculpt the lower face.

  • Nose: fillers reshape the nose and smooth the slight bump appearance.

  • Marionette lines: lines between the mouth and chin. Fillers decrease the line appearance.

  • Forehead and frown lines.

How long do dermal filler last?

Dermal fillers are temporary. How long they last depend on many factors like skin type, metabolism, amount injected, type of filler used and where it is injected. Fillers usually last between 6 to 18 months.


Do dermal fillers hurt?

The discomfort level usually varies depending on the area of treatment and on your specific pain threshold. We only use fillers that contain local anaesthetic (numbing agent), unless contraindicated. We also apply local anaesthetic cream to all our clients before the injection.

Fillers are performed by our specialist consultant doctors who are very experienced operators as injections form essential part of their daily hospital work. Most of our clients report mild discomfort or minimal pain. If you experience any discomfort it will be transient and in the highly unlikely event that the procedure is not tolerated, we should stop the procedure.


Do I need consultation and consent before the procedure?

In Thame Valley Aesthetics we strongly believe that consultation represents an integral part of the patient journey to obtain the best result. It is a two-way process to help our clients make informed and right decisions based on our doctors’ expertise and the best available evidence.

To ensure total transparency, consent is completed before every procedure by the doctor who is actually performing the treatment.


Are dermal filler safe?

We only use premium, safe and trusted products in our practice. All the treatments we offer have excellent and long safety records. Dermal fillers are specifically considered as very low risk treatments. However, every medication or procedure can carry a risk.


The face is a very complex part of our body and has many important and sensitive structures, for example blood vessels, eyes and nerves. Fillers injected by inexperienced and not careful individuals may lead to serious side effects like infection, tissue damage, blood vessel occlusion and blindness.


It is very important to consult a registered medical practitioner who understands the face anatomy very well and knows the risk areas to avoid.


What are the common side effects of dermal fillers?

Dermal fillers are specifically regarded as very low risk and most of the side effects will spontaneously resolve over time. After the treatment the area treated may be mildly sore, a bit red and swollen. However, any bruising or swelling should resolve quickly within a few days.


Few things need to be avoided after the procedure to decrease the risk of complications. We advise our clients to avoid alcohol, exposure to heat and sun and to not wear make-up immediately after the treatment.


What does the filler treatment involve?

The bespoke treatment plan will be discussed and recommended to the client after the consultation. The treatment areas will be cleaned thoroughly using a disinfectant and covered with local anaesthetics (numbing cream). Then the procedure will be performed in a calm and safe environment. Clients will go home soon afterward with post-procedure clear instructions. Depending on the area being treated, the procedure usually takes 20 to 40 minutes.


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