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Dermal Fillers Aftercare Advice From Dr Matteo Vigo

Fillers in Dubai | 12 May 2020

How long does it take for dermal fillers to work?

You can expect the results of the procedure to be visible immediately after having the treatment. If there is any swelling then this should take a couple of weeks to settle down.

Is it possible to have an allergic reaction to dermal fillers?

Hyaluronic acid is a substance naturally found inside the human body so a reaction to this substance is extremely rare. Collagen stimulating fillers, such as Radiesse, are made from calcium, a substance also found naturally in the body so, again, reactions are very rare. Immediately after the treatment, there may be a slight redness, swelling, tenderness, a faint bubble like appearance and an itching sensation in the treated area. These side-effects are a normal result of the injection and will generally disappears gradually over a period of 7-14 days.

Should I expect to feel any pain after having dermal fillers injected?

Most patients won’t experience any pain after having dermal fillers. But some people may find they have a little bit of soreness and/or mild bruising at the injection sites. If you do experience any pain, bruising or swelling then you can treat this with an ice pack to reduce swelling and redness. I will apply local anaesthetic cream to the area before the injections to help keep any pain during the procedure to a minimum. The filler also has some local anaesthetic which makes the procedure very comfortable.

Can I take painkillers before having dermal filler injections?

It’s recommended to avoid anti-inflammatory painkillers before and after the procedure as these can thin the blood and increase the risk of bruising, swelling and bleeding. Ibuprofen and aspirin are the most well-known anti-inflammatory drugs; however, during your consultation it’s important that you let us know what medication you are taking so we can advise on possible contraindications.

Can I exercise after having dermal filler injections?

I recommend waiting at least a week after dermal fillers before doing any strenuous exercise to avoid the risk of infection. All strenuous exercise should be avoided, but it’s also recommended to avoid yoga as inverted positions, such as headstands, could also increase the risk of bruising and swelling.

How soon after having dermal fillers can I fly?

Although there is some concern that flying after having fillers can cause issues due to changing air pressure in the cabin, there is no evidence that this is the case. There should be no issue with flying after having dermal fillers.

How long is the recovery time after having dermal fillers?

Some people experience mild bruising and swelling after the procedure. If this occurs you can expect the bruising and swelling to wear off in a week or two. After the procedure you can expect to have slight redness around the treated area, which will last a few hours.

How soon after having dermal fillers can I sunbathe?

Sunbathing, sunbeds and intense heat (such as saunas and Turkish baths) should be avoided for 1 week after treatment. If you do go out in the sun, wear sunscreen at all times. You should also avoid exposing your skin to extreme cold for 1 week after treatment.

How soon after having dermal fillers can I touch my face?

Avoid touching the treated area for at least 6 hours after treatment. After that, the area can be gently cleansed and clean light make-up can be applied.

If I suffer from cold sores can I still have dermal fillers?

If you have a history of cold sores, there is a risk, due to the insertion of the needle into the skin, that the virus may be activated. This may cause a first outbreak of a cold sore or another eruption of a previous cold sore. Before your treatment, we advise you to take anti-viral medication. In the case of an outbreak of cold sores, please contact the clinic or seek medical advice.

What are some of the possible side-effects I should be aware of?

Rare but possible side-effects include redness, swelling, bleeding, bruising, pain, itching, infection, abscess formation. You can also experience lumpiness, prolonged firmness, nodule formation, granuloma formation, local necrosis, discolouration, allergic reaction and acne.

Rarely a scab can form at the treatment site, which can result in a scar. Treatment around the eyes and upper face can also result in swelling, bruising, lumpiness, discolouration, infection, abscess formation, scar formation, haemorrhage of the eyes, double vision and loss of vision.

Dermal fillers are one of the most widely used treatments for restoring smoothness and facial volume. Injected by an expert healthcare professional, they fill in space and absorb water to create a smoother, fuller appearance or enhance the contours of the face.

A common complaint of ageing skin is the general loss of volume in the face and less ‘bouncy’ skin. As we age, our supplies of collagen and elastin decline, and the fibres themselves become weaker and less springy. The surrounding fluids that cushion and support these fibres also begin to ‘dry up’ resulting in wrinkles, ridges, and a general loss of volume in the skin. While injecting neurotoxins, such as botulinum toxin, will help smooth out wrinkles caused by muscle movement, only a dermal injectable can address the depressions and loss of volume associated with ageing. This is why dermal fillers are most commonly used to fill nasolabial folds, marionette lines (from the edge of the mouth to the chin), the jawline, cheeks, lips and the under eye area.

What are dermal fillers?

Dermal fillers come in various formulations, each of which works differently in softening the lines, folds, creases and loss of volume associated with age and/or exposure to environmental aggressors. Fillers are also effective for augmenting contours of the face; to create fuller lips, a more defined jawline or plumper cheeks for example. The most popular fillers are derived from hyaluronic acid, a water-binding sugar that is already produced in the skin. Hyaluronic acid fillers are usually well tolerated and the effects, if undesirable, can often be reversed by injecting an enzyme called hyaluronidase, which helps to dissolve hyaluronic acid fillers. Other fillers are composed of synthetically derived substances, such as calcium-based microspheres. However, these synthetic options cannot be reversed and the effects last longer, which could be problematic if the results are unfavourable. More recently, fillers have been created using the patient’s own cells with results lasting up to two years.

 

Who are dermal fillers for?

Fillers are appropriate for any skin type and address a multitude of age-related concerns, but only adults should have fillers, as they can inhibit bone structure if not fully developed at the time of injection. They can fill in hollows under the eyes and eliminate the depressions caused by deep creases, wrinkles, or scars, as well as plump up larger areas such as the cheeks and temples.

Recently, researchers have also discovered that injectables stimulate fibroblasts to synthesise additional collagen, so doctors are now increasingly seeing younger patients who use fillers as a preventative treatment to slow ageing¹. They are also popular for augmentation and contouring (fuller lips, a wider jawline, etc).

Fillers are not recommended to be used by pregnant or nursing women.

 

How do dermal fillers work?

A syringe needle injects a gel-like substance into the skin at various depths. A series of injections evenly disperses the filler. This filler substance fills up the area, resulting in improvements such as smoother nasolabial lines or fuller cheekbones. Although the discomfort associated with receiving dermal fillers is minimal, it is not entirely pain free. A treatment generally begins with the application of a numbing cream. After approximately 30 minutes, the numbing cream is removed and a series of injections are administered into the target areas. Certain areas may be more sensitive during injection. For example, under eye fillers may cause more discomfort to the patient than cheek fillers.

Some soreness, bruising, and swelling may occur in the days, or even weeks, following the procedure. Many factors affect the severity of these side effects, such as the speed of the injections and the site of injection. Another factor is the material used for the filler. Fillers that provide semi-permanent results, as often seen in cheekbone fillers, are associated with more swelling and discomfort. Due to the potential side effects associated with dermal fillers, it is important that they are performed by an experienced medical professional, such as a cosmetic dermatologist or cosmetic doctor. 

When should I get dermal fillers?

A single session of an injectable has the potential to last up to five years, depending on which kind of filler is used. Less permanent options, such as those composed of hyaluronic acid are more quickly absorbed, usually within 6 months. This especially holds true if the filler is injected in a region with a lot of movement.

Facial fillers do not increase sun sensitivity, making them a great year-round option. However, until the initial swelling has subsided, patients should avoid excessive heat exposure, including prolonged sun exposure.

It is recommended to incorporate an at-home skincare regimen after dermal fillers; always consult with your skincare professional for individual at-home advice.

CONTOURING AND REFINING FEATURES

When injected by an experienced professional, fillers also have the ability to contour and refine features. Lips can be augmented to reduce the lines that appear with aging, and small noses can be enlarged so that they balance nicely with other facial features. A flat chin can be injected with filler to provide a symmetrical profile. Fillers can provide a straighter nose for people who have a hump in the middle. Cheek bones can be injected to provide a natural-looking lift to the face. Although amazing results can be achieved with injectable fillers, it is the artist in control of the needle who determines the final outcome. It takes artistry, not just a licence, to sculpt the face in perfect harmony and proportions.

Not only can fillers be injected in a short period of time, but there is also little discomfort for the patient. Local anaesthetic is administered prior to the injections, and some brands even have the anaesthetic combined with the filler. Slight swelling or redness at the injection site may be experienced, but this is minimal, eliminating the need to take a few days off of work to heal. Another major benefit of injectable fillers is that they are affordable. Great results can be accomplished without breaking your pocket book.

THINGS TO KNOW IF YOU’RE CONSIDERING DERMAL FILLERS

Whether you are considering getting dermal fillers to smooth out wrinkles or enhance facial contours, a quick look at some criteria and facts will help you know you have come to the right place for your treatment.

Dermal fillers should be injected only by an experienced and qualified medical doctor. This procedure requires qualifications, experience, and an artistic edge, because 90% of the success of cosmetic procedures depends on who is doing them. For example, a bad haircut would indicate the level of experience of the stylist, not the scissors that were used. This is why it is extremely important to inquire about the credentials of your practitioner and ask to see before and after pictures. Getting a consultation first is advisable, as you would get a chance to see my facility and raise your questions or concerns with me.

YOUR EXPECTATIONS

Bringing a picture of your younger self to your appointment is helpful. However, bringing a picture of your favorite celebrity is not conducive. While you may see one aspect or feature of your face, it is important to know that a face has to be analysed in whole and not in part. The aim of the injectable procedure is to look naturally enhanced. It is also important to understand that each face has its own asymmetry. A good doctor can help bring more symmetry while keeping the overall aesthetics of the face visually pleasing. So make the most of your consultation by being open to recommendations. Your doctor sees in three dimensions, and you would benefit from exploring all your options.

THE ACTUAL PRODUCT

There are many types of dermal fillers on the market. But the most common of them are hyaluronic acid (HA) products. They have proven to produce natural and lasting results while maintaining fluidity to move with facial expressions. This line of dermal fillers also incorporates antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins to deliver further treatment benefits while filling and contouring the face.

HOW LONG THE RESULTS WILL LAST

Hyaluronic acid in dermal fillers also naturally occurs in the body and therefore gets metabolized eventually. Depending on the dermal filler chosen and whether or not this is the first time you are having a filler injected, you can expect results to last anywhere from 3 to 6 months. If for some reason you are not satisfied with the results, which is very rare, HA fillers are also dissolvable at your request by injecting an enzyme called hyaluronidase.

WHAT TO DO BEFORE AND AFTER THE INJECTION

It is always best to schedule your injectable appointments a couple of days to a week prior to any major event. With dermal filler injections, you will also need to take bruising and swelling into account. You can reduce this likelihood by stopping any supplements that can act like blood thinners such as fish oil and also some pain killers such as Aspirin, Aleve, Advil, etc., 2 weeks prior to your appointment.

After your dermal fillers treatment, follow the post-care instructions given, which include applying cold compresses, avoiding extremely cold or hot drinks, sun exposure, extreme temperatures, excess facial mimicry, and vigorous exercises. Being gentle is key.

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