By Affiliate Dr. Lisa Ishii
1. What are injectable fillers? Injectable fillers refer to a class of products used literally to “fill in” different areas of the skin. They are made of different materials, depending on the particular product.
2. What are the different types of injectable fillers? The most commonly used products in the United States right now are Restylane, Juvederm, and Radiesse. Restylane and Juvederm are both made of hyaluronic acid, which is a natural component of the skin. Radiesse is made of calcium hydroxyapetite, or essentially small calcium crystals.
3. What are injectable fillers good for? Filling in areas with moderate to deep wrinkles. They are particularly well known for filling in the deep grooves that appear on either side between the nose and mouth, as well as for the deep crooves that occur at either corner of the mouth and cause the mouth to appear droopy. They are also very good for filling in the grooves that form under the eyes and cause dark circles, and for plumping up lips and filling in fine lines around the lips.
4. Are they permanent? They are not permanent. How long they last depends on where they are injected and which product is injected. In general, Restylane and Juvederm last from 8-12 months, while Radiesse typically lasts 12-16 months.
5. Do they hurt? The pain associated with the injection depends on the site of injection. Injecting the grooves under the eyes and the grooves between the nose and lips is not particularly painful, though the injections close to or into the lips are painful. You doctor will typically apply a numbing cream or inject numbing medicine into the areas that are very sensitive like the lips. Also, the newer products are available with numbing medicine in them that helps to relieve pain.
6. Is there down time? There may be some down time with fillers. It is not uncommon to have bruising under the eyes or swelling of the lips with injection. It is OK to use makeup to camouflage any bruising that occurs.
7. How long does the bruising last? If bruising occurs at the injection site, the duration varies from patient to patient but in general subsides after 5-7 days.
8. Do the results look natural? If you want them to look natural your doctor will be able to achieve very natural-looking results. A good user of the product will be able to appropriately judge the amount of product needed to achieve just the results you desire.
9. How much does it cost? The cost depends to some extent on the particular product used and the amount of the product needed to achieve the desired results. Radiesse is more expensive than Restylane or Juvederm, for example, because it lasts longer. The products are sold in syringes, and one syringe should only be used on one patient. Thus, you typically pay the number of syringes used to fill your area of interest. A syringe may range in price from $500 to $1200. Many patients can achieve their desired results with one or two syringes.
10. Once I use them, do I always have to use them? No, but you will probably want to! The results gradually fade over time. If you only use the product once and never use it again you will ultimately look exactly like you did before you used it .