Dermal fillers are substances such as hyaluronic acid, collagen, and synthetic materials that are injected into the face, just below the surface of the skin. They “fill” lines, scars, and wrinkles; and puff up the lips, cheeks, and folds around the mouth. Dermal fillers are used specifically for cosmetic reasons, to make the face look younger, smoother, and plumper. They are not permanent — the body eventually absorbs the material — but can be relatively long lasting.
As we age, the body’s production of collagen decreases. Because collagen keeps our skin firm and supported, when it decreases the skin sags. The only way to counteract the sagging is through surgery, or the use of dermal fillers. Some fillers use hyaluronic acid to get the body to increase collagen production, others inject purified collagen usually extracted from cows, and others use fully synthetic materials. Dermal fillers require just an hour in the doctor’s office and repeat visits at varying intervals depending on which filler being used. There is also a procedure known as lipotransfer, where fat is taken from one spot by liposuction, filtered, and injected back into an area that needs filling.
Your doctor will perform tests to make sure you are not allergic to the substance they plan to inject. He or she will inform you of the risks and how the procedure is done so that you are secure about the procedure.