Commonly Asked Questions About Dermal Fillers

woman smiling about dermal fillers

Whether it’s adding a plump sensuousness to the lips, smoothing wrinkles that frame the mouth, or addressing the hollowed-out troughs under the eyes, dermal fillers at our Portland, Oregon, practice are a versatile, safe, and effective way to create a refreshed appearance. That’s why filler injections are among the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic treatments in the U.S., with about 3.5 million injections performed in 2020, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Even though fillers are popular, women and men considering injections still have plenty of questions about the treatments. The versatility of fillers has led to several misconceptions about their use and who can benefit from filler injections. In this blog post, we’ll answer some of the most common questions patients ask on sites such as RealSelf and at our practice.

Dermal Fillers FAQ

Are all fillers the same?

The differences in fillers involve the active ingredients. There are two primary camps that distinguish fillers—hyaluronic acid fillers and biostimulators. Commonly known hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers include the JUVÉDERM® and Restylane® product families. Hyaluronic acid—which is included in many over-the-counter skincare serums—is a molecule that’s naturally found in the skin and is essential for keeping the skin hydrated. It’s biocompatible, so there is virtually no risk of an allergic reaction. Biostimulators such as Sculptra® Aesthetic and RADIESSE® are formulated with different ingredients and stimulate the body to produce new collagen.

What happens if I don’t like the results after getting fillers?

One of the primary differences between hyaluronic acid fillers and biostimulators is reversibility. Hyaluronic acid-based fillers can be reversed with injections of an enzyme called hyaluronidase, which dissolves hyaluronic acid particles. The results of biostimulators, on the other hand, typically last until the body absorbs them. This can take several months to more than a year, depending on the filler.

What’s the difference between fillers and BOTOX®?

Both fillers and BOTOX have the same general goal—minimizing wrinkles to create a more youthful appearance. That’s where the similarities end. They achieve that goal in very different ways. Fillers target lines and wrinkles that result as the skin produces less collagen and elastin and is damaged by the sun and other factors associated with aging. The smooth filler gel replaces the volume lost as the skin ages and facial bones lose density. BOTOX is a neurotoxin that works by temporarily relaxing the muscles used when we squint, frown, or change our expressions in other ways.

Who is a good candidate for fillers?

Most patients considering filler injections have noticed early signs of aging, such as nasolabial folds, smile lines, or volume loss in the cheeks. Fillers restore volume but don’t lift sagging or loose skin. Good candidates for fillers should have skin that retains much of its elasticity. Additionally, younger patients who want to create more angular facial contours, such as a streamlined jaw, higher cheekbones, or narrower nose, can get fillers to achieve those goals.

Are filler injections painful?

The discomfort experienced during filler injections is minimal because injectors use very fine needles and fillers are pre-mixed with a local anesthetic called lidocaine. Some patients may request to have a numbing cream applied to the treatment area before the injections to reduce anxiety during the treatments.

Our skin rejuvenation specialists at Portland Plastic Surgery are highly trained and experienced injectors who take a conservative approach to filler treatments. If you have additional questions or want to learn more about how you can benefit from fillers, request a consultation using the online form or call (503) 292-9200 to schedule an appointment.

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