Botox/Dysport or Dermal Fillers?
If you have looked in the mirror and thought about getting hyaluronic acid dermal filler injections, you
are not alone. Hyaluronic acid dermal filler is the commonest way to volumize the face and reverse
age related facial volume loss, and hence effectively reversing signs of ageing. Hyaluronic acid in
addition has strong hydrating properties and helps to hydrate and maintain the elasticity of the skin.
Having said that, there are definitely some things you should know about dermal fillers before jumping
straight into the procedure.
Things to Know
You will want to make sure that you consult a doctor who has the training needed to be able to
administer the filler correctly. Hyaluronic acid dermal filler injection is a medical procedure and
requires both academic and practical training.
Many countries require that the doctor obtain a post-graduate certificate of competency in the relevant
aesthetic procedure or equivalent to be able to perform medical aesthetic treatments. However, a
certificate of competency may not necessarily mean practical experience. As a general rule of thumb,
an experienced/seasoned injector should have at least performed a hundred procedures of dermal
fillers on any given area of the face (i.e. one hundred chin fillers, one hundred nose fillers etc.)
Injecting hyaluronic acid dermal filler simply isn’t sticking a needle into the desired area of treatment
and injecting the filler in a matter of seconds. This method or mistake, commonly committed by novice
injectors, is a sure fire way for less than ideal cosmetic results, and at times may cause serious
complications like embolism or necrosis.
A seasoned injector will firstly customize a plan to augment your face using fillers, taking into account
individual face shape, areas of defects and personal preference. The injection of filler is meticulous
and precise, with the filler being slowly injected and evenly distributed over the area of treatment and
at the correct depth (anatomical plane). Particular attention has to be paid to symmetry, even-ness
and contiguity with the surrounding face, especially when at extremes of expression (e.g. laughing,
frowning, pouting etc.). Only then can a natural result be obtained.
Too little hyaluronic acid dermal filler may not get the job done, but too many hyaluronic acid dermal
filler may result in “over-augment” and consequent puffiness and an un-natural look. Striving for
perfection may also mandate multiple sessions of touching up – no matter how good an injector’s
hands or techniques are, it is difficult to achieve greater than 99% symmetry.
Once you have had hyaluronic acid dermal filler treatments, to keep up the appearance you will need
to have what are called maintenance treatments. These should be scheduled before the affects of
the prior treatment have completely faded, as the hyaluronic acid components of the dermal filler are
100% bio-compatible and will be degraded by the human body. Whilst it is commonly said that most
hyaluronic acid dermal fillers will last between 6 to 12 months, it is important to note that fine defects
may appear even after resorption of a small amount of hyaluronic acid dermal filler. Hence the
maintenance or top-up treatments may occur earlier than 6 months.
Alcohol consumption is best to be avoided 24 hours prior to and 24 hours after the injection of
hyaluronic acid dermal fillers, and to our knowledge no centre offers alcoholic beverages during the
injection of hyaluronic acid dermal fillers. For anxious patients, there are better ways of anxiety control
than to consume alcohol – simply ask your doctor and he or she will be able to help.
Alcohol may increase the risk of bruising and inflammation associated with hyaluronic acid dermal
Similarly, avoid other physiological stressors before and after the hyaluronic acid dermal filler
injection, like smoking, intense exercising, competitive sports. Although some may consider the
process of injection of the hyaluronic acid dermal filler to be a physiological stress in itself. Especially
after seeing the final bill.
Particular attention should be paid to the after care of the needle puncture sites, which is where
infections typically start from. Make-up is generally not an issue, but the needle sites must be kept
clean. Avoid swimming especially in open waters, as aquatic bacteria may cause severe infections.
Prevent your pet dog(s) or cat(s) from licking your wounds, no matter how benovelent their intentions
may be. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap after handing raw meats and seafood,
soil/manure (i.e. gardening) and after toileting.
Antibiotic prophylaxis and anti-inflammatory medications are generally not needed for hyaluronic acid
dermal filler injections, although your attending doctor may prescribe them on a case-by-case basis.
Now that you know more about dermal fillers, are you ready to book your appointment?