Soft-tissue Fillers for Aging Skin

As people age, the natural loss of the skin’s collagen, hyaluronic acid and elasticity results in wrinkles and a loss of fullness in the face, especially around the eyes, mouth, cheeks, jaw line, brow and nose. The injection of soft-tissue fillers (e.g., Juvederm, Radiesse, Restylane, Sculptra, Belotero) into these areas can temporarily improve the skin’s appearance. This procedure is minimally invasive.

During the procedure, your doctor will mark injection points on your face before cleansing it with an anti-bacterial agent. A topical numbing agent, ice or a local anesthesia is applied to keep you comfortable during the injections. The filler – usually a form of hyaluronic acid or a collagen-stimulating chemical – is injected with a very small needle. Some patients experience stinging or burning as the filler is injected.

Some patients may require a series of treatment session to achieve desired results.

Why choose soft-tissue fillers for aging skin

Soft-tissue filler therapy can be used to:

  • Plump lips.
  • Elevate and fill deep folds.
  • Fill shallow contours, such as sunken cheeks.
  • Soften and smooth wrinkles and creases.
  • Improve the appearance of scars and imperfections.
  • Improve aging hands.

Possible risks

Before (left) and after (after) Sculptra to the full face.
Photos courtesy of Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD - Los Angeles, California

Before (left) and after (after) Sculptra to the full face.
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD - Los Angeles, California

All medical procedures carry some risk. In the past, the most widely used soft-tissue fillers were based on collagen and sometimes required allergy testing prior to treatment. A newer class of hyaluronic acid fillers is based on a sugar found naturally in human skin. Allergic reaction is extremely rare for these fillers. Your ASDS dermatologist will discuss what filler will work best to fulfill your personal goals.

How to prepare for the procedure

Before the procedure, an ASDS dermatologist will review the patient’s medical history. This is the time for the doctor and patient to discuss expectations, potential risks and outcomes of the procedure. You should tell your doctor if you use or have recently taken:

  • Prescription medicines
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Herbal supplements

What to expect after the procedure

Patients may experience one or more of the following reactions at the injection sites:

  • Bruising, which may last up to a week
  • Swelling
  • Redness

All soft-tissue fillers are temporary, lasting anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the filler and type of procedure. Some patients require maintenance treatments to achieve the best results.