How do dermal fillers work?

We interviewed Dr Anna Collins (MBBS DRCOG FRACGP, Cosmetic Doctor) to get find out about ageing and dermal fillers. Dr Anna Collins is a Cosmetic Doctor from the UK who has a background in General Practice. She has a passion for aesthetics, having qualified in 2007 and moving to Melbourne in 2014.

How does your face change with age?

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring complex sugar in your body that helps to provide volume, structure, elasticity and moisture to your skin. As you age you lose your natural hyaluronic acid. The bones, muscles and fat pads also change affecting your facial shape. This leads to the signs of ageing as seen by facial volume loss, reduced skin elasticity, folds and wrinkles.
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What is dermal filler and how does it work? 

Dermal filler is a smooth injectable gel containing hyaluronic acid designed to replace the hyaluronic acid you have lost. It does this by filling the space of volume loss which improves folds and wrinkles, as well as attracting water to replenish moisture to your skin. It also has a biological effect on your own hyaluronic acid by encouraging it to increase collagen and elastin production which improves skin integrity and quality. Overall this restores a natural and youthful appearance.
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How long will dermal filler last?

To help you look rejuvenated for longer dermal filler is manufactured using cross linked technology to slow down the naturally occurring breakdown of hyaluronic acid within your skin. Without crosslinks the hyaluronic acid would only last a few days. This technology enables results to last 6 to 18 months although there is variation between individuals, as well as according to the type, quantity and depth of the dermal filler placed within your skin.
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What is cross linking and why is it important?

Cross linking is a method used to strengthen the dermal filler gel. Cross links can be made in a number of ways but most commonly a synthetic agent is added to the hyaluronic acid chains which makes up the dermal filler gel. The strength of the gel depends on the number of crosslinks. The stronger the gel the better the lifting capacity. Cross linking also helps to increase the hydration property of hyaluronic acid delivering more moisture to the skin. The body metabolises hyaluronic acid but the more cross linking the longer the gel will last as it helps to resist natural degradation.
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How much and what type of dermal filler will you need?

There are many types of filler. Each differs in the concentration of hyaluronic acid, the number of cross links, and the stiffness or hardness of the gel. As we all age differently this will affect which type and how much dermal filler you will need depending on your degree of volume lost, the depth of the fold or wrinkle being treated and the desired treatment outcome.
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Are there any risks with dermal filler? 

Dermal fillers have been thoroughly researched and serious side effects are not common. The most common reaction after dermal filler is slight redness of the skin, swelling, bruising, slight pain and tenderness. These usually disappear after a few days. If you have anything more troublesome or persistent I recommend you contact the practitioner who treated you.
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How will you feel after treatment with dermal filler?

Dermal filler is designed to restore your natural facial contours and to give you a refreshed and hydrated appearance making you look and feel rejuvenated and more confident.
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Dr Anna Collins is available in our Berwick Suites on Wednesday and evening appointments on Thursday. To book a consultation with Dr Anna Collins call 1300 863 824.
Dr. Gavin Chan
Dr. Gavin Chan

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