What are hyaluronic acid (HA) dermal fillers?

 

Hyaluronic acid (HA) dermal fillers are a popular option at the Urban Aesthetix Clinic to replenish volume under the skin. They are also used in a non-surgical facelift, for the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles, lip augmentation and non-surgical reconstruction of certain facial areas.

 

These commonly used dermal fillers are temporary and contain hyaluronic acid, which naturally occurs in our skin, from a non-animal source. Hyaluronic acid is vital for the skin’s general moisture and helping maintain its elasticity, tone and appearance. These facial fillers are therefore biocompatible and biodegradable; they are clinically approved and have been safely used for years worldwide.

 

HA fillers are injected into the dermis, the deeper layer of the skin’s structure that deteriorates over time due to factors such as ageing, sun damage, facial muscle use and hormonal changes, and into the subcutaneous tissue, or directly onto the bone. As the composition of the dermis changes, fewer elastin and collagen fibres are produced within the dermis and skin loses elasticity.

 

HA filler brands used at the Urban Aesthetix Clinic are Juvéderm® ULTRA,

Juvéderm Vycross® fillers (Juvéderm VOLIFT®, VOLUMA® and VOLBELLA®) and Teosyal® Redensity II Eyes. The type of filler used tends to depend on the area to be treated. For example, a thinner HA filler is required for a non-surgical nose job, while a thicker HA filler would be needed to restore volume in cheeks or for chin augmentation or jaw augmentation.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are HA fillers used for?

Hyaluronic acid fillers are used to temporarily soften and contour lines, folds, and wrinkles in virtually any area of the face:

  • Nasolabial lines: to treat smile lines and deep creases running from the nose to the mouth that can make you look older than you really are
  • Mouth corners/ oral commissures/marionette lines: to treat ageing folds running down from the mouth angle
  • Perioral lines: to eliminate small vertical lines running from the lip border, sometimes called ‘smokers’ lines’ or ‘lipstick bleed lines’
  • Lip definition: to contour your lip and improve your cupid’s bow
  • Lip augmentation: to plump out lips subtly and naturally, avoiding trout pout
  • Periorbital lines: to smooth out smile lines or laughter lines around the eyes, which can make you look tired
  • Glabellar lines: to smooth out frown lines between the eyebrows
  • Forehead lines: to do away with horizontal lines across the forehead – without resulting in a frozen look
  • Tear troughs: to eliminate lower eyelid dark circles and dark eye hollows.

 

 

Facial fillers can also volumise the face for a non-surgical face lift in certain areas and improve facial contours:

  • Cheekbones: to enhance cheekbone definition to regain a flattering curve
  • Cheeks: to volumise and firm for a more youthful face
  • Cheek fat pads (Malar fat pads): to volumise the fat pad and lift the cheeks
  • Sagging jawline (Pre-jowl sulcus): to volumise the cavity at the side of the chin
  • Chin: enhance facial proportions or profile and correct a dimple chin
  • Jaw: define the jawline
  • Temple cavity: to avoid an unflattering shadow effect by volumising that hollow or depression in the temples
  • Nasal bridge: to re-shape the nose as a non-surgical nose job
  • Ear lobes: to firm and re-shape sagging and thin ear lobes for ear rejuvenation.

What does HA filler treatment involve?

Treatment is simple and safe if carried out by Dr Unnati, who is an experienced and fully qualified clinician, following a detailed consultation to examine the areas to treat and decide on the best HA filler for you.

 

Before carrying out the treatment, Dr Unnati may administer a topical local anaesthetic cream or anaesthetic injection (nerve block) for a comfortable and pain free treatment. Some HA fillers have a built-in anaesthetic.

 

A small amount of HA filler is injected either at several points or as a bolus, in one go, with a very fine needle directly into the wrinkle contour to add volume (soft tissue augmentation) and give a fuller, more youthful appearance.

 

The treatment can take 30 – 45 minutes and you can resume most normal daily activities immediately afterwards.

How soon should you notice a difference?

Immediately after treatment, the lines on your face should appear minimised and smoothed out. If treatment includes lip augmentation/ definition, your lips will appear fuller and more defined. If there is significant swelling, the treatment may be completed after a few days.

How long does HA filler treatment last?

Temporary HA injectable fillers are slowly absorbed into the body and the effect usually wears off after 4-6 months but some may last 12 – 24 months depending on which HA filler is used. This length of time depends on a number of factors such as your age, smoking status, sun exposure, lifestyle and your general skin structure.

 

Points to consider

Any clinical procedure carries a risk of complications, which is why it is always highly advisable to have cosmetic treatments safely performed by a doctor. Dr Unnati is a GP and specialist Non-Surgical Aesthetic Physician, trained in dermatology and medical cosmetics.

 

The Urban Aesthetix Clinic follows strict guidelines in making patients fully aware of any possible cautions and complications, and in offering post treatment advice. Dr Unnati will undertake a full consultation before any new treatment can be given.

Are there any side effects to HA fillers?

The short-lived side effects associated with the injection process include bleeding, swelling, tenderness and redness which settle within a few hours, and bruising which settles within a few days. If the lips have been treated, the swelling can be significant and may take several days to settle.

 

There is a minimal risk of infection as the needle breaks the natural barrier to infection when creating a small wound in the skin. Please therefore avoid touching the area or using any unsterile make-up for 6 hours after treatment, although mineral make-up or sterile medical make-up can be used immediately. You may experience some itching and discolouration at the site of treatment which should settle within a few days.

 

Rarer complications include the formation of a small cyst, granuloma or nodule in the treated area which is generally due to an immunological reaction, and will either eventually settle spontaneously after a prolonged period or may require treatment.

 

If you’re an overseas patient, advance booking is highly recommended in case a course of treatments is required.

When should HA fillers not be used/be used with caution?

  • While pregnant or breast feeding
  • If you are highly sensitive/ allergic to ingredients in the compound
  • After recent use with Roaccutane in the last 12 months
  • After treatment with permanent fillers or implants
  • If you have a tendency to keloid or hypertrophic scarring
  • With certain medical conditions: auto-immune disorders/ skin cancer/ angina/diabetes/ epilepsy/ hepatitis/Immunocompromised conditions/bleeding disorders
  • In combination with certain medications: anticoagulants/aspirin/anti-inflammatories/ steroids
  • If the areas to be treated are inflamed or infected