What you should know before getting dermal fillers

Women injectibles

Thanks to social media and the ever-increasing pressure to look absolutely perfect, Australians are now having more cosmetic procedures than Americans, spending $1 billion in 2017 alone. According to the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia, anti-wrinkle injections are the most popular procedures, followed closely by dermal fillers. But what exactly are dermal fillers and how safe are they?

How Do Dermal Fillers Work?

Dermal fillers are substances that are injected under the skin to prevent the appearance of lines and wrinkles, add volume to cheeks and lips, and also improve the appearance of scars. While Botox stops facial muscles from creating wrinkles, dermal fillers plump up the face, smoothing wrinkles from below. You can get injections on your cheeks, mouth, eye area and jawline, as well as on the lips to create a more youthful look.

As we age, our bodies stop producing collagen and elastin, causing our faces to lose volume. Dermal fillers restore this lost volume and add lift and smooth lines. Most dermal fillers last around six to 18 months, depending on how your body reacts to the substance injected. These injections are typically made with materials that naturally occur in the body, the most popular being hyaluronic acid. Another popular filler is polycaprolactone (PCI), which stimulates collagen production, leading to longer-lasting results.

Some synthetic fillers are said to be “semi-permanent” or “permanent”, as they don’t really break down over time. However, wrinkles will return as the face ages. Though synthetic fillers come with similar risks that naturally-derived fillers have, their potential problems are harder to correct, as they’re “permanent”.

What Are The Risks?

As with any procedure, dermal fillers do come with risks. This is precisely why they’re prescription-only products in Australia, and should only be administered by an authorised professional, such as a doctor. Side effects like swelling, bruising, and redness are perfectly normal and usually dissipate after a few days. However, if the person administering the dermal fillers is inexperienced or poorly trained, there’s a greater risk of infection and serious tissue damage.

Before getting dermal fillers, make sure to ask about your doctor’s experience and qualifications, as well as what products they’ll be using. Double check that the product has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) — you can verify this by checking their website. You should also ask about the aftercare support you would get if you experience side-effects. By exercising due diligence, you can make an informed decision on whether or not you should go ahead with the procedure.