You’ve probably heard the buzz about dermal injectable fillers, but there’s a lot of misinformation out there. Forget ‘trout pouts’ and ‘frozen faces’, in the right hands injectable fillers are far subtle than that. We got together with Dr Ellen Selkon of Clinic 42 to bring you the lowdown.
— Dermal refers to the outer layer of your skin —
Are fillers the same as Botox?
No, fillers are definitely not the same as Botox or Dysport (Botox is a brand name; Dysport is simply another brand). Fillers are used to replace volume that has been lost with the ageing process or to define features. They’re often used to lift parts of the face as well and can be used in the so-called ‘liquid facelift’. Botox or Dysport, on the other hand, are used to decrease lines and wrinkles, to slim a square face to create a more oval shape or for the treatment of excessive sweating.
What type of fillers do you find to be best for results and longevity?
Hyaluronic acid (aka hyaluronan) fillers such as Restylane or Emervel are excellent and have been on the market for many years. They have a low complication rate but give good longevity lasting anywhere from 6-18 months depending on where they are placed.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is not an ‘acid’, but a fluid sugar found naturally in the human body. HA has the ability to combine with water and ‘swell’ — holding many times its own weight in water. Commonly used in moisturising skincare, it’s highly regarded for its plumping and hydrating qualities. The HA used in dermal fillers is usually man-made and created in a petrie dish in a laboratory.
Where can fillers be used?
In almost any area of the face, hands, neck or décolletage. We treat foreheads, temples, eyes, cheeks, lips, jowls, chins, jaw lines, necks and chests.
How long do they typically last?
Six to nine months in the lips, which have a lot of movement, and up to two years in a ‘non-mobile’ area such as under the eyes.
What should a person look for if they decide to get fillers?
It’s important to thoroughly research the clinic and doctor or nurse you are considering visiting. They should be qualified and have suitable experience in the cosmetic medicine environment. It’s a good idea to ask to see before and after photos to get an idea what you can expect from a treatment. A comprehensive consultation with the practitioner is a must prior to any treatment.
What results can people expect?
A good injecting professional will give subtle but rejuvenating results that are harmonious with the rest of a persons face and features. This includes your profile. Your forehead, nose, cheeks, lips and chin should all be in proportion with one another.
How important is the practitioner a person chooses?
Extremely important. Unfortunately, as fillers are widely used, there are untrained individuals setting up shop. The New Zealand Society of Cosmetic Medicine has a website listing all of their qualified members: nzscm.co.nz.
Is there a risk of mistakes with treatment?
Yes, so it’s important you fully understand all the potential complications and side effects prior to having a procedure. It’s also why where you choose to go is crucial. The more experienced a practitioner is, the less chance of problems.
If I undergo treatment will I look like I’ve had something done?
You should not look ‘done’, but refreshed and rejuvenated. Unfortunately the media loves to show the horror stories, but in reality you’ll usually be none the wiser to the subtle rejuvenation that the everyday person such as your child’s teacher or your neighbour undergoes.