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Perhaps you are familiar with Botox, probably the best-known minimally invasive cosmetic procedure, and assume dermal fillers in a similar fashion. Other than the fact that Botox and dermal fillers both create a younger appearance in the recipient, the way they work is very different. Botox prevents muscle movement causing wrinkles, while dermal fillers plump up the area containing the wrinkle or scar and make the skin depression disappear. Schedule a consultation with a practiced doctor if you wish to learn how dermal fillers work.

The Aging Face

To understand how dermal fillers work, it is important to understand the dynamics of the aging face. During the aging process, faces lose their subcutaneous fat. That puts the facial muscles nearer to the skin surface, making any lines and wrinkles more obvious. Aging skin loses firmness and starts stretching, resulting in less volume.

The faces of people who have spent a lot of time in the sun may age more rapidly than those who always protected their skin. Genetics and lifestyle choices, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, also affect the rate of facial aging.

Natural Dermal Fillers

Natural dermal fillers consist of ingredients found in the body, such as hyaluronic acid and collagen. They are a good choice for those with sensitive skin, but the effects may not last as long as synthetic fillers. Still, natural dermal fillers may need only an annual or bi-annual touch-up.

Hyaluronic acid fillers work by attracting water to tissue beneath the skin, thus adding volume. These fillers also work to stimulate collagen production. Collagen is the most plentiful protein in the body and is responsible for keeping skin firm. When collagen breaks down, sagging ensues.

As a filler, collagen is best suited for middle-aged and younger people, not senior citizens, unless the latter has relatively little wrinkling. Collagen fillers are derived from either humans or cattle. The results from collagen injections are not immediately apparent, as with some other types of fillers, but will start appearing within several days.

Synthetic Dermal Fillers

Some synthetic dermal fillers work by stimulating collagen production after injection. They last longer than natural dermal fillers, but as with natural collagen injections, results are not as immediate. Certain types of synthetic fillers are especially useful in treating deeper wrinkles. Synthetic dermal fillers may require more visits and injections than natural fillers, because it does take time to see if the injected amount was sufficient to achieve the desired result.

Dermal Filler Side Effects

Dermal fillers, whether natural or synthetic, have few side effects. Patients may experience temporary swelling, bruising, or redness at the injection site, but this rarely lasts longer than 48 hours. Rarely, a patient may have an allergic reaction to a filler, especially the synthetic variety. A skin test prior to the procedure could help to avoid this issue.

One potential problem is the possible lumping of the filler, or its migration to another part of the face. Since fillers are not permanent, this effect eventually dissipates, but no one wants it to happen in the first place. The best way to avoid filler lumping or leaving is by choosing an experienced practitioner for the procedure. For more information about how dermal fillers work, get in touch with a credible doctor today.