Hyaluronic Acid Fillers
What are hyaluronic acid fillers?
Hyaluronic acid fillers (HA) are a popular choice for reducing the facial lines and wrinkles that result from aging. Such fillers are made from hyaluronic acid, a substance found naturally in the body’s connective tissues and skin. Once injected, they plump up facial skin that may have lost volume or elasticity as part of the aging process, filling in wrinkles from the inside and making the skin appear younger and rejuvenated.
Types of HA fillers used
Some common brand names of HA fillers include:
- Juvederm: Juvederm is a family of hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers each designed with different characteristics to make them especially well-suited for specific areas of the face and specific skin problems.
- Belotero: The Belotero product line is designed to give optimal effects tailored to each individual’s treatment goals.
- Restylane: Restylane is a line of hyaluronic acid fillers each of which differs in chemical characteristics and composition so as to provide specific benefits for specific uses.
Are you a candidate?
These injections are commonly used as a treatment for the facial folds and wrinkles that occur as a result of aging. Popular treatment areas include:
- Forehead lines
- ‘Worry lines’ between the eyebrows
- Smile lines, or the ‘nasolabial fold,’ running from the corners of the mouth to the nose.
- ‘Crow’s feet’ around the eyes
- Plumping up the lips or cheeks
- Marionette lines (running vertically down the chin from the edges of the mouth)
Most patients are 30 to 65 years old and are looking to reverse the signs of aging, although people both older and younger may receive hyaluronic acid injections.
Injections of HA-based fillers are performed while patients sit in a chair in the doctor’s office. The treatment takes an hour or less; many people call the use of injectable fillers a ‘lunchtime facelift’ because of the short time needed for treatment.
Some formulations contain lidocaine, a local anesthetic. In other cases, the doctor will administer a topical or local anesthetic in order to make treatment as comfortable as possible.
During the procedure, the chosen filler is injected through a thin needle into the targeted area of skin. The exact volume of HA filler injected depends on the depth of the wrinkle, amount of change desired, skin type, and other factors.
After injection, the skin may be massaged in order to smooth the injected material and ensure the most aesthetically pleasing and natural-looking results.
Following treatment, patients are free to leave the doctor’s office immediately.
Risks and safety information
Patients may experience minor bruising, swelling, redness, or tenderness at the point of injection. Because hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body there is less risk of an allergic reaction, unlike with some other cosmetic fillers.
Most patients experience little to no downtime. This is one reason why many patients opt for hyaluronic acid fillers over surgery. There are no incisions, no bandages, and no restrictions on your activities after the procedure is complete.
When will you see results?
Once injected, the hyaluronic acid improves the structure of the skin while attracting water molecules, which aids in hydration and increasing skin volume. Some of the results will be visible immediately, while others may take a week or two to become apparent.
How long will your results last?
Depending on the HA filler solution used, the results may last anywhere from six to twelve months or longer.
Cost of HA fillers
On average, the cost of HA fillers is between $500-$800 per syringe.
The exact cost of HA fillers depends on the brand name used, the volume of filler, the geographic location and doctor performing the injection.
While cosmetic injections are not usually covered by health insurance, many doctors offer flexible financing and payment plans to help their patients afford these treatments.