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Types of Fillers

There are many types of fillers in the market today. Some are safe, and some are not so well established in medical literature. Whatever the case, it is important to stick to well known and established manufacturers of fillers, as there are a plethora of fillers out there. General good choices are hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm (France), Restylane (Sweden), Hyacorp (Germany), Macrolane (Sweden) to name a few.

Hyaluronic acid (H.A.)

H.A. is a natural substance found in the dermis of almost all living mammals and has long been used in eye surgeries and treatment of arthritis. Hyaluronic acid is a compound which occurs naturally in our skin. This molecule is responsible for the elasticity and support of our skin, and for making it look young. As far as fillers go, this is the most popular type due to its excellent safety profile, low incidence of complications and reversibility. Yes, while it is very safe to inject because of the low rate of complications, it has a HUGE added benefit, which is the reversibility. Because in some rare cases of filler injections, there may be a mismatch of expectations. Some patients may feel after the filler injection that they do not like the final result. While this is relatively uncommon, it does happen. The nice thing is that there is this enzyme solution called hyaluronidase, which is the natural enzyme that the body uses to break down hyaluronic acid. When injected into the area where fillers have been injected, there is an instant dissolving of the injected fillers, and hence the fillers will dissolve almost completely, resulting in a reversal of the injected fillers. The added advantage is of H.A. fillers is that because H.A. is alike in all mammals, risk of allergy is slim. Because H.A. fillers have a shorter lifespan in the body, the risk of granuloma formation (the body reacting to a foreign substance in the body for a long time) is also much reduced. Hyaluronic acid fillers come in different molecular sizes and consistencies. Applications for the face such as cheeks or nasolabial folds usually feel more natural with a soft gel filler, and applications for the nose, chin etc usually require a firmer filler which holds it’s shape better. The newest generation of hyaluronic acid fillers comes formulated with lidocaine, a pain relieving local anaesthetic drug. This ensures that filler injections performed by a skilled doctor are almost completely painless as the medicine numbs the area as it is injected.

 

Others

Hydrophilic gels

Polyacrylamide gels like Aqualift have been used on the body and face and have been very popular due to its longevity. They are commonly used on the breast and may last up to 5 years after it has been injected. The body gradually breaks down these substances and because it is not as natural a substance as hyaluronic acid fillers, takes longer to break it down.

Calcium hydroxyapatite

Fillers like Radiesse which are supposedly longer lasting may last up to one year or longer. They contain Calcium Hydroxyapatite microspheres which are supposed to stimulate collagen formation after they have dissolved. These fillers are best used in deep areas like cheeks and nasolabial folds as they have been reported to occasionally form lumps. Therefore they are not advisable for more superficial areas.

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