We asked two experts to dispel the myths around filler, from common misconceptions to the maintenance required …
We asked two experts to dispel the myths around filler: Dr. Clodagh O’Shea, medical doctor and expert in aesthetic medicine at The Beacon in Dublin; and Anna Gunning, RGN, aesthetic nurse and clinical director of The Laser and Skin Clinics, with 15 years full-time experience in aesthetic medicine.
Dr Clodagh O’Shea
What are the most common reasons for people getting dermal filler?
Dr O’Shea: “In my experience, one of the most common reasons people choose dermal filler is to look fresher. Many clients, especially women, are concerned with regard to their face looking ‘tired’ or ‘saggy’.”
Anna Gunning: “Patients are now beginning to understand the benefits of dermal fillers in addressing signs of ageing. There’s more understanding about replacing volume loss and contouring the facial features rather than filling a line or wrinkle. There is no doubt that the ‘selfie’ generation is under even more pressure to look good, and starting treatments earlier, than any prior generation.”
What are the most common misconceptions about filler?
Dr O’Shea: “The most common misconception amongst the public with regard to dermal filler is that they will look puffy or swollen post-treatment. I cannot stress enough how this couldn’t be further from the truth. When medical-grade dermal fillers are administered by a highly skilled practitioner, they can in fact result in a fresher, natural looking and more contoured facial shape.”
Anna Gunning: “First, that they cause pain: yes, a dermal filler involves injecting the skin with a needle, but most products contain lidocaine, a numbing agent designed to minimise most of the discomfort. That they will look unnatural: when injected properly, the treatment replaces the volume you naturally lose over time. Refilling the affected areas is an easy way to refresh your look without signs of obvious work.”
What is the average age at which people start?
Dr O’Shea: “Our typical patient may start in their mid-thirties to forties. Collagen production begins to slow down at 25, so in my opinion prevention is better than cure. Having said that, it is never too late to start. Patients often seek aesthetic advice for the first time in their sixties. Beautiful results can still be achieved by replacing volume loss in older patients, such as sunken temples or cheeks. I can report an increase in male patients over the last couple of years. Male patients’ concerns often include under eye hollows or weak jawlines. Dermal fillers can result in a younger, fresher appearance.”
Anna Gunning: “Most people begin to notice lines and volume loss in their face around their thirties. Over the last few years there has been an increase in the range of patients from 18 to 70. Lip fillers are increasingly popular with younger patients, but a more natural approach is requested by older patients who do not want anyone to know they have had work done.”
What is the optimum age to start with filler? How much maintenance is required?
Dr O’Shea: “This will be different for everyone. Dermal fillers are typically used to replace lost volume. As we age, facial fat pads found in areas such as the cheeks or temples shrink and descend with gravity. Dermal fillers can act like ‘scaffolding’ and replace lost volume while adding structure back to the face. Most hyaluronic acid dermal fillers will last anywhere between nine and 18 months, depending on the type of filler. Fillers can be used long-term but, of course, it is important to maintain natural facial proportions, therefore choose a practitioner who will take a conservative approach.”
Anna Gunning: “Some people start using filler in their 20s because of genetics or asymmetry rather than signs of aging. Someone who has a weak bone structure around the cheek or jaw may want to add volume and definition to these areas. I would say once you start to see volume loss or wrinkles, this shows changes in the anatomy and loss of collagen. Ideally you would continue to replace what’s lost in the tissues and support the structure of the face during the ageing process.”
What if you don’t like how it looks?
Dr O’Shea: “Thankfully, this is not common amongst our clients. Of course, it’s always a possibility so options are available to patients. Nowadays, the majority of dermal fillers are hyaluronic acid-based which can be dissolved if necessary.”
Anna Gunning: “Sometimes, especially after lip filler, you can have swelling therefore it is important to let the product or bruising settle to see the final result. If after a week you are not satisfied and you feel it looks unnatural, or if there is an overcorrection or lumps present, it can be dissolved.”
What certifications should you look for to ensure you’re in good hands?
Dr O’Shea: “Always attend a medical practitioner for any dermal filler procedures – this includes doctors, dentists or nurse practitioners. Ensure they are trained to a high standard in dermal fillers and don’t hesitate to ask about the training they have received. Unfortunately, aesthetics is not a highly regulated industry so it is the client’s responsibility to do their own research. Always ask your practitioner what product they use, to ensure it is a medical-grade product – it should be CE approved – and who to contact in the case of an emergency.”
What are the key things to consider with lip filler?
Dr O’Shea: “First, attend a medical practitioner who is highly experienced in lip dermal fillers. A good injector will advise you with regard to the optimum lip size; lips should always remain natural-looking and in proportion with your facial features. Please attend a practitioner who has your best interests in mind. Subtle and natural lip dermal filler treatment, carried out every few years, will result in preservation of the delicate lip tissue. Plumping out the lip to excess in one sitting will inevitably lead to issues in the future. Average price? Most medical clinics will charge anything from €400-600 per syringe of filler.”
Anna Gunning: “A lot can go wrong with substandard products and if not administered safety. This is a serious concern when it comes to young people opting for facial filler injections. You need to properly research the possible risks, especially when it comes to cheap deals with inexperienced, unqualified injectors.”
What do you wish more people knew about filler?
Dr O’Shea: “I would love to educate people on the subtle, natural results we can achieve with the use of dermal fillers. Unfortunately, people believe all dermal filler procedures will result in ‘chipmunk cheeks’ or ‘sausage lips’. These obvious features are the ‘Hollywood’ results we often see in reality shows etc. In reality, dermal filler can really enhance certain aspect of a person’s face while still looking subtle and natural.”
Anna Gunning: “People should be aware that any area on the face is a risk and to do their research on the clinic and practitioner prior to booking. The most important thing is that your practitioner has a medical background, so that if there is a complication it can be treated promptly and effectively.”
For more information about BELOTERO Volume & BELOTERO Lips and to find an Aesthetic Clinic near you in Ireland visit www.belotero.co.uk.
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