How Do Dermal Fillers Work?

As an alternative to botox treatments — and sometimes in conjunction with them — your facial surgeon may suggest the use of dermal fillers—injectable soft tissue strategically placed under the skin to smooth out wrinkles and restore a fuller look to the face. But how do dermal fillers work, and how do they differ from the use of botox?

Why do people use dermal fillers?

As we get older, the appearance of wrinkles is caused by two basic factors in the aging process. First, we naturally lose some subcutaneous fat in our face. Second, our skin itself begins to stretch and expand over time. The combination of these two processes, combined with repetitive muscle movements in the face and the effects of sun and weathering, causes those unwanted wrinkles.

What do dermal fillers do?

Dermal fillers effectively resolve both of the basic issues that cause wrinkles. By injecting natural or synthetic soft tissue under the skin, we are filling the spaces left by the receding of natural subcutaneous fat. This also has the effect of tightening loose areas of the skin. The result is that wrinkles disappear or are less noticeable, and our face regains some of the fullness we had when we were younger. Depending on where injections occur, thinning lips become plumper, cheeks become fuller, wrinkles are smoothed out, and the hollowed-out look under the eyes is filled out. The injections last 6 months to 2 yrs, depending on the type of filler used.

How is a dermal filler different from Botox?

While both are injections, Botox and dermal fillers are two different approaches that address different issues. Botox is a neurotoxin that reduces the appearance of wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing the muscles that cause wrinkling. Dermal fillers are natural or soft tissue that actually occupy space under the skin for extended periods of time. Botox is most often used to remove forehead wrinkles and frown lines and “crow’s feet” by the eyes, while dermal fillers are most often injected to fill out the cheeks and lips or any area of the face. Both may be used in tandem with one another, but they are not the same thing.

Are you a candidate for dermal fillers? The best way to know is to talk with an experienced oral/facial surgeon. To discuss your options for receiving dermal fillers and other facial enhancing treatments, contact Riverside Oral & Facial Surgery today.