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January 15, 2020

What are fillers and when do they help?

Wrinkle treatment with fillersThe body changes by nature. Over time, for example, the skin’s elasticity decreases, resulting in wrinkles. These age-related changes are particularly disturbing for many of those affected, as they are constantly present and difficult to conceal. Modern aesthetic medicine offers even more options for a younger appearance than extensive surgical procedures such as a facelift. Wrinkles can be effectively smoothed out by injecting certain active ingredients. Which active ingredient is used depends on the type and severity of the wrinkle in question as well as the desired result. In addition to botulinum toxin (Botox®), so-called fillers are at the forefront of minimally invasive options for wrinkle treatment.

(Image: © Microgen – stock.adobe.com)

What are fillers actually?

The term filler – also known as dermal filler – refers to substances that have a filling effect. They are injected directly under the skin. The aim of the filler treatment is to plump up sunken areas or wrinkles so that the area is even again. Fillers are also very suitable for the treatment of volume deficits or losses, which is why they are also used in lip augmentation, for example. lip augmentation or lip contouring, for example.

Which fillers are currently used?

The most commonly used filler is hyaluronic acid, as it is particularly well tolerated and hardly causes any side effects. There are natural hyaluronic acid deposits in the body which, among other things, ensure that the skin is healthy and firm, that the joints glide smoothly and that the eye is optimally moisturized. The treatment uses synthetically produced hyaluronic acid, which is very similar to natural hyaluronic acid.

Another frequently used filler is collagen. Collagen is also a natural component of connective tissue and is therefore well tolerated. As synthetically produced collagen is used in wrinkle treatment, allergic reactions can still occur in rare cases. If in doubt, the doctor can test for collagen intolerance in advance.

The body’s own fat cells (autologous fat) can also be used as a filler. The fat cells are first removed from the patient’s body by liposuction and then specially processed. Suitable areas of the body to obtain the necessary fat cells include the stomach, hips, bottom and thighs. The autologous fat preparation obtained is then injected into the areas to be treated. As a large proportion of the fat cells fuse with the surrounding tissue, the treatment can achieve very long-lasting results. However, it should be noted that not only injections but also surgical liposuction is required for autologous fat injections.

Polylactic acid is also used less frequently as a filler in wrinkle treatment. It plumps up the desired areas and also stimulates the body’s own collagen production. As with hyaluronic acid and collagen, the polylactic acid used is also produced synthetically, but is similar to the lactic acid that occurs naturally in the body.

Biological vs. permanent fillers

A basic distinction can be made between two types of fillers: biological (degradable) and permanent (long-lasting) fillers. Modern aesthetic medicine primarily uses biocompatible materials. The reason for this is that the body can break down or absorb these active ingredients (almost) completely. In the past, wrinkle injections were sometimes carried out using permanent materials. Some patients subsequently experienced intolerance reactions to the foreign substances. Inflammation-related tissue nodules formed, which had health consequences. In order to rule out this risk from the outset, our doctors only use materials that do not remain permanently in the tissue. The biocompatible fillers achieve equally harmonious and effective results. The only small compromise that has to be made for lasting results is the need to refresh the effect regularly.

Fillers are used for this purpose

In the field of aesthetic medicine, fillers are primarily used to gently reduce annoying wrinkles and smooth the skin. Hyaluronic acid injections can also boost the skin’s moisture supply, which not only has visible but also noticeable effects. The lips or cheeks can also be contoured.

The results we achieve with hyaluronic acid injections in our practice are very natural. Several small injections, which deliver a small amount of the active ingredient under the skin, result in an even and fresh complexion. When contouring the lips, we also make sure that the lips do not appear “exaggerated”. Images of so-called inflatable boat lips can often be seen in the media. These are by no means the aim of our treatment. Instead, the gentle filler treatment in our practice helps to create a well-formed, aesthetic and natural lip shape.

Apart from aesthetic treatments, hyaluronic acid is also used in medicine for minor joint damage to act as an additional “shock absorber”. Dry eyes can also be treated with hyaluronic acid. As an ingredient in eye drops or eye gels, it supports the moisturization of the eye area and counteracts itching, burning and irritation. Many nasal sprays also contain hyaluronic acid to prevent the nasal mucosa from drying out.

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