1) What are fillers?
There are a number of different fillers available which differ in composition and how long they last. At Natural Looks Cosmetic Medicine we mainly use fillers made from a sugar (polysaccharide) that occurs naturally in the skin. Its role in the skin is to retain moisture and add volume. Injecting this into or under the skin replaces lost volume, supports the skin, thus reducing wrinkles and improving the appearance of the skin. Research has shown that the body responds to the fillers and creates new collagen which stabilizes the filler, keeping it where it has been injected and also increasing the volume naturally.
2) Can anyone have fillers?
Like most cosmetic procedures women who are breast feeding, pregnant or trying to conceive are not suitable candidates. People with known sensitivity to the active ingredients and people with certain autoimmune conditions are unable to have fillers.
Fillers cannot be used if there is any infection in the area being injected including pimples as it increases the risk of developing infection of the filler.
The risk of bruising is increased if you are taking anything that reduces blood clotting. Deep injections into the cheek or temples in particular, are not recommended if you are taking aspirin, ant-inflammatory drugs, omega 3 oils (fish oil, krill oil, flaxseed oil, chia seeds), ginkgo biloba or large amounts of green tea.
3) Do I need to do anything before coming to the appointment?
a. Avoid omega 3 oils, aspirin, ginkgo biloba and large amounts of green tea for 2 weeks before the procedure unless you require these for medical reasons. Please discuss with your medical practitioner if this is the case.
b. Ensure that your face is free of infection including pimples and cold sores in the area to be injected. If you have ever had a cold sore around the mouth and you are having fillers in or around the lips you will need to take an antiviral medication to prevent an outbreak of cold sores. Please let us know if you have ever had a cold sore and we will recommend the appropriate preventative treatment.
c. Come to the appointment calm and cool as this will reduce the risk of bruising. It is recommended that you do not have alcohol prior to or after injections due to the increased risk of bruising.
d. Plan the timing of your treatment to fit in with your work and social commitments. Although every care is taken to minimize the risk of bruising, bruising can occur. It is best to assume that you may have a bruise (or swelling of the lips if they are being injected) and plan accordingly.
e. Having fillers is a medical procedure and it is therefore important to be able to access medical care if required, in the days following the treatment. We strongly advise that you avoid travel for a week after fillers.
4) What can I expect during my consultation?
a. Firstly, after completing a medical questionnaire, any medical issues that are relevant to your treatment will be discussed.
b. The injecting specialist will then do a facial assessment and ascertain what you hope to achieve with the treatment.
c. A treatment plan will be completed and discussed. This will take into account your needs and desires regarding outcomes and budget.
d. Photographs to record your before treatment appearance are important to enable us to assess the success of your treatment. Everyone is different and responds differently, so this enables us to tailor the treatment to you specifically and monitor your progress.
e. The injections are performed using a very fine needle or canula. With most treatments, no pain relief is required except ice. If the area is very sensitive, such as the lips, we can either apply a gel to numb the area or use a dental block. We have developed a low to no pain technique of injecting and our clients frequently comment on how gentle we are. Please discuss the options regarding pain relief as the gel takes 45 to 60 minutes to be effective and would need to be applied before your scheduled appointment.
5) Can I go out or back to work after the treatment?
Many people return to work after the procedure, however, there may be a little redness, swelling, bruising and/or needle marks. We recommend that you do not apply makeup for 24 hours unless you have new unopened mineral makeup to apply. There is a risk of infection with using opened makeup.
With lip enhancement and augmentation there is a significant chance of swelling which can occur immediately. It is therefore advisable to have the treatment when you can go home if necessary. If swelling occurs it can increase in the first 24 hours and then begin to settle.
6) Do I need to avoid anything after treatment?
a. Keep the area clean to reduce the risk of infection.
b. Avoid alcohol for 24 hours to reduce the risk of bruising.
c. Avoid extreme heat and cold for 2-4 weeks. It is important to avoid IPL, laser or radio frequency treatments near or over the area injected for 2-4 weeks.
d. If the cheeks or tear troughs have been filled, it is important to avoid pressure on the cheeks from glasses including goggles for swimming and skiing. Please check that your reading and sun glassess do not rest on your cheek.
e. Reduce exposure to the sun (UV) using hats and sun block for the first 2 weeks after treatment.
7) Do fillers work immediately?
Yes, the effect is immediate. You will however, notice changes over the next few weeks as the product settles in and the body adapts to it. You may notice slight differences in the texture of the product. In some people the area in which the gel has been injected may become firm after a few days and then soften again within the month. When it softens it may feel as though the product has gone however the volume change will still be present. The filler takes on the texture of your normal tissue.
8) How long do fillers last?
Different fillers last for different amounts of time. The fillers that we use should last from 9 months to 2 years. We recommend an assessment every 12 months to assess the need for additional filler to maintain your facial volume.
9) Are fillers safe?
The fillers that we use have been used for many years and clinical trials have shown that they are well tolerated. You may experience no side effects; however, as with all medications and medical procedures, side effects may occur.
Reported dermal filler side effects include injection site redness, pain, firmness, swelling, lumps and bumps, bruising, itching, discoloration and an acne type rash overlying the product. These effects are temporary and should resolve within a few weeks.
A very rare complication is obstruction of the blood supply to an area near the injection site. This presents with pain and needs to be assessed and managed by the treating practitioner. We encourage all of our clients to contact us immediately if they have any concerns following a treatment.