Usually the first visible signs of aging begin with lines and wrinkles from repeated facial expressions, which may be temporarily diminished or even eliminated by the use of Botox. As the aging process continues, our facial skin loses its moisture and natural support structures, such as collagen and elastin, which help keep skin supple and youthful; this eventually leads to skin creases and folds. At the same time, we also start to lose fat under our skin and gravity takes effect, creating dark under-eye circles and making our cheeks appear hollow and even flattened. Hope is not lost, however, as soft tissue fillers can be directly injected into or beneath the skin to help soften the effects of aging by restoring facial volume. These fillers can bring new life to tired eyes, plump and lift the cheeks, reduce or even eliminate smile and marionette lines, and be injected into thin lips for added fullness. Soft tissue fillers can provide a smoother and more youthful look, with virtually no downtime or need for recovery. They can also be used as an adjunct to facial rejuvenation surgery.
How do facial fillers work?
There are two types of fillers that Dr. Moya prefers to use: hyaluronic acid and calcium hydroxylapatite. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring substance in your body that delivers and maintains moisture and nutrient levels in skin cells, creating the appearance of volume and fullness in supple, young skin. Over time, however, your body’s ability to make its own hyaluronic acid diminishes, contributing to lines, wrinkles, creases, and areas of the face that have lost their fullness. Injection of hyaluronic acid, then, delivers moisture and volume, helping you achieve a more youthful appearance.
Calcium hydroxylapatite fillers also contain substances which occur naturally in your body. These can not only immediately replenish lost volume, but can even stimulate collagen growth, resulting in new tissue development in and around the injection area. Results can be longer-lasting, but, as with hyaluronic acid filler, still temporary.
Facial Filler Injection Process
Following a thorough facial evaluation and assessment, Dr. Moya will determine the most appropriate filler (or combination of fillers) and amount to provide you with a natural-looking result. In order to make you more comfortable, Dr. Moya frequently utilizes fillers which have a numbing agent included in their formulation. (For those fillers without a numbing agent, one may be added prior to treatment). In addition, application of a topical numbing cream and/or ice pack may also help you feel more comfortable, with the added benefit of the cold temperature helping to reduce the risk of bruising. Dr. Moya also utilizes blunt-tip microcannulas (Dermasculpt Microcannula) for some of his filler injections, since, in certain circumstances, they are safer, more accurate and provide a better result. Filler is then injected directly into the skin to plump lines and wrinkles or beneath the skin to restore fullness. The time of the appointment depends on the amount of treatment required, but is typically about fifteen to forty-five minutes long.
Benefits of using a microcannula
For those facial filler injections designed to replenish volume beneath the skin, Dr. Moya prefers to use a blunt cannula, as there are several important advantages of doing so. First, whereas a traditional needle is sharp and inflexible, a microcannula is blunt-tipped and flexible, which means rather than piercing blood vessels (as a sharp needle can), a blunt cannula allows blood vessels to simply be ‘pushed aside’ as it moves through the tissues under the skin, significantly reducing (or even eliminating) the risk of bruising. Second, because cannulas vary in length (some longer than others), you may require only one or two skin punctures to treat a specific area. Finally, since, when used correctly, they do not require any kind of injected local anesthesia, your facial rejuvenation experience will be even more comfortable.
There is no downtime following injection with soft tissue fillers. Once Dr. Moya completes your treatment, you may return to work or other normal activities (restricting vigorous exercise for several hours), with only mild redness, soreness, or swelling at the injection sites. Should you experience swelling, if necessary, you may apply ice to the treated area in order to help resolve it more quickly. Dr. Moya also recommends that you do not excessively touch or massage the treated area for a few days.
Results and repeat treatment
You will see an immediate reduction in lines and wrinkles, as well as a dramatic increase in volume and fullness in areas treated for age-related volume loss, and should continue to see improvement over the next few days. Your results will last anywhere from one to two years depending on the product injected. Over time, however, your body will naturally absorb hyaluronic acid, and collagen and tissue developed with synthetic fillers will eventually break down. If satisfied with your results, you may choose to undergo a repeat treatment in order to maintain your rejuvenated look. Soft tissue fillers can help delay surgical intervention, but can also be used in combination with a neck lift or facelift for an enhanced result. Dr. Moya prefers a conservative approach to facial rejuvenation, always first considering non-surgical treatments if possible, and will help you decide what is best for you based on your concerns, expected results and facial anatomy.
I just wanted to say a hearty thank you to Dr. Moya for my new lips! I love them!