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How Long Do Fillers Last, and Who’s a Good Candidate?

With the soaring popularity of fillers, cosmetic surgeons have been inundated with questions, including how long the effects last, and who can safely receive the injections. At Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists, these and other queries come up on a daily basis, and we’re more than happy to take the time to answer them, both here and during your free consultation.

What Causes Skin Volume Loss?

We all have a substance called subcutaneous fat. It is directly under our skin, separating it from muscle. Sometimes, we spend a lifetime trying to get rid of it, because it’s what makes our tummies, buttocks thighs and other places bulge undesirably. However, among other important functions, it serves the purpose of giving our outer layer of skin volume, smoothness and contour.

As we age, this fat diminishes, most noticeably in areas like the face, neck, and shoulders. The backs of hands and feet can be affected too. This decrease brings the muscles visibly closer to the surface. Continued use of the muscles, now without the buffer of fat, causes droopiness and sagging. Combined with the additional loss of collagen, which contributes to the skin’s elasticity, the formation of wrinkles, creases, folds, and hollows begins. This results in a drawn and tired facial appearance.

What are Fillers? 

A cosmetic filler is an injectable, FDA- approved substance consisting of soft tissue. It is designed to take the place of the reduced subcutaneous fat. Skin puckers and grooves normally occur due to natural aging, sun damage, and repetitious facial expressions such as laughing, squinting, concentrating and grimacing.

Fillers restore plumpness and lost fullness to these facial furrows. They smooth out areas around the eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks, and chin where laugh lines, crow’s feet, and other wrinkly or papery looking skin typically form. They can also be used to refine facial flaws and irregularities including scarring from acne or minor injuries.

Fillers can also improve the look of the hands, décolletage, and earlobes where bones might protrude, or where skin may have a deflated appearance. They can even provide cushioning relief to regions of the feet exposed to chafing and discomfort from footwear. The entire procedure is similar to reinflating a softened beach ball to make it firm, contoured, and smooth again.

What are Fillers Made of, and Are They Safe?

Because of strict guidelines set forth by the FDA, and the conscientiousness and surgical skill of qualified, accredited physicians like those at Cherokee Women’s Health Specialtists, fillers today are safer than ever.

In the past, fillers consisted of animal-based collagen. This collagen caused allergic reactions in the recipients. Today, synthetic fillers are made of hyaluronic acid (HA) which is modified and bacterially produced. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the body. It is a gelatinous molecule that works to keep your joints and skin lubricated-in essence, oil for the body. As you age, your body produces less of this substance, depriving your skin of moisture and causing it to become dry and wrinkled, the same way lettuce becomes limp if it’s not sprayed regularly in a grocery store. Because hyaluronic acid is not alien to the body, there is less chance of any unpleasant reaction.

How Long do the Results of Fillers Last?

It is impossible to pinpoint exactly how long the aesthetic benefits of any dermal filler can last. Longevity depends entirely on a myriad of factors and cannot be predicted or guaranteed, but the norm is 2 months to one year. Variables that can affect duration include:

  • The area treated: The more actively the muscles are used in the treatment, (i.e. mouth versus cheeks), the shorter the effectiveness of the product
  • The amount and type of filler used: Each brand has different active ingredients which impact the product’s longevity.
  • Serum thickness: Thicker serum usually extends the filler’s
  • Injection technique: Fillers require specific methods of injection, (‘linear threading’, ‘fanning’, ‘serial puncture’, ‘cross hatch’ etc.), all of which our professionals are qualified to perform. Based on the necessary process, each syringe perforation may use a different amount of filler, thus affecting duration.
  • Body metabolism: Today’s fillers, especially those consisting of naturally occurring hyaluronic acid, are absorbed, go through the waste process and are eliminated the same way food is. Therefore, the duration of a filler’s effectiveness is also based on your metabolic rate.
  • Lifestyle: Active lifestyle and excessive exercise can cause the body to break down fillers more quickly due to increased metabolic rate. More frequent treatments may be required to maintain results.
  • Sun exposure: Sun accelerates the aging process which, in turn, necessitates more treatments.
  • Body chemistry: Each individual undergoing the procedure will process the filler differently based on such things as genetics, use of medication, diet, etc.

Who is a Good Candidate for Dermal Fillers?

Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists use fillers made by Juvederm. We rigidly adhere to all maker’s product guidelines. Our clientele falls into their recommended category of women aged 25 to 75. Additionally, the best candidates should be:

  • Non-smokers
  • Women who are diligent in practicing impeccable skin care
  • Women who do not expect their appearance to be so dramatically changed that they become unrecognizable.
  • Women whose general health is good and don’t suffer from any chronic or debilitating illnesses or immune conditions that may be compromised by receiving dermal filler injections.
  • Women who are not pregnant, breastfeeding or planning either while receiving filler treatments. (No conclusive studies exist regarding filler impact on pregnancy or breast milk)
  • Women who have no evident allergies to any filler ingredients.
  • Women without severe scarring or pigmentation
  • Women who have not recently had other facial treatments or plan to do so while using fillers
  • Women who do not regularly take medication that may cause problems when used in conjunction with cosmetic fillers.

Why Should I Go to Cherokee Women’s Health Specialists for My Filler Procedure?

In one word–expertise! Fillers replace many of the highly-invasive rejuvenating plastic surgeries women had to undergo in the past to maintain a youthful appearance.

Because treatments are quick, virtually painless and need no convalescence, many inexperienced non-professionals are performing them with limited training in correct dilution, application, or anatomical knowledge. Women have been left with irreversible damage after being lured by the promise of dramatic, unrealistic results that come with a preposterously low price tag. In many cases, women have attempted the process themselves, using rogue, imitation products. The outcomes were disastrous-blindness, scarring, infection,-even permanent disfigurement, just to name a few.

At Cherokee Women’s Health, our practitioners possess the highest qualifications and are abreast of the most up-to-date cosmetic surgery developments available. Drs. Litrel and Haley are both board- certified urogynecologists with double accreditation in OB-GYN and Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (FPMRS). The latter degree sanctions us to minister to all of your uniquely feminine requirements. Our proficiency in rejuvenation and reconstructive procedures tops the list of the many broad-based services we provide. Moreover, since 2007, Dr. Haley has been certified in injectables, giving him over a decade of skill, practice, and experience in this field.

The aging process does not have to be a visually undesirable one. Today’s facial cosmetic techniques can easily and safely match your outer appearance to reflect your inner youth. You can trust us to help you attain that goal with the safest and most meticulous precision, expertise, care, and commitment to your safety and well-being.

Call to schedule a free consultation with one of our double-board certified physicians at 770.720.7733.