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Woman receiving dermal filler by a cosmetic dermatologist

Dermal fillers can do wonders to restore lost volume, soften creases, smooth lines, and enhance facial contours. In fact, dermal fillers are exceptional for almost anyone who wants to improve the overall youthful-looking and healthy appearance of their skin. However, dermal fillers are not a one-size-fits-all solution for facial rejuvenation – to get the best aesthetic results possible, you need to choose the right dermal filler. Fortunately, your dermatologist can help you select the perfect dermal filler to fit your needs.

Dermal fillers are gel-like substances that a dermatologist injects into the skin to create various effects. More than a million men and women in the United States choose this popular treatment each year, according to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Many opt for dermal fillers because it is a cost-effective way to regain a youthful appearance without surgery. Results can last 6 months to 2 years, or even longer, depending on the product and the specific treatment.

Choosing the right dermal filler can seem confusing at first, as there are many great products on the market today. The best dermal filler for you depends largely on the aesthetic issue you want to address, the location of your wrinkles, sagging skin or fine lines, and how long you want the treatment to last.

Want to Choose the Right Dermal Filler?

Cosmetic surgeons use a wide variety of FDA-approved dermal fillers. Dermatologists categorize dermal fillers by the substances from which they are made. Each dermal filler works in a slightly different way to reduce the appearance of sagging skin, fine lines, and deep wrinkles.

Hyaluronic acid for deep lines near your nose and mouth

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring substance already present in your skin. HA hydrates and plumps skin. When injected beneath a line or wrinkle, the soft and gel-like hyaluronic acid binds with nearby water molecules to plump the skin, push the skin upwards, and fill in the wrinkle or line. Results are temporary, typically lasting 6 to 12 months or longer before your body naturally and gradually absorbs the hyaluronic acid particles.

Products containing hyaluronic acid, such as Restylane®, Belotero® and Juvéderm®, may be right for you if you want to treat marionette lines that go from the edges of your mouth to your chin, nasolabial folds (smile lines) that go from your nose to the edges of your mouth, or other wrinkles around your mouth and nose.

Calcium hydroxylapatite for deeper lines in your lower face

Some dermal fillers, such as Radiesse®, may be the right dermal filler for you if you have deeper lines and wrinkles, particularly in your lower face. Specifically, it treats smile lines and marionette lines, pre-jowl folds on either side of the chin, drooping corners of the mouth, and wrinkles of the chin.

Radiesse® and other fillers contain calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA), which is another naturally-occurring substance in your body. When suspended in the smooth gel of a dermal filler, the calcium particles are nearly microscopic. These fillers are generally thicker than those containing hyaluronic acid, so once injected, the CaHA microspheres provide immediate volume and correction. After injection, the calcium hydroxylapatite in Radiesse® stimulates the body’s production of collagen, which provides structural support and elasticity to skin. Because of this stimulation of collagen production, dermal fillers with calcium hydroxylapatite typically last longer too – about 12 months for most patients.

Poly-L-lactic acid for fine lines

Poly-L-lactic acid is biocompatible, which means it is safe to use in the human body. This synthetic substance is also biodegradable, so it is easy for your body to break down naturally. In fact, doctors have been using poly-L-lactic acid in dissolvable stitches and other medical devices for many years.

Dermatologists classify poly-L-lactic acid as collagen stimulators, in that it works to smooth fine lines by helping your skin rebuild its natural collagen stores.

Most dermal fillers provide instant results by filling the wrinkle from beneath and pushing the skin back up. Dermal fillers containing poly-L-lactic acid are different in that the filler gel itself dissipates and disappears just a few days after injection, but the collagen-building effects last much longer. This means that the effects of these dermal fillers do not provide immediate results, but instead offer longer-lasting subtle results as your body produces the collagen your skin needs for a youthful appearance. In fact, results can last more than 2 years.

Sculptra® Aesthetic is an FDA-approved poly-L-lactic acid fillers. For best results, dermatologists often recommend treatment with Sculptra® in three sessions over three to four months.

Sculptra® and other products with poly-L-lactic acid may be the right dermal filler for you if you want to improve the typical lines and creases that develop around the mouth, including deeper nasolabial folds – especially if you want long-lasting results.

For more information about choosing the right dermal filler, consult with our dermatologists at Center for Dermatology & Laser Surgery or call 503-296-3440. Our team of dermatology professionals can help you select the perfect dermal filler to restore the healthy and youthful appearance of your skin.