As we age, we lose some of the fat that lies just beneath the skin. The skin itself can lose elasticity causing the skin to sag, and this leads to more fine lines and wrinkles appearing. Dermal fillers can be used to plump thin lips, enhance cheek contours, soften facial creases and wrinkles, and reconstruct contour deformities in the face. In some cases, soft tissue fillers will not provide you with the outcome you want, and it may be warranted to speak to a cosmetic plastic surgeon instead.
Most fillers currently used are made of cross-linked hyaluronic acid. The degree of cross-linking determines the consistency of the filler. For certain areas, a thicker, gel-like filler will provide more structural definition and in others a thinner, more watery consistency is useful. As hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the body, there is little reaction to the fillers, and they are naturally broken down over six to 12 months.
After a thorough assessment, appropriate injection sites are marked on the skin, which may be numbed using topical anaesthesia prior to injection. A fine needle will deliver the dermal filler quickly and precisely, and the area will usually be massaged for a few moments after, to ensure good positioning and spread of the filler.
The results are immediate, and full recovery is usual within a few days. As with any cosmetic procedure maintaining overall skin health will enhance the outcome of the dermal fillers and various skincare options can also be discussed during your consultation.
Procedure takes 30-60 minutes
Lasts for 6-18 months
Complications are rare - include asymmetry, infection, allergy, bruising
Topical anaesthesia may be required
Results are immediate, however best results seen within 7-14 days
Who can have dermal fillers?
An adult of any race or gender can have filler also long as they are medically and psychologically assessed as suitable.
Those who cannot have a filler treatment include:
pregnant or breastfeeding women
history of allergy to hyaluronic acid or lignocaine/lidocaine
patients who have hypertrophic or keloid scarring
active infection either systemically or over the injection points
Will it hurt?
All of the filler products we use contain local anaesthetic called lignocaine. This acts on the tissues to provide some numbing once the filler has been injected. To help reduce pain on the skin we often use a local anaesthetic cream which is applied for 20-30 minutes before the procedure. Most treatments are well tolerated as the needles are small and the techniques we use are gentle.
If I get my lips done will I end up with a "trout pout"?
We favour a natural, subtle enhancement for all our treatments. With soft tissue fillers, we start small and build up gradually and this allows us to see how your body adapts to the presence of the filler. Sometimes it can take two or three treatments to get the look you are happy with. An extensive knowledge of facial anatomy allows us to know exactly where to place the filler to avoid the dreaded 'trout pout', and because we always start small, we avoid the risk of overfilling the lips which can make them protrude further.
Will I have a lot of swelling afterwards?
It is very normal after any injectable procedure to have some degree of swelling, however, certain areas swell more than other e.g. the lips. We wouldn't recommend having a soft tissue filler treatment the day or two before a big event, but most of the time any swelling will resolve within a few days. You can help with any swelling by following the aftercare advice given to you at your treatment.
Can I still have lip filler if I have had cold sores before?
Having soft tissue filler around the lip area can cause a breakout of cold sores, even if you have never had them before (a very small chance of around 1%). If you have a history of cold sores, you may be recommended to have a course of antiviral medication in the run-up to your treatment. If you do end up with cold sores following a lip filler treatment, rest assured that the majority will resolve without any treatment in two to three weeks.
What are the costs involved?
We price soft tissue filler per syringe used, and they usually come in a 1ml syringe. We understand that these treatments are expensive, but this reflects that the products we use are legally sourced and from a licensed pharmacy, and the treatment is performed by a highly qualified medical professional, who can diagnose and manage any side effects of complications. We will always be completely transparent with costs, however, if you are concerned about the treatment costs, we are happy to discuss options with you at your consultation.
Rachel provides excellent care and I totally trust her professional judgement in terms of what is best for me and my skin. I can't recommend her highly enough. If you have been wondering whether you should start some skin-care and aesthetics programme, do book a consultation with Rachel - I am sure you will be impressed.