Busting the Four Myths About Dermal Fillers
While most of the world is relatively free from traveling snake-oil salesmen tactics, that doesn’t mean the fear-mongering, telling of tales and telephone game misinformation left the building with them. No sir, those myths still abound. So let’s bust ‘em, shall we?
We’ll kick it off with Myth #1. Botox is a filler too, right?
Um, no. No it is not. Simply put, fillers fill and Botox relaxes. Botox, Dysport and Xeomin are actually products that contain a purified form of botulinum toxin type A. When injected into facial muscles they can relax wrinkles that form when making certain negative facial expressions like furrowed brows, forehead lines and crows feet. Dermal fillers, on the other hand, actually “fill” offending wrinkles and folds, adding volume to areas that have lost it, and often times stimulating collagen too. *High five for that bonus!
Myth #2 is one for the needle-phobics: Aren’t fillers excruciatingly and mind-numbingly painful, necessitating a historical revival of the fainting couch?
Calm down. Seriously. Dermal fillers are typically combined with lidocaine which helps alleviate the pain associated with needle injections. In some cases your doctor will decide to use a local anesthetic, but typically patients associate the pain of dermal fillers with 2.5 on the 1 to 10 pain scale. Doctors also often use a topical numbing agent prior to the injection, but it’s important to remember that having anything injected into the delicate areas on your face is going to be slightly uncomfortable and the only person that can judge whether or not the results will be worth the needle-prick is you.
With the tabloid media skewering public figures over speculation of their own personal choices about cosmetic procedures (a trend that this writer, personally, finds abhorrent and invasive), Myth #3 is perfectly understandable: Will everyone know that I’ve had dermal fillers?
The answer is two-fold. Choosing to verbalize your decision to have dermal fillers (or any cosmetic procedure, for that matter) is a personal choice. However, the fear that you will look so dramatically different after this non-invasive procedure is likely just that: fear. In the capable hands of a board certified plastic surgeon, the results of dermal fillers are meant to be moderate, making the patient look completely natural, just a little more refreshed. It’s your doctor’s job to tell you when enough is enough and your job to listen to him or her. The biggest tell-tale signs are the bruising, redness and swelling that can occur directly after the procedure and typically fade within a few days. Avoiding medications like Advil, Aleve, Aspirin —anything that thins the blood, can help alleviate these side effects.
And finally — what if you don’t like the results? Are they permanent?
Myth #4 is that you can’t un-ring a bell. The truth is that, sometimes — and often in the case of fillers — you can. Most fillers last from 3-months to a year, so yes, you can wait out results that are less than what you expected. However, it’s a lesser known fact that if you dislike the look of dermal fillers, most can be reversed using a reversing agent called hyaluronidase to break up the hyaluronic acid in dermal fillers — thus eliminating the unwanted result.
So now it’s your turn. What questions, myths, and blunders are causing you to fret and frown (eek!)? Let us know and we’ll do our best to bust ‘em!