As we age, our skin tissue begins to break down, causing wrinkles and sagging. Fillers are products used to make our skin look young again.

Types of Fillers

Several types of fillers can be used to rejuvenate your face and lips:

Collagen - Collagen occurs naturally in our skin and keeps it toned and elastic, but it slowly loses its effectiveness as we age. Collagen injected into the skin brings back a toned look and elasticity.

Hyaluronic acid - Hyaluronic acid also occurs naturally in the body and keeps it hydrated by helping it absorb and retain water. It is frequently used to reduce the visibility of scars, lines around the nose and mouth, and worry lines on the forehead.

Calcium hydroxyapatite - Calcium hydroxyapatite can be found in your bones, but the product used as a filler is synthetic and not derived from humans or animals. When used as a filler, it has minimal side effects and produces a natural-looking result.

Polylactic acid - Rather than smoothing out the skin itself when injected, polylactic acid acts as a stimulant and encourages your body to create more collagen. Like calcium hydroxyapatite, this product is synthetic.

Polyalkylimide - This product works similarly to polylactic acid in that it causes the body to increase collagen. Allergy testing is not required for this product, and it can be removed if needed.

Which Filler Is Right for You?

Before settling on a certain filler, you will want to talk to a facial esthetics professional. Different fillers are best used for certain procedures based on their softness, longevity, and what they’re made of.

Not every line or scar is treatable with fillers, and certain medical conditions make the use of fillers potentially unsafe, so it is important to discuss exactly what your goals are and any medical conditions you have. A skin test will also be done to ensure your body does not react to the filler before any injections are made.

How Long Do Fillers Last?

As with most esthetic treatments, the duration of the effects of the treatment depends on what type of filler is used. For example, injected collagen will break down just like naturally occurring collagen does, and will need to be reinjected two to four times a year to maintain a smooth complexion. Some treatments can last a year or more, while others will need to be redone as often as every three months.