The first time I had my lips filled I was freaking out!! I was pretty young then. I didn’t have much knowledge about what fillers are.. how they work.. and how much are they going to change my face. All I knew is that big lips are out there now, and I wanted to join the party. To be honest, I was pretty satisfied with my thin lips! They never bothered me!.
So, when the doctor asked me which filler I wanted, I said: “the smallest one!”… Looking back at this now, I’m surprised how my doctor didn’t laugh then! She was so sweet though and said, “Ok! I can see that you are looking for minimal change… How about We start with Volbella, it’s smooth, subtle, and if you like it, you can always come for more! I’ll start with 0.5cc syringe”… I looked at her and asked, “can we do half of that? I don’t want to have duck lips”! That’s when she cracked a laugh and said “you might just as well give me your money and leave! If I only give you half of a 0.5 cc syringe, you’re not going to see any difference and you will ask for your money back”!!!
She then brought a ketchup packet. Just like the ones you get at a fast-food restaurant and said: “Do you know how many cc’s does this packet hold?”, in my head I was thinking “not enough to cover my burger?!”But she said, “about 10cc’s! do you think injecting 1/20 of this in your lips will give you duck lips?”…
I finally got my lips done. They were swollen after the procedure and the next day, and I loved them swollen! They looked perky and sexy! But then the swelling started going down, and they settled into a nice but smaller shape. But I’m not lying when I say, after they settled down, I kinda wished I would get my swollen lips back! I went back to the doctor 2 months later, and this time when she asked me which lip filler you want… My answer was “I want the whole syringe doc!!!”.
Different Fillers… Different stories…
Fillers now are of many types and uses. Facial fillers, also called as Dermal Fillers can work magic in your face! Plumping the lips, lifting the eyebrows, enhancing the cheekbones and the jawline, erasing the under-eye circles, smoothening smile lines and overall transforming you to a younger, more youthful and rested version of you! One of the best advantages of fillers over other cosmetic procedures is that it provides instant satisfaction in less than 30 minutes. You leave your doctor’s office noticing the huge difference the filler has done to your appearance. Yes, you might have some swelling, redness, or even bruising after the procedures, but other than that, this is a fairly safe procedure, especially in the experienced hands.
In my opinion, the only thing bad about these fillers is that they are temporary. Fillers last from 6 months to 2 years. Newer fillers in the market may last up to 5 years now.
Types of Fillers…
Juvéderm is a collection of fillers and different forms that are designed to go to different areas of the face. They are all Hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers. HA is a synthetic form of a natural material you have in your skin that normally enhances volume. Some of the fillers that belong in the Juvederm family includes Voluma XC, which is used to add lifting to the cheeks, and jawline.
Also, it can be used in specific situations to correct some deformities in the nose, in a procedure known as Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty. It also can be used to smooth moderate-to-deep lines around your nose and mouth (aka the nasolabial folds) and the lines that run from the corners of your mouth toward the chin (the marionette lines). Juvéderm Ultra XC is my favorite for the lips! It plumps up the lips, as does Juvéderm Volbella XC, which also is used to soften vertical lip lines. Vollure and Juvéderm Ultra Plus XC are used for moderate to server lines.
Depending on where you end up getting your fillers, your doctor will choose the best way to do the numbing. But in addition to the numbing method your doctor might use, these fillers have a numbing agent added to them. These fillers are highly reversible! So if you don’t like them, your doctor will dissolve them with an enzyme that breaks Hyaluronic acid called Hyaluronidase.
Restylane is another family of Hyaluronic acid fillers. These are designed to treat various and sometimes overlapping areas. Restylane Lyft is the thinker form, and is used to lift the cheek bones, jaw lines, and deep nasolabial folds and sever wrinkles. It’s also FDA approved to add volume to the hands! How amazing is that? Your hands will no more tell your age!
Restylane Silk is beautiful filler for the lips as it’s made of smaller/smoother particles. Refyne and Defyne are also part of the Restylane family, and they help in the nasolabial fold, marionette lines, and the smile/laugh lines!
As with other kinds of hyaluronic acid fillers, injections with these filler may also stimulate natural collagen production, so fewer touch-ups may be needed and less material necessary when they are. But how long do these last? well, it depends on the product and where you got it injected. for example, Lyft can last up to a year in the cheeks but only up to 6 months in wrinkles. Lips with Silk will stay plumped up to 6 months.
Radiesse is a beautiful filler to use to volumize the cheeks and provide contouring of the face in general. It’s a heavy filler so although your can use it in the deep creases, you would never want to have it in the lips!
Radiesse contains microspheres of calcium hydroxylapatite (which is a type of mineral that we have in our teeth and bones). So unlike Juvederm and Restylane, it’s not a Hyaluronic acid filler. What this also means is that it’s not completely reversible. Remember that Hyalorunidase we talked about in Juvederm? It won’t work here! When used in a filler, the calcium particles are tiny and suspended in a thick gel-like solution. While Radiesse immediately replenishes lost volume, over time the gel is absorbed and the body metabolizes the calcium, leaving behind your own collagen.
Radiesse results can last a year or more. However, because the Calcium hydroxylapatite partickles stimulates natural collagen production, fewer touchups are needed.
Few Last Words…
These are just a few different types of dermal fillers that are out in the market now. Each one of these fillers or new fillers has its pros and cons. Your doctor should be able to help you decide which filler is best for you depending on your needs.
The only thing that I can add is that each of these fillers commonly come with a needle or two for injections. Although most injectors use these needles, other doctors are also trained to use cannulas for injections instead. Cannulas are blunt needles that are designed not to penetrate the blood vessels or nerves like a regular sharp needle does. Using a cannula can help prevent bruising or injection of a filler into a blood vessel which can cause ischemia and skin necrosis. Choosing a cannula is a good option especially when working in a highly sensitive area. So my advice, choose a doctor that is comfortable in using both needles and cannulas, and is knowledgable about anatomy and can provide you with safe treatment.