The science behind dermal fillers
Dermal fillers are a type of aesthetic treatment used to achieve a variety of outcomes in patient faces. They may be used to reduce facial lines and wrinkles; to add volume to the cheeks, chin and lips; and to enhance and maintain facial shapes and contours.
Facial ageing is a complex process that affects many parts of the human face. One effect is a loss of definition and bone support due to bone resorption, especially at the jawline and temples. Another is the loss of facial fat, leading to a loss of facial volume. In addition, fat compartments in the cheeks may descend toward the jawline, affecting the entire facial contour. Meanwhile, with a loss of collagen, hydration and elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles may appear.
Qualified healthcare practitioners use dermal fillers to address these ageing challenges. Additionally, some individuals choose may work with healthcare practitioners to reach non-age-related aesthetic goals.
The history of modern dermal fillers
Dermal fillers have been used for aesthetic purposes for at least 40 years, and modern-day dermal fillers have been used for more than 20 years.
Our bodies naturally contain substances that keep our skin tissue soft, hydrated and flexible. One of these is a sugar molecule (a type of glycosaminoglycan) which has a strong ability to bind water. Levels of this molecule in the skin tend to decrease as we age or when we are exposed to harsh environments, resulting in dry, thinner skin.
Modern-day dermal fillers typically contain this glycosaminoglycan. When placed in the deeper layers of the skin, this sugar molecule keeps the skin hydrated. Such products are used to enhance and maintain facial shape, angles and contours; to reduce fine facial lines and wrinkles; and to add volume to the cheeks and lips, and volumize ageing faces.