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What are dermal fillers and how do they work?

  • Fillers  (sometimes called dermal fillers, cosmetic fillers, soft tissue fillers, cosmetic injectables,or hyaluronic acid fillers) – refer to a non-invasive cosmetic procedure that involves smoothing out lines and wrinkles with injectables.
  • This creates a more youthful and fresh-faced appearance – all without the “done” look.
  • Dermal fillers are gel-like substances that are injected into the skin to help increase volume, add plumpness and make lips appear fuller.
  • Many people also use fillers to fill in acne scars or to reduce the appearance of facial trauma during/after plastic surgery.
  • Once injected, the filler integrates with the skin’s deeper layers attracting water molecules which helps hydrate and plump skin, also improving facial volume and texture.
  • It is important to note the experience of the person injecting fillers as there are several  different fillers for very different purposes.
  • As there is not a one-size-fits-all filler, it’s important to ask about formal qualifications and training, to help ensure optimal filler effectiveness, longevity and aesthetic artistry.
  • Today fillers are the second most popular non-invasive cosmetic procedure after Botox®, with more than 9,900 filler procedures performed every month in Australia.

What areas of the face and body can be treated with fillers?

  • Acne scars (face or body)
  • Frown lines (forehead lines or glabellar lines)
  • Smoker’s lines (perioral lines or small vertical lines around the lips)
  • Marionette lines (vertical lines from mouth to nose)
  • Worry lines (forehead lines)
  • Crow’s feet (periorbital lines)
  • Deep smile lines (nasolabial or the vertical lines going down the side of the nose)
  • Cheek depressions
  • Lip enhancement
  • Witch’s chin (chin augmentation)
  • Facial scars
  • Hand rejuvenation (this also uses fillers)

    What are the different types of injectable fillers and how long do they last?

    • Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in body tissue that effectively adds plumpness to skin or thin lips. 
    • These injectables can last at least 6 to 18 months depending on the patient and injection area. Many women prefer this type of injectable as it is natural. The result is immediate,
    • Polylactic acid (PLLA) stimulates skin to produce extra collagen and increases facial volume. 
    • Calcium hydroxylapatite is a type of mineral commonly found in human teeth and bones. The effects of this material last approximately 18 months. 
    • Unlike other fillers, Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (PMMA) is a semi-permanent filler that contains cow collagen that is relatively long-lasting.
    • At Aurora Dermatology we use only Hyaluronic acid. 

    What happens during the dermal filler procedure at Aurora Dermatology?

    • Dr Parisa will take an extensive history, and you will be asked about your expectations for the result, your medical history reviewed and a course of filler treatments will be advised. 
    • Dr Parisa will then examine your face and take a photo. 
    • Local anaesthesia will be applied  half an hour prior to injection. 
    • The filler itself may also contain an anaesthetic agent to eliminate pain.
    • Injection usually takes only a few moments per site. The process includes injecting, massaging, and evaluating the result is performed, and additional filler added as needed.
    • Depending on the number of areas to be treated, the whole process can be done in as little as 30 minutes, or as long as 45 minutes.

    Who is a suitable candidate for dermal fillers?

    Injectable fillers are a relatively quick and easy way to help delay the need for more invasive procedures. Good candidates for dermal fillers include

    • Physically healthy patients 
    • Non-smokers 
    • Patients with realistic expectations 
    • Mild to moderate wrinkles (major wrinkles may require a facelift) or volume loss
    • The best way to determine your suitability is through a consultation with Dr Parisa.

    Who is not a suitable candidate for dermal fillers?

    Dermal fillers are not recommended for


    • Pregnant or breastfeeding women 
    • Patients with a history of allergies to injectables 
    • Patients with auto-immune disease or uncontrolled diabetes 
    • People who tend to keloid scar 
    • Patients with a high level of psychological concern about their appearance

    How do I prepare for dermal fillers?

    • Tell Dr Parisa about your smoking history, drug allergies and previous medical treatments as well as prescription and herbal medicines and vitamins 
    • Ensure you do not smoke 
    • Avoid topical products such as Tretinoin (Retin-A), Retinol, Retinoids, Glycolic Acid, or any “anti-ageing” products 7 days before the procedure. 
    • Ten days before the procedure, see your GP and stop all NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications) such as Aspirin, Advil, Aleve, Nuprin, Bufferin, Ibuprofen. Paracetamol is OK to use. 
    • Ten days before the procedure, stop all herbal supplements such as fish oil, ginkgo, ginseng and St John’s Wort
    • Avoid alcohol beverages 24 hours prior.

      What are the side effects of dermal fillers?

      • Common side effects of fillers include swelling, bleeding, slight pain and bruising which tends to settle in a few days. 
      • Uncommon side effects include allergic reaction, non-painful lumps, vascular injury, infection (reactivation of herpes virus, staphylococcal infection) and movement of implant. 
      • Skin redness, sensitivity, itching and rash. 
      • Very rarely during eye filler procedures blurred vision, partial vision loss, or even blindness if the dermal filler is accidentally injected into a blood vessel has been reported. Aurora Dermatology does not perform fillers in eye areas for this reason. 
      • Very rarely, skin necrosis may happen if filler is accidentally injected into the blood vessel

        What is the difference between fillers and Botox ®?

        Dermal fillers 

        – Plump areas that have lost volume and smoothness. 

        –  Treatment areas are typically the  wrinkles around the mouth, thin lips, and cheeks that have lost fullness as well as the nasal labial folds. 

        –  Results vary, depending on the filler used and can last 6 to 18 months. 


        Botox ® 

        • Freezes the muscles, ironing out  creases and wrinkles caused by smiling, squinting, frowning, and other facial expressions.

        Typically Botox ® treats the area in the upper face, such as the forehead and around the eyes. Botox ®  results last 3 to 4 months. Although fillers and Botox ® are designed for different uses, they are frequently used together in one treatment. 


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