Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Injectable Fillers for Cosmetic Purposes

Fillers are designed as an inactive substance that helps active medicine work faster and more efficiently. As an example, fillers are frequently used in capsules or tablets because the amount of the active drug is too miniscule to put them in pill form. Generally, however, when referring to fillers, we a referring to cosmetic fillers that are injected into the skin to treat wrinkles, creases, and scars. These types of fillers are becoming more prevalent amongst individuals in Canada in effort to make skin appear smoother.

Many general practitioners in Canada, including Dr. Ali Ghahary at Brentwood Medical Clinic in Burnaby, BC, use these cosmetic fillers for their patients.

Wrinkle fillers are the most popularly used. These injectable fillers help one look younger with more vibrant and youthful skin, for only a small portion of the cost of cosmetic surgery (i.e. facelifts.) The results of these fillers are more than satisfactory and can last for several months. Injectable fillers like Botox relax the muscles underneath the skin and then fill the lines, creases, wrinkles or scars with one of multiple substances.

These fillers are also uses as “volumizers” to the skin, filling out thin lips, tightening the skin of hands, and plumping the skin around the cheeks and jawline.

Below is a look at a few of the different kinds of fillers that are available for use in Canadian clinics:

  • Hyaluronic Acid: This is the most popular type of filler, commonly known as Juvaderm. The results will last anywhere from a few months to over a year. Recent research has found that frequent injections of this particular filler can help the body produce more collagen, which will reduce the number of wrinkles. Additionally, with repeated injections, it is found that less is needed over time.
  • Synthetic: This is a very small category of fillers, but includes laboratory-made substances that have nothing to do with anything already found in the skin. There is a much longer lasting effect from this filler, with the product even offering permanent treatment of lines and wrinkles. However, it is important to note that synthetic products come with more side effects.
  • Collagen: These fillers are made from collagen extracted from animals. It offers a natural-looking fill, but the results are not long lasting, sometimes breaking down as early as one month after treatment. There is a high rate of allergic reaction to collagen fillers because the source comes from an animal, therefore it is often recommended to undergo allergy testing beforehand.
  • Autologous: The most common substance in this category is fat. Your own body fat, that is, which is surgically removed from your stomach, buttocks or thighs. Both procedures (one to remove the fat and another to inject it) can be done in one visit, with a semi-permanent effect. Another option under this category is platelet-rich plasma injections, where blood is drawn from the arm, spun, and then injected into the site. These effects can last anywhere from 12 to 18 months.

As with any product, there are risks and benefits to using fillers, thus it is important to have a discussion with your physician to determine which kind is best suited for you.

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