As with most things in life, age comes with its benefits and downsides. It is associated with wisdom, vast experience and, in some cases, considerable achievements. However, the changes that are seen over time, particularly the outward ones, can be a bit depressing or, at least, undesirable. People love the idea of staying young forever if possible. This has seen many embark on the endless search for the elusive "Fountain of Youth." Facial volume loss has been suggested by experts as being responsible for visible signs of aging, such as loose skin and sags on the face. From this perspective, finding a way to reverse this diminution can help a person appear younger than they really are. Skin or dermal fillers offer potent means of achieving this goal.
The youthful appearance of a person's face and skin generally is attributed to the presence of sufficient amount of fat, collagen and hyaluronic acid. All these contribute to make your skin look full, healthy, moist and young. But, as we grow older, adverse changes in the levels of these useful substances typically set in. This could start as early as in the twenties and continue for the rest of a person's life. Facial fat is somewhat evenly distributed to make for rounder, fuller face in young people. But the fat is gradually lost and becomes less evenly distributed as year passes by. This leads to appearance of loose skin, sags and jowls which are all associated to aging.
Facial volume loss affects different areas of the face, including the temples, eye sockets, cheeks, lips and jaw line. It results in loss of fat layers, collagen and blood vessels which give natural support to the skin. This forces the cheeks to descend from their normal position, with this leading to the appearance of nasolabial folds around the mouth and corners of the nose. Cheeks become flattened and fine lines may be seen in the region of the lips and nose. Folds, formally known as oral commissures, may form just below the corner of the mouth as well.
The reduction in facial volume is all part of the natural aging process. We are all expected to experience it as we get older. Your genetic composition has a role to place in the rate of how fat, elastin and collagen are lost. But your genes are only responsible for just a fraction of the problem. Medical professionals have observed that lifestyle and environmental factors are mostly responsible for facial aging and wrinkles. Of all these factors, radiation from the sun causes the most damage. Smoking, stress, poor diet, medical conditions, and use of certain medication can also cause facial volume to decline.
What you are likely to find most shocking is that exercise has been associated with facial volume loss. While we were all too busy trying out different fitness routines to stay fit and look younger, little did some of us know that these could even contribute to aging in a different way. Exercise helps to burn body fat and to build lean muscle, among other benefits. Those who exercise regularly tend to have lower body mass index (BMI), which is a good thing for great health. But then, fat is needed to keep signs of aging away from your face. Fitness buffs typically have lower subcutaneous fat and this can promote lines and wrinkles on the face. The risk is further worsened when a person exercises regularly in the sun. Body fat percentage of between 15 and 25 is needed to maintain a younger appearance, depending on your age. The benefit of a slightly higher BMI to the face is usually seen from the age of 40 and above.
There are surgical and nonsurgical techniques for dealing with facial volume loss. These include laser treatment, platelet-rich plasma therapy, dermal fillers and Botox. The nonsurgical treatment options, such as Botox and dermal fillers, are the most popular – it is easy to understand why that is so. An estimated 82% of all cosmetic procedures carried out in 2011 were non-surgical, as reported by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Dermal fillers are second only to Botox among nonsurgical cosmetic procedures in terms of popularity in the United States. They are injected into the face to eliminate creases, wrinkles and other undesirables. As the name indicates, they help fill up hollows, lines and sags for a more youthful appearance. Dermal fillers are quite potent when it comes to facial rejuvenation and enhancement.
Dermal filler can be administered in just matter of minutes without necessarily disrupting your regular schedule of activities. The procedure can be completed in just 10 to 30 minutes. It does not require anesthesia to be performed and pain that you are likely to experience is minimal. The medical practitioner in charge typically provides guidance on what you can and cannot do after the procedure is completed – for example, you may be instructed to refrain from intensive exercises for the immediate 24-hour period afterward. The results of dermal filler procedures are typically seen within 48 hours. However, it must be noted that these are mostly temporary solutions that will need to be repeated at intervals.
There are diverse options to choose from when it comes to choosing dermal filler for facial volume restoration. They are made of different materials, including hyaluronic acid, collagen, calcium hydroxyl apatite and even body fat. Which of these is best? Fillers based on hyaluronic acid, a complex sugar naturally occurring in many body tissues, are the most popular for replacing lost facial volume in that they deliver longer-lasting results. But then, the different fillers have their unique benefits. The following are some of the most popular dermal fillers currently in use.
This is arguably the most popular brand dermal filler available right now. Made by the same company producing Botox, Juvederm is hyaluronic acid-based. It helps to smooth out creases, lines, folds and wrinkles. The product is the best for dealing with facial wrinkles. It is available in different variants, namely: Ultra, Ultra Plus, Voluma, Refine, Volbella and Volift. Juvederm Ultra and Ultra Plus are formulated for getting rid of mild to severe wrinkles and folds, while Juvederm Voluma is for dealing with more severe facial volume loss. Juvederm Refine, Volbella and Volift are newer products that assist in eliminating fine lines and smile lines, restoring firmness and improving lips. The results of these fillers are estimated to last around six months to two years.
Another of the hyaluronic acid-based fillers, Restalyne is also popularly used for restoring facial volume. It is revered as the first stabilized filler of its kind to be released to the market and has been used by more than 11 million times across the globe since 2010. The product restores volume and fullness, helping to deal with moderate to severe folds and wrinkles on the face. In addition to the regular offering, there is Restalyne L which adds Lidocaine, an anesthetic agent, to reduce discomfort while injecting. A recently-approved Restalyne Silk targets signs of aging around the mouth and lips. The results of these fillers are estimated to last up to 12 months.
Also known as Sculptra Aesthetic, this is a skin filler made using synthetic poly-L-lactic acid, the same substance used for making dissolvable stitches. Sculptra induces collagen production thereby helping to thicken the skin over time. The biodegradable filler was originally approved by the FDA for combating facial volume loss in individuals with HIV. It is ideal for people having thin or saggy faces and interested in having fuller, rounder faces without resorting to alternative, invasive procedures such as brow lifts, facelifts, and laser surgery. Sculptra is administered in a series of 2-3 injections taken some weeks or months apart. Results can hold for as long as two years.
Just like Sculptra, Radiesse’s claim to fame has to do with its ability to fuel your body to produce more collagen. It is, however, made using a different substance known as calcium hydroxyl apatite (CaHA) in form of crystals suspended in a gel. Radiesse is renowned for its ability to build facial contours, such as cheekbones and chins, and eliminate moderate to severe facial wrinkles for a younger look. It delivers longer-lasting results by promoting collagen production around the calcium-based micro-spheres. Effect of Radiesse could last 12 to 18 months.
This is another good product to check out by those interested in removing aging signs such as fine lines, wrinkles and nasolabial folds, among others. Belotero compares decently well to Juvederm and Restalyne in that it is also made using hyaluronic acid. It works well for both superficial and deeper lines and folds. The filler is formulated in such a manner as to ensure seamless assimilation in skin tissues.
As stated previously, facial volume loss is associated with decline in the amount of collagen in the skin. The idea with collagen-based fillers, therefore, is to replenish what is lost with age. These are made using purified material extracted from cows. They are used for treating facial wrinkles, lines and scars. Derma fillers using collagen are no longer as popular as they once used to be. Their place has been taken by hyaluronic acid-based fillers which produce longer term effect.
This also takes the form of skin filler, but involves the use of your own body material. Practiced since the 1980s, autologous fat transfer is considered by some as one of the most cost-effective methods of correcting facial volume loss. Fat extracted from a part of your body, such as thighs or buttocks, is used for this procedure. Once extracted, the fat is processed and then injected into the face as filler. This is considered the most natural since it involves the use of your own tissue. Fat transfer produces the most noticeable facial volume restoration.
The amount to be spent on dermal injections depends on the extent of facial volume loss that has been experienced. The type of product that is recommended also plays a role in determining eventual total cost. Treatment begins with consultation where the condition of your face is assessed and a treatment plan is drawn up. Remember that more than one injection is usually required to achieve desired results and additional treatment sessions increase your expenses. Dermal fillers are not exactly cheap – you should expect to spend an amount between $500 and $5,000 per treatment. Yet, these do not always offer permanent solutions to the problem in hand.
While dermal fillers are mostly safe, you should be aware that there are certain side effects that may be experienced. Excessive or inappropriate use of skin fillers can result in irregular facial appearance as well as lumps and bumps on the face. You may allergic reactions when using products made with synthetic substances. Swelling, tenderness, pain, bruising, skin discoloration, hyper-pigmentation and infections have also been reported as possible side effects. In the case of fat transfer, longer time is needed for recovery after the procedure. It makes sense to inquire of your doctor about possible side effects before proceeding.
Dermal fillers should never be administered by an untrained individual. It is ideally handled by a doctor or a nurse working on the instruction of a doctor. It helps to work with a practitioner having significant experience in the execution of this sort of procedure. It will not be pointless to request for references if you feel those are essential.
It is not a good idea for just about anybody to consider dermal fillers for dealing with facial volume loss and signs of skin aging. This is not a solution for everyone. You are advised to put off the procedure if you have a skin infection or suffering from an inflammation, pimples, rashes and certain other skin complaints. Dermal fillers are completely out of the equation for certain individuals, such as those prone to excessive scarring, allergies or bleeding disorder.
Derma fillers rank among the most common methods for replacing lost facial volume. Hyaluronic acid-based offerings, such as Juvederm and Restalyne, are particularly more powerful for this purpose. Filler injections deliver quick results that can be noticed in less than 48 hours. They are mostly temporary solutions and wear off after a number of months. Repeat treatment sessions are required to maintain the youthful appearance. A healthy diet is also essential for maintaining that young look. You should eat a diet rich in fish oil, fruits and vegetables which provide essential antioxidants and nutrients that help arrest damage to the skin. Stay away from processed foods by all means – they accelerate your aging process, including loss of facial volume. For those who want to improve their odds of having a healthier skin from within they may also consider taking an HGH releaser such as Genf20 Plus. Many of the symptoms associated with an aging skin have been linked in many studies to a decrease in HGH levels.
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