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Filler, the substitutes for cosmetic surgery

Those who fear wrinkles and sagging due to old age and want to obtain lasting results, will surely think of intervening surgically against the inevitable signs of time passing by: for those who are afraid of surgical operations, fillers can be a valid alternative that opens the doors of interventions of non-invasive aesthetic medicine through injectable fillers.

Fillers, what they are and what they do

The word filler derives from English and means filler. It is a fairly recent innovative technique in medicine and cosmetic surgery, used for the correction of various skin imperfections, which can be wrinkles, dark circles or real scars.

Not only that: the new generation fillers are true to their name, as they act as plumpers for those areas of the face and body that, due to age or other reasons, empty and lose their volume, in addition to minimizing the scars. The main goal is to make young and mature women look healthier, brighter and more youthful as well as more harmonious, and this also applies to men.

Fillers are used in areas of the face where wrinkles are more likely to occur or to reshape certain areas of the face (such as lips, chin, forehead), sometimes they act at the nose area and some parts of the body such as calves, arms and buttocks. As for the breast, it is impossible to intervene in this way in Italy, since this treatment interferes with breast screening tests. Therefore, if you want to correct a defect in the décolleté area, you will have to focus on other solutions.

Difference between filler and botox

Both are two aesthetic medicine treatments that can ensure visible results quickly at a relatively low cost. The filler can have a variable duration, while the botox is a treatment of the reabsorbable type: in this case, the duration varies from 3 to 10 months. As for botox, it is also used to fill wrinkles and other imperfections but acts by causing a blockage of the nerve impulse in the muscles. The treatment is ideal for eliminating expression lines, especially from the forehead, while it is not suitable for those caused by aging. After the injection, it will take between 2 and 5 days to see the results and the peak will be reached within a week. The average duration varies from a minimum of 4 to a maximum of 5 months, and then gradually disappears. Unlike the filler, btx creates expressionless faces and a not really natural effect when compared with a biological filler. 

How many fillers are there?

Pharmaceutical companies have developed and continue to study different solutions regarding fillers. Each physical defect of the epidermis is different from the other, therefore it is normal that there are various types of fillers on the market, which differ according to the results you want to achieve, with which substances they are created and other characteristics.

Normally, the classification of fillers can be as follows:

Partially synthetic or semi-permanent fillers: They are used to eliminate deep furrows and wrinkles, as well as to increase the volume of cheekbones, lips and chin. They are based on particular substances, for example collagen with a chemical, or hyaluronic acid combined with a laboratory acrylic hydrogel. They are characterized because they can be reabsorbed by the epidermis but very slowly, however they are risky because they cause allergies and sensitization phenomena.

Synthetic or permanent fillers: Also called depth fillers, they are used for wrinkles and deep problems and can be removed if the result does not satisfy. However, they are not reabsorbed by the skin and permanent results can be obtained. These are the totally chemical fillers: in Italy injectable silicone is forbidden (only prostheses are allowed), polyacrylamide gel (a derivative of a neurotoxin) is preferred, and for this reason they have greater risks such as breaking the injected prostheses or the onset of even serious allergic reactions.

Biological or resorbable fillers: Also called surface fillers, they are temporary as they are reabsorbed by the skin, but are well tolerated. They vary from 3 to 10 months, but the duration can vary based on lifestyle, habits and stress. Using this treatment, you get a very natural result without long healing or recovery times after the sting. They have natural substances inside them, such as collagen or hyaluronic acid in combo with a gel derived from agar-agar.

How fillers work

Once the treatment has been chosen after a preliminary visit, the doctor will use a syringe with a very thin needle, rigorously sterile, disposable and pre-filled with the substance suitable for the imperfection. The professional will do nothing but inject the product into the affected part. It is not an invasive treatment and anesthesia will not be necessary, the only restriction is to rely on the care of a specialist doctor in this area.

Once the puncture is done, the filler penetrates the surface or in depth and fills the part. The action can be direct, i.e. immediately fills the affected area, or indirect, as can be that of a biological or resorbable filler based on polylactic acid. It stimulates the synthesis of collagen and determines an indirect lifting and filling effect. Collagen stimulation is practiced when there are certain conditions in which the doctor is aware that this protein is degraded or insufficiently produced, causing sagging and loss of elasticity and tension in the skin.

Benefits of fillers

The advantages of the filler are innumerable. First of all, most of the time, you can see the result with the naked eye: a younger and very natural appearance, characterized by harmony. Often, the actual facelift, in addition to being invasive and painful, makes the patient assume a fake expression, totally artificial and it is difficult for other people to ignore the "touch-up". Not to mention that, compared to plastic surgery, the injection does not involve serious side effects or damage, provided that it is performed by qualified people. Last, but not least, is to correct any disharmonies by injecting more product into the affected area.

Side effects of the filler

However, some side effects that occur with the filler in particularly sensitive and predisposed subjects must be taken into account. For example, signs or bruises may appear in the puncture hole, related to swelling, temporary loss of sensation or tingling. All elements that will disappear in a short time and that are normal.

As for pain, each person has their own subjective threshold, therefore the perception of discomfort or real pain is variable and the area to be treated could also influence. It works like when you want to get a tattoo: some can't stand the discomfort even if done on the shoulder, others don't blink if it's done in the side or near the ankles. Usually, the cheekbones and lips have multiple nerve endings, therefore the doctor can opt for the application of an anesthetic ointment.

The appearance of swellings, abscesses, inflammations, granulomas and fibrosis is usually due to the injection of permanent fillers: in these cases it is better to call the doctor and be visited to understand how to intervene. Same thing if an allergic reaction is suspected: normally the most common reactions are urticaria, inflammation, abscesses. By comparing the types, the biological / resorbable fillers are the most advanced, most tested and, consequently, the safest treatments to use, even if the professional can remove his doubts by doing a small test before carrying out the treatment. He will only inject a small amount of filler substance onto the forearm and then check after 24-72 hours. If there is no reaction, we will proceed to a second test in the other forearm and, after another 24-72 hours without problems, we can proceed. In the case of hyaluronic acid-based fillers and collagen-based fillers of human origin, the preliminary test is not carried out given the high compatibility of these substances with the skin.

Contraindications of fillers

Before proceeding, regardless of the type of filler, the surgeon will carefully evaluate the patient's health because, despite being non-invasive treatments, they have contraindications. Definitely, in patients allergic to the substance contained in the filler, to pregnant and breastfeeding patients, to those suffering from blood clotting disorders, to those suffering from autoimmune diseases of the connective tissue and skin and especially if you have infections derived from the virus Herpes, there is absolutely no way to proceed with the treatment.