Review: Hyaluronic Acid Fillers

Hyaluronic acid can be used for oh so many uses. It is one of the most used fillers and it’s an amazing topical moisturizer. Supplements that contain HA are even being sold on the market. Don’t let the acid name fool you, this acid is about as gentle as they come.

Hyaluronic Acid in Cosmetic procedures

Hyaluronic Acid has been used in the cosmetic industry as filler. Juvaderm and Restylane are the most well known. Belotero Balance and Voluma are also widely used. Even within the Juvaderm and Restylane fillers there different fillers targeting different areas. Juvederm Ultra may be used as a lip filler whereas Juvederm Ultra Plus can be used to target those wrinkles around the nose. Voluma and Belotero Balance are typically used around the cheek area where more volume (hence Voluma) is required.

These fillers can last anywhere between 8 to 24 months. Once per year is generally considered a good schedule for upkeep. In general, HA fillers are very safe. They do dissolve naturally and in general are pain free; however, as with any medical procedure there is always a risk permanent damage although this is very rare with HA fillers.

One thing we’ve also started to see is the microneedling with HA to give the very temporary appearance of less wrinkles. Dr. Jart+ has an entire line of microneedle patches that include HA on the needle tip. They do work although only for a few days. You also have to keep it on for 2 hours and in general it’s just really uncomfortable. I’m not a huge fan of using fillers on my face just yet (although those fine lines are starting to creep in) but I’d rather use fillers than by these patches every few days. In reality it’s probably cheaper too.

HA fillers begin at around $682 dollars according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Of course that cost goes up depending on the physician, type of filler, and volume of filler.

In general less is more with fillers. No One will look like their 18 again at the age of 40 because of fillers. Those I do know who use fillers regularly and don’t get that fake look target those areas of the face that tend to age a person: Crow’s feet, smile lines, and what I call the forehead furrow. The forehead is targeted mostly using Botox. Smile lines (nasolabial and marionette lines) and crow’s feet are very common targets for HA fillers.

When looking at getting fillers there are people who don’t qualify. Obviously those that are too young, active herpes infections, skin infections at the site, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and those taking bloodthinners. We’re also seeing more doctors refuse patients they believe are addicted to fillers. It’s a common medical condition and requires professional help in most situations.

Common side effects include swelling, bruising, bleeding, redness, tenderness, warm sensation (from the swelling), and lumps/bumps. Rarely numbness, infections, nerve damage, inflammatory reactions, scarring, cysts, and migration of the filler. Huda recently had her fillers redone and she showed everything on her IG including getting the fillers through the healing process.If you want fillers watch her video and make sure you’re ok with the process. It’s jarring to watch.

Personally I don’t think Huda needs fillers. She’s beyond gorgeous. She also lives in Dubai which has a very high beauty standard and some of the best plastic surgeons in the world.

Horror Stories

Fillers are considered completely safe by the FDA. Whereas silicone fillers are permanent fillers that I have and will continue to rail against, HA fillers are pretty benign. Where it goes wrong are in those people who see a dermatologist/plastic surgeon who isn’t licensed or go overboard and damage their skin. It you haven’t watch ‘Botched’ do it. What is seen is just astounding. I can’t believe there’s an actual doctor willing to implant some of these people. But I’m assuming they’re doctors. There are also stories of Dermatologists performing this procedure (and don’t be mistaken getting HA fillers are a medical procedure and should be treated as such by the patient and the doctor) without gloves, damaging nerves, etc. and it turns out they were never licensed to perform the procedure and ended up purchasing their HA filler from some discount website.

Where to find a doctor?

If looking to get fillers and need help finding a reputable plastic surgeon the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has a fantastic websearch. You can search by procedure and all doctors listed are licensed and board certified plastic surgeons. If looking for a dermatologists the American Academy of Dermatologists also has a searchable list; however, it only shows you a dermatologist not those that are approved for injectable fillers. I’m of the mind set that everyone should see a dermatologists regularly. I do see mine regularly, around every 4-5 years.

Do you use fillers? Botox? Want them? Let me know in the comments what your experiences or viewpoints on fillers are.

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