Dermal fillers are widely appreciated for their ability to reduce facial wrinkles and replenish face volume. The duration of these results can vary considerably, depending on numerous factors such as the specific type of filler used, the area of application, and even the individual's metabolic rate.
Understanding Dermal Fillers
Dermal fillers, as the name suggests, are substances designed to fill in areas under the skin's surface, commonly used to smooth out wrinkles, fine lines, and other signs of ageing. They can also be employed to enhance facial contours, improving the appearance of cheeks, lips, and other areas that may lack volume or definition.
One of the primary components found in many dermal fillers is a special type of acid (the Department of Health does not allow open discussion of brand names or active ingredients). This is a naturally occurring compound that plays a crucial role in maintaining skin hydration and volume. It is also instrumental in the production of collagen and elastin - two proteins that contribute significantly to the skin's elasticity and firmness. The use of this acid in dermal fillers capitalises on these properties, providing not only an immediate filling effect but also promoting longer-term skin health.
However, it is important to note that the results are not permanent. The longevity of these effects varies greatly depending on the type of dermal filler used.
The Lifespan of Dermal Fillers Effects
When it comes to understanding the duration of dermal fillers, it is crucial to recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The longevity of these treatments can range from as little as 6 months to as long as 5 years. This significant variation is due to a multitude of factors, including the specific type of filler used.
Each brand and type of dermal filler has its unique formulation and properties, resulting in different durations of effect. Some fillers are designed for superficial, fine lines and wrinkles, while others are intended for deeper injection to restore volume to areas like the cheeks. Naturally, the more substantial fillers tend to last longer than those designed for more superficial treatments.
Nonetheless, it is not just the type of filler that influences how long the results last. Factors such as the individual's metabolism, the area of the face where the filler is injected, and the amount of product used can all impact the longevity of the treatment. These variables mean that each person's experience with dermal fillers will be unique and the duration of their results can vary.
Specific Brands, Manufacturers and Their Longevity
As the popularity of dermal fillers has grown, so too has the variety of manufacturers, brands and products on the market. Each of these manufacturers offers unique formulations, which can result in different durations of effect. Unfortunately, in Australia, the Department of Health does not allow open discussion of brand names or the active ingredients in dermal fillers. Below each brand is referenced via their manufacturer.
- Allergan: This line of dermal fillers has several products, each with different durations. For instance, their first product typically lasts about 24 months, with a recommended touch-up treatment at 12 months to help maintain results. Their second line last about 12 months, often requiring a touch-up at around the 6 to 9-month mark. Their final range can last approximately 12 to 18 months.
- Galderma: Galderma’s range of formulas also varies in their longevity. They have a set of products that can last about 12 months, often necessitating a touch-up at the 6 to 9-month stage. Their other injectables can only last 6 to 10 months and 5 to 7 months.
- Merz: Known for its calcium-based microspheres, Merz can provide results that last approximately 12 months.
- Dermik: Unlike dissolvable fillers, Dermik stimulates the body's collagen production and can last more than 24 months.
- Suneva: Standing out for its longevity, Suneva is a synthetic resin filler that can last up to 5 years.
It is important to note that these are typical durations and individual results may vary. Factors like the patient's age, skin condition, and lifestyle can all influence how long the effects of the fillers last.
Factors That Influence How Long Fillers Last
While the type of dermal filler used plays a significant role in determining the longevity of the results, there are several other factors that can influence this as well.
- Area of Application: The location where the filler is injected can have a considerable impact on how long it lasts. Areas of the face that experience more movement due to muscle activity, such as around the mouth, may see a faster degradation of filler compared to areas with less movement like the cheeks or the temples.
- Amount Injected: The volume of filler used during the treatment can also influence its longevity. Larger volumes might provide longer-lasting results, but the ideal volume depends on the individual's facial features and the desired outcome.
- Metabolism: Each individual's body metabolises substances at different rates. Some people might metabolize dermal fillers more quickly than others, leading to a shorter duration of effect.
The Role of Touch-Up Treatments
One of the most effective ways to maintain the rejuvenating effects of dermal fillers and extend their longevity is through touch-up treatments. These follow-up sessions play a crucial role in the overall success and duration of the initial treatment.
Despite the initial robust effect of dermal fillers, they begin to slowly degrade in the first few months after injection. However, this degradation isn't typically visible right away thanks to the filler's ability to absorb water and maintain its volume-enhancing effect. It is usually around the midpoint of the filler's expected duration when a decrease in volume might start to become noticeable.
This is where touch-up treatments come in. Scheduling a touch-up session around this time can be highly beneficial. These treatments often involve injecting a smaller amount of the filler to 'top-up' the initial treatment, helping to sustain your results for a longer period. It is a strategy commonly used with various types of dermal fillers.
However, the timing and need for touch-up treatments can vary based on the individual, the type of filler used, and the treated area. Therefore, it is important to maintain open communication with your cosmetic professional and follow their advice regarding the optimal schedule for touch-up treatments.
Conclusion: Setting Realistic Expectations for Longevity
Dermal fillers are a powerful tool in the realm of cosmetic enhancements, offering the opportunity to rejuvenate and refine one's appearance without the need for surgical intervention. However, it is crucial to understand that the effects of dermal fillers, while impactful, are not permanent.
The longevity of dermal fillers can vary significantly, ranging from six months to five years, depending on the specific brand used, the area of application, the volume injected, and the individual's metabolism. Furthermore, touch-up treatments play a vital role in maintaining the results, often recommended around the midpoint of the filler's expected duration to sustain the desired outcome.
Setting realistic expectations is a crucial part of any cosmetic procedure, and dermal fillers are no exception. It is important to remember that individual results will vary, and the duration of the effect can be influenced by a multitude of factors. Consultation with a qualified practitioner will provide the most accurate estimate of how long you can expect your dermal fillers to last.
Sources & Studies
Master, M 2020, ‘Hyaluronic Acid Filler Longevity and Localization: Magnetic Resonance Imaging Evidence’, Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, vol. 147, no. 1, pp. 50e53e, viewed 8 June 2023, <https://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Abstract/2021/01000/Hyaluronic_Acid_Filler_Longevity_and_Localization_.15.aspx>.
Master, M & Roberts, S 2022, ‘Long-term MRI Follow-up of Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Filler’, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open, vol. 10, no. 4, p. e4252, viewed 13 December 2022, <https://journals.lww.com/prsgo/Fulltext/2022/04000/Long_term_MRI_Follow_up_of_Hyaluronic_Acid_Dermal.12.aspx>.