Fillers

There are a variety of fillers on the market. These are used to plump up an area eg cheek bones, or to fill in wrinkles.

In principle the fillers are either:

A) from your own body-fat is the classic example
Fat (taken by liposuction, from somewhere else, eg the tummy ) is the only safe permanent filler. It is best when deposited deeply in the tissues and is less ideal for superficial wrinkles and fine lines. It is almost routinely used as part of a facelift, to replace the loss of fat which occurs as part of the ageing process.

B) synthetic
These can be permanent (largely abandoned as all the permanent fillers gave problems ) and non-permanent. The latter are very popular and are devoid of serious long term side effects.

There are a number of products available for fine lines and wrinkles. All are highly effective – but all are temporary – most lasting for a year or so.

Common products in use in South Africa are Prevelle, Perlane and Restalayne and Juvederm. The good news is that they now all contain an anaesthetic agent , making the injection a painless procedure.

As the ageing process occurs, some areas in the face be come flatter and lose their shape. This is where fillers work well (see figure ).

Common areas where fillers work well include:

1. the naso-labial folds. This is the lines/ crease which separates the lips from the cheek. It gets progressively deeper with age.

2. lips As the lips ages, it looses its pout and sensuality, becoming flatter and longer. Filler can be used to plump up the lips (inserted along the vermillion which is the red part of the lip andding to lip pout )as well as for the fine lines which occur on the upper lip, especially in women, These lines are more pronounced in smokers.

Fillers work well when combined with botox for the marionette lines of the lower lip.

3. The lower lid-cheek junction. Also known as tear-trough lines or naso-jugal fold ) With ageing the lower eyelid and cheek become separated by a curved line which starts at the nose joins the cheek.

4. The eyebrow area. With ageing there is hollowing in the temple region and where the eyebrow ends.

5. Cheek bone. The ageing process also leads to flattening of the cheek bones-again this can be addressed with filler. The fillers (or fat ) are placed on the bone and last a little longer.

6. Nose. More recently filler has been used to improve the shape of the nose.