What To Expect from Dermal Fillers

As dermal fillers become increasingly popular, affordable, and natural-looking, more and more patients ask me for the lowdown on how they work ... and whether they're worth braving a needle!

As it ages, skin loses collagen and hyaluronic acid. Dermal fillers simply allow dermatologists to inject those naturally occurring components back into the dermis, thereby restoring skin's volume and minimizing the appearance of wrinkles, folds, and scars.

Wondering if they're right for you? Consider these common questions:

How long does it take? How many sessions will I need?
Injecting dermal fillers takes only one treatment session. The effects are temporary, however, and you will need to return to your doctor if you want to maintain them (generally every four to six months, depending on the product you use). Treatment sessions typically last about 30 minutes.

Will the results be immediate?
Yes, you will see results immediately.

Will it hurt?
Patients may experience some discomfort, although it is generally minimal and can be further reduced with topical anesthetics. Collagen fillers like CosmoPlast and CosmoDerm contain lidocaine, which makes them less painful than the hyaluronic acid fillers, which don't contain anesthetic.

How much will it cost?
Cost, of course, varies depending on the doctor you see, the product you use, and the amount of product required to treat the area in question. In general, though, most dermal fillers cost from $500 to $600 per syringe.

What should I do before treatment?
It is best if patients avoid taking aspirin and other NSAIDS (such as ibuprofen), green tea, vitamin E, and St John's wort for seven to 10 days prior to treatment, as those ingredients can increase the risk of bruising. If you are taking aspirin or blood thinners for a heart condition or blood clots, inform your dermatologist of your condition and medications but do not stop taking your medications.

What should I do after treatment?
In most cases, patients can return to work and resume their daily activities after their treatment session. They may see small areas of bruising, which can be covered by makeup. The swelling and bruising will disappear in a few days, but I recommend scheduling your treatment at least 10 days before any big events.

You can also apply a topical gel containing arnica - or take arnica supplements - to minimize bruising. Avoid hot showers or saunas for six hours after treatment (as they can worsen bruising) and avoid sun exposure and alcohol for 24 hours (as they can increase redness).

For more information visit us online. Wishing you great skin!

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Dr. Baumann is author of the best-selling book, " The Skin Type Solution." To learn more about her revolutionary skin typing system, visit her Web site, SkinTypeSolutions.com.

All of Dr. Baumann's recommended skin care products are available online, and a portion of proceeds goes to The Dermatology Foundation.

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