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Right Filler is Key to Successful Treatment
Dermatologist Can Assess Your Skin and Select a Filler that Best Suits Your
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SAN FRANCISCO (March 3,
2006) * As people live longer and healthier lives, more and more of them are
looking for ways to look as young as they feel. Because the aging process
causes the face to lose underlying fat and collagen, the skin starts to sag and
wrinkle. Wrinkle fillers, commonly known as fillers, can give the skin back its
plumped up, youthful appearance, but the key to their successful use is knowing
which of the many available options will work best for each individual.
Speaking today at the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of
Dermatology, dermatologist Derek D. Jones, M.D., assistant clinical professor of
dermatology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said, "Fillers have
become a popular means of addressing skin problems that result from aging, sun
damage, trauma and/or scarring or disease. Because there are so many options, a
dermatologist can recommend the filler that is best suited for the individual
Fillers are commonly used to treat facial lines and wrinkles, hollow cheeks,
receding chins, thinning lips and wrinkles between the eyes. Other procedures
such as laser rejuvenation, which can improve the skin's tone and texture, and
botulinum rejuvenation, which can relax the muscles that cause wrinkling, can do
many things to improve a person's appearance. However, they cannot address the
loss of volume that happens with aging. Only fillers can increase the skin's
volume, much like putty fills a crack.
Selecting the proper filler is an important part of the process. Some fillers
are intended for superficial wrinkles and some work best for deeper wrinkles.
Others are better for deep cheek hollows and facial lipoatrophy, the severe
facial fat loss that can happen to people who are HIV-positive.
Dr. Jones participated in a study in which approximately 1,200 HIV-positive
patients with lipoatrophy were treated with liquid injectable silicone, which
permanently added volume to their faces. After five years, none of the patients
has experienced any problems. The ongoing study will continue to assess the
efficacy and safety of the procedure.
"Often, HIV-positive patients with lipoatrophy feel stigmatized and become
depressed. The patients in the study were happy with their results, and many
felt that the treatments helped to improve their quality of life," Dr. Jones
said. "Liquid silicone is almost an ideal filler, but it is the least forgiving
of all fillers. Since it is permanent, it must be used correctly and with good
judgment. Although it works well for a variety of indications, it is best
reserved for emotionally devastating conditions such acne scarring and HIV
facial lipoatrophy where other fillers may not work as well."
There are many other types of fillers, including the following that are approved
by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are widely available:
Despite the ease of use and
minimal risk, Dr. Jones stressed that fillers need to be injected by an
experienced and well-trained physician, such as a dermatologist, in order to
reduce the risk of side effects.
- Purified collagen from
cattle and humans is most often used to treat very fine wrinkles around the
eyes and mouth, deep lines and creases, depressed scars such as those from
acne or chicken pox and to add volume to thin lips. Results last three to
- Hyaluronic acid gel may
be used to treat lines around the mouth and to plump lips. Results last three
to six months.
- Poly-L-lactic acid beads
are commonly used to replace lost facial fat. Results last up to two years.
- Self-donated fat, or fat
transfer, is most often used to treat deep lines, deep scars, hollow cheeks
and restore contour to a face. Results last one to three years.
"Depending on the filler, side effects are usually temporary, lasting only two
to three hours and may include temporary redness, swelling, tenderness and
visible lumps. More serious side effects are rare but allergic reactions and
soft tissue damage can happen," Dr. Jones said.
Another drawback to all fillers, except liquid injectable silicone, is that
they are temporary, you may need multiple treatments to get the desired
result, and you will need to maintain the results with additional treatments
"When a dermatologist and a patient decide that using a filler is the
appropriate treatment, the procedure can be done in the dermatologist's office
and the patient can return to everyday activities immediately with no
downtime," Dr. Jones said. "When the proper filler is selected and used by an
experienced physician, most people will have successful results and will be
Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American
Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most
influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a
membership of more than 15,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed
to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the
skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education,
and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a
lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the
Academy at 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or
Knowledge is Power.
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