A survey from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery reveals almost half of all patients seeking facial plastic surgery procedures are seeking dermal filler injections.
Dermal fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm and Radiesse are an increasingly popular choice to fill in sunken facial areas and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Filler demand is also growing because their results can be seen quickly and last for several months.
“They also give people the look they want without the downtime and risks of surgery,” said Dr. Gregory Chernoff, a triple-board-certified facial, plastic and reconstructive surgeon who practices in Indianapolis and Santa Rosa, California.
“Age, genetics and behavior factors can affect our skin quality. Over time, these things cause our fat volume to decrease and our skin to lose its ability to stretch and retract. The result is loose, hanging skin and the development of wrinkles,” Chernoff said.
This is where fillers come in.
“By injecting fillers into sunken or wrinkled areas, the skin gets plumped up and smoothed out. The result is a more youthful appearance,” Chernoff said.
Dermal fillers are also a popular choice because they improve skin quality.
“Dermal fillers are typically made of things like hyaluronic acid, collagen, calcium and elastin. These things are all found in the skin and are necessary for skin health. Once injected, they begin supporting and nourishing the skin from within,” Chernoff said.
Fillers are frequently injected around the nose and mouth to erase “laugh lines” or other creases near the nasolabial folds.
They are also popular for giving the lips a boost, because, like the rest of the face, the lips age, too.
“Lips become thinner with age. Dermal fillers can help reverse that,” Chernoff said.
More than 90 percent of the member surgeons of the AAFPRS reported that they use fillers to restore facial volume.
The AAFPRS is not the only plastic surgery organization reporting the popularity of dermal fillers. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported in its 2017 annual report, Plastic Surgery Statistics, that dermal fillers were the second most popular minimally invasive cosmetic procedure in the United States last year.
There were nearly 2.7 million dermal filler injections in 2017, a 3 percent increase over 2016.
The most popular minimally invasive injectable last year was botulinum toxin type A, commonly known as Botox, Dysport and Xeomin.
Botulinum toxins are often injected around the forehead, brow and eyes. They cause temporary paralysis of the muscles in the treated areas.
“When these muscles are paralyzed, they are prevented from making facial expressions that cause wrinkles,” Chernoff said.
The results of botulinum toxins last between three and six months and are seen almost immediately.
“These benefits are a big part of why the injections are so popular: near-immediate results that last,” Chernoff said.
Other popular injectables involve fat – either using fat taken from another body area and injecting it into the face or using Kybella, an FDA-approved fat-eliminating injection, to remove unwanted fat in the chin.
“Kybella is an injectable that is very similar to deoxycholic acid, which naturally occurs in the body and helps you to absorb fat,” Chernoff said.
For best results, many patients combine minimally invasive injections and fat transfers with facial surgeries such as the face-lift or mini face-lift procedure.
“Combining surgical procedures and minimally invasive injections yields the greatest benefits,” Chernoff said.