With time, the skin ages as the effects of gravity, sun exposure and muscle contraction take effect. The underlying skin tissues that keep skin young and elastic begin to weaken, leaving laughter lines, crow's feet and wrinkles where this muscle movement takes place.
Fillers, of which injectable hyaluronic acid or fat are the most common, can help fill these wrinkles, and temporarily restore a more youthful appearance. When injected underneath the skin, these fillers 'fill out' creased or sunken areas of the face, and can also be used to add fullness to the lips and cheeks. Injectable fillers may be used alone or in conjunction with other procedures including laser treatment or a facelift.
The primary purpose of hyaluronic acid and fat injections is to improve the skin's texture. They can help in filling out severe wrinkles, creases and furrows and can be also used to add a fuller appearance to the lips.
Injectables are usually not sufficient to deal with deeper surface wrinkles, such as multiple "lipstick lines" which can appear around the mouth. As an alternative, the plastic surgeon may suggest a more drastic approach, such as a chemical peel or a laser treatment. As opposed to filling wrinkles, these methods peel away the outer layers of the skin to reveal a smoother surface.
Deep folds in the face or forehead which are caused by overactive muscles or loose skin can be treated more effectively with cosmetic surgery, such as a facelift. Occassionally used in addition to facial surgery, injectables and peels alone are insufficient to change the contours of the face in the same way as surgery.
An important factor when considering injectable fillers is the temporary nature of the results. Injected material is eventually broken down and metabolised by the body, therefore patients cannot expect the same results as with cosmetic surgery.
In some cases, results may last a few weeks although the effects can, in some instances be maintained indefinitely. Current industry thinking holds that lifestyle, age and genetic makeup are all factors in determining how effective these treatments can be.
Specifics of procedure
Injectable hyaluronic is used primarily to fill wrinkles, line and scars on the face and sometimes on the neck, or back. The matrial is injected through a small needle inserted along the edge of the specific treatment site. If a local anaesthetic has not been administered, the patient may feel some stinging pain with the injections. Some fillers now contain local anaesthesia.
Since the filler is mixed with part salt water which is easily absorbed by the body, the site will perhaps be overfilled by the surgeon to ensure results after absorbtion.
No bandaging is necessary and patients are free to act as normal, although the use of sunblock is recommended for a short period. There may be a degree of redness or swelling although this should die down after several days.
There are a number of specific chemicals used to achieve varying degrees of effect.
Alphahydroxy acids (AHAs) are the weakest formulas used to achieve light peels and produce a smoother complexion for those adverse to trying heavier peels. AHA peels can be used to treat fine wrinkles, patches of dryness and uneven pigmentation. Trichloroacetic acid (TCA) is another typical formula, used most frequently for medium-depth peeling in a range of concentrations. Problems commonly treated by TCA range from fine surface wrinkles to pigmentation issues whilst results are usually less drastic than with phenol peels. Phenol, the strongest of the chemical solutions used produces a deep peel and is used to treat patients with deep facial wrinkles or areas of pre-cancerous or sun damaged skin. As a result of its strength, phenol sometimes lightens the pigment of the treated skin hence skin pigmentation may be a determining factor as to the appropriateness of phenol peel.
When the treatment is conducted by a fully a qualified specialist, complications are rare and usually minor. That said, individual variance in anatomy, physical responsiveness and healing capabilities means that the outcome of injectable treatments is never wholly predictable.
With hyaluronic acid fillers, allergic reaction is rare. Any sign of redness, swelling or other activity should be reported to the surgeon immediately for assessment.
Risks not related to allergies include infection, abcess, open sores, skin peeling, scarring and lumpiness, which may remain, although instances of these problems are very rare.
With peels, the risks are again fairly minimal, although it is not unknown for some scarring or infection, or in extreme cases some pigment discoloration.
By nature, all medical procedures carry an element of risk. Before embarking on any medical procedure, it is advisable to consult fully with the McLean Academy so that our qualified staff can suitably discuss any risk or concerns that your procedure may pose. Face Peels and Fillers are non surgical procedure with minimal risks.
Body-Jet is an innovative technique, which can be used for re-sculpturing without the potential complications of more traditional methods of liposuction.
The One Stitch Face Lift is a relatively new advanced procedure, designed to make the skin smooth and taut, without the need for complex and invasive surgery.