Do you know the differences between fillers, Botox, and fat transfer? Most people do not. More importantly, when misused the results can be devastating to your looks. We have all seen the Hollywood types in the gossip magazines who have been done an incredible disservice by practitioners or doctors. One of the most common causes of the dreaded Hollywood look is the overuse and misuse of fillers to address sagging when surgery is needed instead. Knowing the differences between fillers, Botox, and fat transfer is very important and can save you from looking like the Stay Puft Marshmallow man.
What You Need to Know About Fillers
Facial soft tissue fillers help to reduce fine lines and wrinkles by adding volume and fullness to the face. Most fillers, such as Juvéderm, work by replenishing the hyaluronic acid levels in your skin and pulling in moisture from the body to add to its plumping and smoothing effect. Facial fillers are helpful at reducing early signs of aging such as plumping thin lips and softening facial creases and wrinkles and cheeks as well.
Fillers add volume to your face when you have had volume loss, and you have not reached the point of sagging in your cheeks. Once sagging starts in, falls in, or sets in, fillers won’t do. You must stop fillers when your skin begins to sag and consider more appropriate lifting solutions. Fillers plump, they do not lift.
One of the most common mistakes inexperienced physicians and other practitioners make is the excess promotion and use of fillers. When overused, fillers can create a very overfilled and fake appearance. The lesson here is to make sure you are getting the right filler put in the right place, and you are in the hands of the right board-certified plastic surgeon. Do not allow someone who just happens to be working at the spa or someone who is not professionally trained inject you with anything, ever.
The most commonly used fillers are the hyaluronic acid fillers. Hyaluronic acid fillers are safe and reversible. A different category of facial fillers that does not rely on hyaluronic acid is the volume stimulators. Volume stimulators such as Radiesse and Sculpture are injected deeper into the skin and stimulate the production of collagen. Over time, usually six to nine months, the collagen production allows the skin to volumize gradually. Volume stimulators are frequently used to restore volume to sunken cheeks, temples, or add volume to the chin and jawline.
What You Need to Know About Botox
Neuromodulators such as Botox and its generic forms Dysport and Xeomin are agents that block muscle nerve signals, which in turn weakens the target muscle limiting or nullifying muscle contraction. The action of Botox, in turn, results in diminished unwanted wrinkles in the target area. Botox has multiple uses and can be used to treat crow’s feet, forehead furrows, frown lines, skin bands on the neck, etc. Neuromodulators typically last about three to four months. It is important to note that neuromodulators soften and reduce wrinkles and will not fill, plump, or tighten treated areas.
What You Need to Know About Fat Transfer
Fat transfers have taken on an incredibly important role in facial rejuvenation today. Fat makes an ideal natural filler for the face. To achieve the fat transfer, liposuction is performed in areas of your body that have excess fat such as love handles, lower back, inner or outer thighs, or lower abdomen. Next, the fat goes through a purification process and then it is injected into different areas of the face to achieve the desired result. Roughly 50 to 60 percent of the transferred fat will become established and will be permanent, and the body will reabsorb the other 40 to 50 percent.
Five Key Points to Remember.
- Fillers fill, they do not lift. If you are experiencing significant sagging, do not get fillers.
- Soft tissue fillers, like hyaluronic acid, are great, safe, and reversible. However, do not overuse them. Volumizers like Radiesse are injected deeper into the skin, results gradually appear, last 18 to 24 months, and they are not reversible.
- Neuromodulators soften wrinkles and work well for three to four months.
- Fat is your own and perhaps the best filler. However, fat transfer is more labor-intensive and requires a sterile operating room.
- Do not trust your face to just anybody. Demand that you have an expert injector who understands facial aging. The expert cosmetic medicine injector should come from one of the four core cosmetic surgical specialties with approved ABMS boards including plastic surgery, ENT, dermatology, or ophthalmology. An expert injector will understand the different indications for fillers, Botox, and fat transfer as well as know when surgical facial rejuvenation is necessary.
Dr. Rod J. Rohrich is an internationally known, highly respected and skilled plastic and cosmetic surgeon from Dallas, Texas. He is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has led most of the key professional organizations in plastic surgery in the USA. He has received numerous honors and awards in plastic and cosmetic surgery, both nationally and internationally. In addition to his extensive surgical expertise and talent as a gifted surgeon, he is the Founding Chair and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He has authored hundreds of innovative academic publications in the field and he also serves as the Editor in Chief of the leading plastic and reconstructive surgery journal, the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Rohrich has also performed philanthropic work as a civic leader of organizations such as the March of Dimes, American Cancer Society and Save the Children and has established the Rod J. Rohrich, M.D. Foundation, which supports medical students in his native North Dakota. He is also a founding member and President of AiRS, the Alliance in Reconstructive Surgery, which serves to support education and reconstructive surgery for breast cancer survivors, regardless of financial status. Dr. Rohrich has repeatedly been featured as one of the best plastic surgeons in the country by US News and World Report, Harper’s Bazaar, Good Housekeeping and Texas Monthly as well as being quoted in notable publications such as the New York Times and Boston Globe. He has appeared on many television shows including Oprah, the View, and Good Morning America and is currently working to provide a reliable source of public-centered information in the fields of plastic and cosmetic surgery as well as other areas of medicine.