Healthcare Technology Featured Article

February 14, 2020

Technology Advancements in Dermatology

Most of us wish we had beautiful, smooth skin, plump lips and full cheeks but unfortunately people that naturally possess these features are few and far between. That doesn’t mean it’s an unattainable goal, especially with the latest advancements in non-surgical cosmetic solutions. All you have to do is find the right professionals and the possibilities are endless.

Dermal fillers have become a real game changer in the beauty industry. The relative ease, accessibility, short recovery time and almost immediate results have encouraged many who were previously too fearful of plastic surgery to be more open to the idea of “having work done”.

The disappearance of stigma around this sort of procedures is obvious from how willing and comfortable both celebrities and ordinary people feel about discussing them. Gone are the days when everything was hush-hush and the changes were attributed to diet and drinking more water, now they’re seen on the same level with getting hair extensions.  

Dermal fillers are becoming increasingly popular and accessible all over the world, but nowhere is this cosmetic trend more visible than London. Here, luxury clinics welcome patients who want to rejuvenate their skin through individualized treatment programs. A private cosmetic treatment in Pinner, for example, which is one of Greater London's upscale areas, involves one-on-one consultations with world-class aesthetic experts and developing a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to each customer.

What Are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers or facial fillers, as they’re also called, are a type of cosmetic procedure used to smooth out wrinkles, give thinning lips more fullness, enhance cheekbones, lift eyebrows and reduce the appearance of tired eyes, correct nose asymmetry, chin augmentation etc.

The procedure consists of pretty much what the name suggests: a filler like hyaluronic acid or collagen is injected into the dermis – the layer of the skin right beneath your epidermis (the visible, outermost layer).

Other than versatility and affordability, one of the reasons why dermal fillers are in such high demand is the fact that the procedure takes very little time – 30 minutes to one hour. After your appointment you can pretty much go about you day as you normally would. There are some things you need to avoid like going to the dentist as this might increase the risk of infection, some medications such as Aspirin (might increase bruising), but you can discuss this in more detail during your initial consultation.

It’s also not recommended that you get dermal fillers shortly before you have to attend an event since there may be some temporary bruising and swelling.

The effects of dermal fillers are likewise temporary but depending on the type of filler and the technique, it should last between 6 and 18 months.

Some people still confuse dermal fillers with Botox since they’re both injectable, but they work in entirely different ways. Botox is a purified form of botulinum toxin which blocks nerve signals to the muscles where it is injected, temporarily paralyzing them. Dermal fillers, on the other hand, work by adding volume to certain areas of your face, smoothing out the wrinkles and making you look younger since one of the signs of aging is loss of facial fat. Botox and dermal fillers can be used in conjunction but do have the same effects.

Types of Dermal Fillers

With so many options on the market today, you can have your pick depending on your individual skin need (elasticity, sun damage) and budget. Just keep in mind that what worked for your friend might not be appropriate for you. Read about every option and discuss it with the professionals at the clinic.

Collagen Injections

Collagen injections were first approved as a cosmetic procedure in 1981, so you know it has gone through decades of testing and perfecting.

The layer of your skin called dermis, which we mentioned earlier, is made out of collagen, elastic tissue, small blood vessels, nerve endings, glands and hair follicles. In young skin, the structure provided by collagen is intact which makes the skin more elastic and resilient to the lines formed by facial expressions. As the skin ages, collagen production decreases so every time you smile or frown, you’re putting stress over the already dwindling supply of collagen in your skin, after a while facial lines start to become more noticeable through a cumulative effect.

Collagen injections replenish some of the lost collagen as well as stimulate production. The collagen used in dermal fillers is mostly of bovine or human origin as these are found to be the most compatible and give the best results.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is the most popular type of dermal filler right now and it includes products like Restylane, Juvederm, Elevess and Bolotero. Just like collagen, hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the human body, especially in the skin. It attracts water, giving that aspect of fullness and it has an important role in skin regeneration – that’s why you see it as an ingredient in so many topical beauty products.

Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers have become so widespread because they can be used as non-surgical method of augmenting lips, chin, creating the appearance of a stronger jawline or reducing asymmetries in the nose.

Poly-L-lactic Acid

Poly-L-lactic acid injections are most commonly known on the market as Sculptra or Sculptra Aesthetic. Poly-L-lactic (PLLA) acid is a biocompatible synthetic polymer that stimulates collagen production by causing irritation in the deep dermis which increases fibroblastic activity. Fibroblasts are cells that synthesize collagen. The results won’t be as immediate as with hyaluronic acid but they tend to last longer (up to two years).

Calcium Hydroxyapatite

Calcium Hydroxyapatite injections are known on the market as Radiesse, and similarly to PLLA acid injections, they stimulate collagen production. The difference lies in the fact that CaHA injections have a higher viscosity so it provides immediate results, just like with HA injections, and the gel is easy to mold so it can also be used to reshape the nose, chin and lips.

Much like PLLA, in the long-term, it has the benefit of stimulating fibroblasts to synthesize more collagen so the results are longer lasting compared to other products from the same category.

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