Filler 101: You’re Guide To Facial Fillers
So, you’ve decided to get filler! Or, maybe you’re here to get more information to help you decide. Either way, you’ve come to the right place! Filler is extremely popular but hugely misunderstood, which is why I wanted to create an entire guide to help you in your filler journey.
By the end of this post, you will be a filler expert ready to schedule your appointment! If you have any questions that aren’t answered here, feel free to leave me a comment!
I work for a Plastic Surgeon that has an entire injectable wing (meaning full of Botox + Filler patients), and I have learned that filler can be really misunderstood! I have the unique perspective of knowing the clinical side of filler as well as the patient side of filler. So, without further ado, let’s get into the ~juicy~ details.
What Is Filler?
Filler is an injection that brings volume to different areas of the face. Juvéderm is the #1 most popular filler brand. Juvéderm is made by Allergan, the same creators of Botox. Think of filler and Juvéderm as one and the same.
The medical definition of filler is a gel injection that contains Hyaluronic Acid, or HA, which is a naturally occurring substance that delivers volume to the skin (source: Juvéderm).
In laments terms, filler helps improve signs of aging related to volume loss and adds fullness to desired areas. As we get older, we inevitably lose a lot of volume in different areas of our face, and filler can help restore it non-surgically.
What Are The Different Types Of Juvéderm?
As I previously stated, Juvéderm has five different types that all aim for different results. Here are the different types and how they work:
Juvéderm Voluma XC:
Voluma is a deep injection in the cheeks to correct age-related volume loss.
Juvéderm Vollure XC:
Vollure is injected into the facial tissue to help resolve moderate to severe facial folds and wrinkles.
Juvéderm XC is injected into the facial tissue to help resolve moderate to severe facial folds and wrinkles.
Juvéderm Ultra XC:
Ultra is injected to add more fullness and plump lips and can also be used to correct and soften perioral lines.
Juvéderm Volbella XC:
Volbella is injected into the lips for lip augmentation and for correction of perioral lines, often called “lipstick lines.”
While it’s very important to know what’s being injected into your face, it’s also important to trust your injector’s recommendations and expertise. Just because your friend or family member got one type or subtype of filler, doesn’t mean that’s what is right for you.
Going in with an idea of what you may need is great, but going in with firm demands will just put your own results at risk.
What Precautions Should You Take Before Your Appointment?
First, always consult your primary physician before deciding to undergo any elective treatments and procedures! They will always hold greater importance over a blogger (aka me) or even your injector.
Always inform your injector when making your appointment if you are pregnant and breastfeeding. The results or safety of injections in these types of patients have not been studied, and many injectors will choose to not inject.
While not listed on the Juvéderm website, the practice I work at does not recommend filler injections two weeks before a dentist appointment (yes, even if it’s just a cleaning) or two weeks after a dentist appointment. We also follow the same rule in regards to not receiving vaccinations two weeks prior or two weeks post-treatment. This is a good question to ask your clinic or practice while scheduling your appointment especially if you have done either of these things.
Avoid blood thinners (only if they are not medically necessary, and always consult your primary physician before stopping any medications or taking them differently than prescribed) such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Tylenol is a safe option that can relieve similar symptoms without thinning the blood. Also avoid alcohol before and after treatment as this also thins the blood.
If you are unable to stop taking blood thinners before treatment, always inform your injector so they can give you the proper recommendations. In many cases, these things just lead to worse bruising and are not detrimental to treatment. However, always follow your injector’s recommendations for treatment aftercare!
You should also plan to minimize strenuous exercise, exposure to sun or excessive heat, and alcohol use for 24 hours following treatment.
Who Can Inject Filler?
Many patients assume only Medical Doctors are licensed to inject filler, however, many licensed medical professionals are qualified and talented in injecting filler! A huge mistake patients make is choosing an injector based on a degree rather than experience.
Injections can be done by Medical Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Dentists, and Physician Assistants.
What Is The Difference Between Filler And Botox?
This is a common question for patients. Many aren’t sure whether they need Botox or Filler, so let’s break it down. In short, Botox acts as a temporary muscle paralyzer (which sounds really scary, but I promise it’s really not) while filler is injected to add volume and fullness.
Filler is typically injected in lips, tear-troths (under eye area), or cheeks. Filler can also be used to create what’s called a “liquid rhino” or an illusion of rhinoplasty surgery. Filler is also notoriously more painful.
Botox is most commonly injected into the forehead, between the eyebrows, and near the crows feet, but there are other injection sites to solve other concerns as well.
Filler also tends to have a more noticeable physical difference. Botox makes you look like you, only with less noticeable facial lines!
I also want to point out that some fine lines may not be solvable by injections and instead need the attention of an Aesthetician for skincare recommendations, specifically fine lines around your under-eye area. Your injector will let you know if this is the case during your consultation.
If you’re still not sure what type of appointment you may need, ask your practice if they offer complimentary consultations! This can give you a chance to meet the injector or aesthetician face to face to be evaluated on what your needs are.
Where Can You Get Injected?
There are three areas that are most commonly injected with filler.
First, and most commonly, filler can be injected into the lips to add fullness, plumpness, and soften lipstick lines.
Secondly, filler is often injected into the cheeks and thirdly, underneath the eyes (also known as tear trough filler) to bring fullness.
Although less common, filler can also be injected to the appearance of acne scars!
RELATED: How To Get Rid Of Acne Scars
All Filler Injection Sites:
1. Temple: brings more volume to “hollowed out” temples.
2. Cheeks: brings more volume to the cheeks.
3. Tear troughs: help with excessive deepness under eyes.
4. Nose: also known as a “liquid rhino” and corrects nose shape.
5. Nasolabial folds: soften smile expression lines
6. Marionette lines: smooths marionette lines around the mouth and chin
7. Chin: brings volume to flatter chins and softens dimples
8. Oral commissure: softens vertical smile lines
9. Jawline: reshapes jawline
What Do The Injections Feel Like?
Look, I won’t lie to you. Filler is painful. However, Juvéderm’s with XC in the label contains lidocaine to help reduce pain and discomfort during the injections. Additionally, practices often use topical numbing prior to injections to further ease pain and discomfort.
Your injector may also use other tools to help distract the brain from feeling the injections. For example, they may use an intense vibrating tool against your jaw bone. It sounds silly, but this really helps!!
How Long Do Results Last?
The length of lasting results depend on the type of filler used and the area injected. Your body naturally metabolizes the filler as time goes on. Generally, filler can last six months-two years. With that being said, many patients are due for touch up treatments about 6-9 months after initial treatment.
Injections in the lips typically only last 9 months – 1 year, but cheek filler can last closer to the 18-month mark.
Ask your practice if they schedule two-week follow up appointments and what they charge for touch-ups *at* this two-week follow up. Two weeks gives the filler enough time to settle, and the injector can touch up any areas that are uneven or asymmetrical.
It’s also important to ask your practice how long they keep a purchased syringe for (more details on what this means under “How Much Does It Cost For Treatment”) in case you decide you want more fullness before your body begins metabolizing it.
How Much Does It Cost For Treatment?
The price not only includes the price of the actual product, but the expertise of the injector. Facial injections, whether its Botox or filler, are not something to be price shopped! You definitely want someone who is experienced and less likely to botch your face, right?!
Be very wary of “cheap” filler, and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! You’ll end up paying a more expensive injector to fix it anyway, so you may as well go with them to begin with.
Pricing is based on the syringe. This means that you pay for an entire syringe of filler that is only yours. As I mentioned earlier, you definitely want to ask your practice or clinic how long they keep your syringe for. Typically, after you buy the syringe, you only have to pay a reinjection fee when you want to be reinjected.
For example, my practice holds filler for six months. This means that during those six months if you decide you want more of that syringe, you can come in and pay a $50 reinjection fee.
Syringe cost varies depending on the type of filler, but can range from $500-$2,000. The national average cost for a single syringe is $620.
Are There Ever Discounts On Filler?
Some clinics will do a Patient Appreciation Day or different specials throughout the year where they lower the price of a syringe. Discounts definitely exist, but you may need to put down a deposit to reserve the promotional pricing. Ask your clinic if they have any specials going on!
Allergan, the creator of Botox and Juvéderm, has a free loyalty program that earns you coupons after treatments. This program is called Brilliant Distinctions, so make sure to ask your clinic if they participate for extra savings!
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How Long Is The Recovery Time?
The final results become visible about 7-10 days after your injection, meaning the product has settled and any swelling or bruising from the injections has subsided.
These icepacks are awesome to have on hand to help with swelling.
Immediately after the treatment, you can expect bleeding and looking bumpy near injection sites. This is normal! Bruising and swelling is normal as well and can even look severe.
Topical icing typically helps, and your injector will go over proper post-treatment care to ensure the quickest and greatest results. Some practices may also offer medication to be purchased to assist with less swelling and bruising.
You can resume most activities right away, but you definitely want to avoid alcohol, blood thinners (if not medically necessary), exercise, excess heat, and sun exposure for at least 24 hours after treatment.
The main takeaway is to give your results two full weeks before assessing results!
What If I Hate My Results?
If two weeks have passed and you hate your results, it’s time to schedule a follow-up appointment with your injector to discuss your options.
Some issues can be resolved by adding filler to specific spots if you feel you look uneven. Other issues can be resolved by dissolving the filler. Your injector will be honest and tell you what is best for you, and remember that a bad result doesn’t make for a bad practice or injector.
And That’s Everything You Need To Know Before Your First Filler Appointment!