Facial fillers are substances that temporarily soften wrinkles when injected into your skin. Injection of a facial filler is generally an outpatient procedure that’s done under local anesthesia. The procedure takes up to an hour. You might have mild discomfort, bruising and swelling for up to a week. After the swelling goes down, you might need a touch-up injection for best results. How long the effect lasts depends on factors such as the type of wrinkle and filler used.
During a face-lift, a flap of skin on each side of the face is pulled back, and tissues below the skin are surgically altered to return the contour of the face to a more youthful shape. Before the flap is sutured closed, excess skin is removed.
A neck lift (platysmaplasty) is often done as part of a face-lift to reduce fat deposits and sagging skin on the neck.
A face-lift won’t decrease fine creases or wrinkles in your skin or damage from sun exposure. Other cosmetic procedures can address the appearance or quality of the skin itself.
Types of facial fillers
Facial fillers include:
- Hyaluronic acid (Restylane, Juvederm, others). This natural component of the skin’s connective tissue is the most common filler used for wrinkles. The results typically last about six months to one year.
- Calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse). This filler is used to contour the jaw line, restore volume in the cheeks, and treat deeper wrinkles and skin folds. The results last up to one year when used for contouring and three years when used to fill wrinkles.
- Fat grafting. Fat is removed from the lower abdomen or other areas through liposuction and then injected through small incisions into your cheek, temple, lips or forehead. The effects might be permanent. But achieving the desired results usually requires more than one session of injections, as well as overfilling the site to compensate for the body’s reabsorption of the fat.
- Permanent soft tissue filler (Artefill). This filler is used to smooth deep wrinkles around the mouth. The body can’t absorb this type of filler, so it doesn’t require reinjection. Permanent soft tissue filler generally isn’t recommended as a first-time facial filler treatment.
- Poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra). The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of this filler for people with HIV who have localized loss of fat tissue (lipoatrophy). Two or three injections are usually required. The effects last up to two years.