Dermal Fillers in Houston, TX
As you age, you may begin to develop deeper wrinkles and/or loss of volume in your face, contributing to either a sunken or sagging appearance.
Fortunately, there are minimally-invasive treatment options that can eliminate the appearance of wrinkles and those “hollowed out” areas of the face. Injectable dermal fillers can restore lost volume and smooth fine lines, wrinkles, and facial folds – while adding more hydration to your skin. Further, augmentation and contouring with dermal fillers enhance certain areas of your face. Using a series of small injections strategically placed in the face, dermal fillers can make you look and feel your best, and for a fraction of the cost of plastic surgery, with no downtime required.
Dr. Courtney is a highly-trained plastic surgeon that practices in one of the largest and most advanced plastic surgery centers in the country located in Houston, TX. With years of training as a plastic surgeon, he has an advanced understanding of the facial anatomy, including muscular and nervous, which is essential in evaluating the best placement of dermal fillers, for your unique facial composition, to ensure the most natural-looking results.
What causes wrinkle formation?
Because our faces are constantly exposed to light and other environmental factors that advance the aging process, the face is the fastest to show the signs of aging. Even if you’ve regularly worn sunscreen and avoided smoking, most of us still want to combat those unwanted lines and wrinkles and restore facial volume.
There are several factors that contribute to the changes in our skin as we age. One significant contributor to aging and wrinkle formation is the loss of collagen and elastin in the skin. These structural proteins are responsible for the elasticity of the skin, giving it the ability to stretch and “bounce back” to its normal state. Additionally, the loss of subcutaneous fat can play a role in the thinning of your skin. Skin stretched after weight gain often loses its ability to retract after weight loss because the collagen and elasticity have been damaged. Combined with the constant pull of gravity, loosened or stretched skin can begin to sag. And, because you contract your facial muscles every day, wrinkles begin to form in the skin, especially around the eyes, forehead, and the mouth. These can deepen over time.
How do dermal fillers work?
Dermal fillers are injectable gel-like substances that are placed just beneath the skin to help it appear fuller, smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles and restoring lost volume. They can also lend a youthful plumpness to the lips or cheeks. Dermal fillers help balance any asymmetries in the face, and can even improve the appearance of scars.
There are several different dermal fillers that have been FDA-approved. Dermal fillers can be made from hyaluronic acid (HA), calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA), poly-L-lactic acid, or polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). These substances have all been shown to be safe and effective. FDA-approved dermal fillers are only available through a licensed physician. You must make sure you are receiving a brand name, FDA-approved filler like these:
Juvéderm is a filler made from hyaluronic acid, which occurs naturally in your body. HA attracts and retains moisture, but as you age, production diminishes. Formulated to correct moderate to severe facial wrinkles, it adds volume while smoothing the skin. Results last from nine to 12 months.
Also built from hyaluronic acid, Restylane does its best work on laugh and marionette lines around the mouth. The FDA has also approved it as a lip enhancer.
A solution in the Juvéderm line of fillers, Voluma adds natural-looking enhancement to cheeks and chin. Its results can last up to 18 months.
Formulated with safe, biodegradable and biocompatible hydroxyl acid, Sculptra helps fill hollow eyes, sunken cheeks and other facial voids that come with age. Results can last up to two years.
A collagen-stimulator, Radiesse fills wrinkles and plumps skin. This filler not only adds volume right away, it continues to add collagen for long-lasting results.
Dr. Courtney uses only FDA-approved fillers and has been extremely pleased with results obtained using Juvéderm and Restylane fillers, such as Volbella XC and Defyne. These are hyaluronic acid-based (HA) fillers, a naturally occurring substance already found throughout your body that delivers volume and hydration. Seen immediately, results from HA fillers can be as natural-looking and discrete as you’d like. Results usually last 6-12 months. However, the longevity of the filler often depends on the location of the injection and the patient. Some patients may require maintenance between treatments to achieve the best results.
Seeing an experienced plastic surgeon is critical when considering facial treatments because each patient’s skin is made differently. No single product works the best on all faces. Because age, too, affects the volume of skin, it takes a trained doctor to select the best filler to get the results each unique patient envisions.
Dermal Fillers v. Botox®: Which to Use, When
While both Botox® and dermal fillers treat wrinkles, the similarities end there.
Dermal fillers are derived from naturally occurring elements found in the human body. Botox is a purified form of the botulinum toxin obtained from bacteria. Plastic surgeons have been using FDA-approved Botox safely for decades to correct “expression lines” like forehead wrinkles, the vertical “11” lines between eyebrows and crows’ feet near outer corners of the eyes. These lines are created by the muscles underneath the skin when you frown, smile, get angry, and laugh. Expressive people tend to have deeper expression lines than others.
These lines form because of the frequent contraction of the muscles beneath the skin. Just as paper creases with folding and refolding, the muscles causes wrinkles and lines on the skin above them. Botox works by blocking the nerve signals that cause the muscles to contract. It temporarily paralyzes the muscles, allowing the skin above to smooth out somewhat.
Botox effects last three to four months. Still, the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery reports that patients have made it the most popular cosmetic treatments performed in the United States year after year.
Bottom line: Botox relaxes muscles underlying the skin to diminish wrinkles. Dermal fillers plump wrinkles, smoothing the skin.
What should I expect during my treatment?
You will want to seek a plastic surgeon to place your dermal fillers, as they have vast knowledge of the facial anatomy. Dr. Courtney has years of experience in facial plastic surgery, and his extensive studies of the skin, muscles, nerves, and arteries of the face are fundamental to injecting your dermal fillers. He will advise patients who take blood thinners, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and certain herbal medicines to stop two weeks before their injection with approval from their prescribing doctor.
When you come in for your dermal filler injections, our award-winning staff will immediately greet you and make you feel comfortable. To begin your treatment, Dr. Courtney will first carefully study the natural architecture of your face. He will likely measure and make markings to guide placement of the dermal fillers to give you beautiful and natural-looking outcomes.
Before treatment begins, we apply topical numbing cream for comfort. We may also mix the anesthetic lidocaine with the injective HA type of fillers for added ease.
During your treatment, you will have several small injections in different areas of your face. Though some patients describe a slight burning sensation for just a moment or two with each injection, most patients are pleasantly surprised at the ease of the procedure and indicate that the sensation is highly tolerable. The entire procedure takes just a few minutes, quick enough to be completed even on your lunch break.
You can expect to return to your regular daily activities immediately following your filler procedure. There is typically no downtime, although you may experience slight redness, swelling, lumps/bumps, and/or bruising immediately after the injections. These generally disappear shortly after. The effects of your dermal filler treatment are seen immediately, and most patients return once or twice a year to maintain their youthful new look.