Fillers - The Fountain of Youth

Deborah Sarnoff, MD

Article by
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

If you had the chance to look seven years younger in less than 10 minutes, what would you do?

The use of injectable products to eliminate wrinkles and restore volume to the skin has increased at a breathtaking rate. In particular, facial fillers have become quite popular as a way to erase moderate-to-deep facial wrinkles and folds without having surgery.
 

  • Fillers are not for women only. Men are also excellent candidates for facial fillers. As we age, our skin makes less of a naturally hydrating substance called hyaluronic acid. Aesthetic physicians use a variety of hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Juvéderm or Restylane, which like the pull of a magnet, attract water to the skin, thereby replacing lost volume. Think of a raisin turning into a plum – right before your very eyes!
     
  • Got needle phobia? Today’s fillers are virtually painless – thanks to numbing creams applied to the skin, the use of chilling machines and fine, tiny needles used for treatment.


One important question patients always ask me is “exactly how much younger will I look after a filler treatment?”

I’m pleased to report a definitive answer to the question. Recently, I served as an investigator in a landmark clinical study, which provided scientific proof that just one treatment session administering facial fillers containing hyaluronic acid can make you look, on average, 7.3 years younger.
 

  • In the study, which was published in the March 2010 issue of Dermatologic Surgery, the official publication of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), ten patients, aged 42-59, with moderate-to-severe volume loss of the face, received several syringes (on average 6) of injectable hyaluronic acid into the cheeks, tear troughs, nasolabial folds, marionette lines, lips and chin in a single treatment session. No touch-up or alteration of treatment was allowed within the four-week study period.
     
  • Three board-certified dermatologists assessed each patient’s age on three separate occasions using photographs taken by a clinical photography system known as the Visia CR System. Photos were taken of each patient before treatment, three weeks after treatment and four weeks post treatment. The investigators determined that the average decrease in the perceived age of the patients at four weeks after their treatment was 7.3 years.
     
  • Interestingly, the patients perceived an even higher change in their apparent age than the clinical investigators. The patients thought they looked nine years younger after only two weeks!

As one of my male patients told me, “guys under 45 are getting all the jobs. I’ve got limited time, limited funds, and looking at least seven years younger without going under the knife is good enough for me – I’ll take it!”

Fillers made of hyaluronic acid are known as “temporary fillers,” with results typically lasting up to a year. However, scientific evidence also reveals that temporary fillers actually stimulate collagen in the skin and can provide results that last significantly longer than a year.

Modern injectables help you look refreshed, younger and healthier by smoothing out facial wrinkles and folds. They can be used alone, or in combination with Botox® and laser resurfacing to achieve facial rejuvenation. If you are considering any type of cosmetic treatment, be sure that it is administered by a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.