Most treatments targeted towards replacing aging skin with the younger variant target the decrease in collagen, elastin, and other scaffolding proteins with age. Whether it be through injections or abrasion, the goal of most treatments is to stimulate the skin’s healing process. However, dermal fillers are a unique treatment that instead serves to directly fill fissures on the skin’s surface and simultaneously moisturize it.
To quickly give an overview of the skin, there are three main layers. The outermost, consisting of dead cells on top and basal cells as we move deeper, is the epidermis. The middle layer is known as the dermis, and it contains most of the nerves, blood vessels, and glands in the skin. The final and deepest layer of this is the subcutaneous tissue, or hypodermis, and as can be seen in the diagram is mostly adipose tissue, or fat. Between these three, the skin is regenerated, kept alive, and serves as natural protection and insulation for the body.
Now, the name dermal fillers should make a bit more sense. Dermal fillers, as they are named, are injections of hyaluronic acid into the dermis of the affected area. Hyaluronic acid is a natural component of the extracellular matrix in our bodies, and thus naturally assimilates into the body over time. It’s important due to its ability to bind water molecules and fill space. Aging skin is loose due to the loss of its stretchiness, and is also dry due to a decrease in hyaluronic acid levels. Thus, these injections of hyaluronic acid tackle both issues simultaneously and produce natural, younger-looking skin.
Ideal candidates for dermal fillers are people with mild to moderate symptoms of aging skin, such as fine lines and wrinkles, or patients looking for fuller cheeks. Since the filling is subtle, results are instant and look natural. It is recommended to take a day or two before resuming normal activity to minimize swelling and bruising, and results last anywhere from a year to two years, depending on where the fillers are applied and what type is used.
If you have any questions about this treatment, or want to schedule an appointment, call our office at (609) 587-9944 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Papakonstantinou E., Roth M., Karakiulakis G. Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermato-Endocrinology. 2012;4:253–258. doi: 10.4161/derm.21923.