Currently for consumers, there is a bewildering array of Australian Government-approved Dermal Fillers on the market. However, in our opinion, some are better and safer than others. Accordingly, it is important you choose one that has a ‘track-record’ of being safe and long-lasting.
One major concern in this highly competitive market is that some unscrupulous practitioners, in their quest for higher profit margins, are injecting patients with cheap, illegally imported counterfeit Dermal Fillers.
Some of these ‘counterfeit injectables’ have been found to contain impurities capable of causing serious reactions, infections and other complications.
The difficulty for patients is that the packaging may look so similar to the genuine article that on casual inspection it’s impossible to pick it’s ‘fake’!
Accordingly, for your safety, always:
To simplify the understanding of all the Dermal Fillers currently available in Australia, one can divide them into two broad categories according to how long the correction should last:
1. NON-PERMANENT with durations in the order of 3 months to 3 years depending on the brand of Filler and its formulation:
In this ‘Non-Permanent’ category, we only recommend those Dermal Fillers that contain as their active ingredient, the identical polysaccharide (complex sugar chain) present in ALL human and animal skin. Therefore, as these Dermal Fillers are chemically identical to your own skin’s ‘natural filler’, the risk of an allergic reaction is so negligible that no pre-treatment skin testing is required. Most importantly, these fillers are NOT of animal origin. Instead, the polysaccharide is manufactured synthetically but it is still identical to that found in human skin.
We believe that this group of Dermal Fillers has major advantages because they:
Unfortunately, and despite the fact that these fillers are already well known to the public, current Australian Government regulations prevent us from mentioning them by name. We can, however, forward you printed information on them, including their names, if you contact us and personally request it.
‘Permanent’ & ‘Semi-Permanent’ Fillers of various brand names are the other type of Dermal Filler on the market. The active ingredients of these Fillers work initially by delivering volume but then have an ongoing effect of stimulating the production of new collagen (neo-collagenesis). Based on the very way in which these fillers work, they do have a higher propensity to cause Foreign Body Granulomas (hard red lumps) which would then require cortisone injections and possibly surgical excision.
However, based on both anecdotal and published reports of permanent complications with this group of fillers (Report: American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery Vol. 23, No3, 2006) we do not recommend these fillers as our first choice. Although tempting for some patients in terms of convenience and the perceived long-term cost advantages of a single or fewer treatments, the increased risk of adverse reactions compels us to advise patients to exercise considerable caution when considering their use.
This will vary depending on the individual, the brand and specific form of the Dermal Filler used and where it is injected. Our doctor will advise you as to how long the correction should last once he has assessed your face and you have chosen your Dermal Filler.
A treatment takes about 20-30 minutes depending on what needs to be done and how many syringes are used. Although the Dermal Fillers we use do contain a local anaesthetic, we still recommend a ‘nerve block’ for the more sensitive areas such as lips in order to make your treatment pain-free.
Very importantly, for some applications we prefer to inject the filler with a cannula as opposed to a needle. Needles have sharp points but a cannula has a blunt, rounded tip that virtually eliminates the risk of bruising! This technique is especially useful in Lip Augmentations with the lips being so richly supplied with blood vessels. By using a specially imported cannula instead of a needle, we can create beautiful lips and fill cheeks without any bruising or lumpiness!
Immediately after treatment, you may have some minimal and temporary swelling of the injected area due to the Dermal Filler’s ‘hydrophilic’ nature of attracting water to itself from the adjacent tissues. However, this is always minimal and usually settles within 72 hours.
Click on images to enlarge
Facial Enhancements with Dermal Fillers is a huge growth industry. As such, more and more doctors and an increasing number of nurses are entering the field. So, before you decide who will inject your Dermal Filler, consider each of the following:
Anyone can inject a filler under the skin but it’s knowledge and experience that gives the practitioner the right ‘feel’ of precisely how much and how deep the filler needs to be deposited. Don’t be afraid to ask how long he/she has been injecting Dermal Fillers.
Dermal Fillers are classified by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration as S4 Products and accordingly IT IS ILLEGAL FOR A NURSE TO INJECT DERMAL FILLERS UNLESS YOU HAVE FIRST HAD A FACE-TO-FACE CONSULTATION WITH THE DOCTOR OF THAT PRACTICE AND THE DOCTOR HAS ISSUED A PRESCRIPTION TO THE NURSE FOR THE DERMAL FILLER. Unfortunately for patients, some Nurses are circumventing these regulations by using Skype with doctors away from the premises in order to obtain their authority to use whichever Dermal Filler the Nurse intends to inject. This practice is NOT in the best interests of patients and the Government is reportedly reviewing the legislation in relation to Nurse Injectors using Skype consultations in this manner. Remember, a Skype consultation is never as reliable as a detailed, face to face consultation by a doctor skilled in the use of Dermal Fillers.
Please note that Nurses are not permitted by law to administer Local Anaesthetic ‘Blocks’. Without a Local Anaesthetic Block, your treatment could prove quite painful. Some Nurses apply EMLA cream as an alternative to a ‘block’ but it’s never as effective.
Experienced doctors may charge slightly more but this is usually a reflection of their skill and experience. And it is skill and experience that sets one result apart from another!
There have been many reports and warnings about complications from cheap, counterfeit Dermal Fillers illegally imported from overseas. The packaging may suggest that the Filler is genuine but if it is a just a clever copy, the counterfeit Filler could contain impurities capable of causing serious complications. The safest approach is to go to reputable clinics only and not be tempted by cheap injectable ‘deals’.
Remember, YOU are the consumer, YOU are spending your hard-earned dollars and you deserve the highest professional standards and the best possible results for your money. Don’t accept anything less!