Cosmetic Dermal Fillers
From the collagen fillers of the ‘80s to the hyaluronic acid fillers of the early 2000s, the first dermal fillers were probably best known for their ability to soften wrinkles, folds, and creases. These days you may also have heard that dermal fillers can safely be used to plump up the skin, add volume, and even lift the face.
Over the last couple of years, however, dermal fillers — and their applications — have evolved further still, completely revolutionizing the aesthetic world. Of all the tools in our aesthetic toolbox, dermal fillers have the greatest capacity to enhance a person’s appearance. In the hands of an expert injector, fillers can be used not only to restore a youthful balance to the face, but also to shape and contour the face to highlight its beauty.
Common areas that fillers may improve appearance include the nasolabial folds (between the nose and mouth), parentheses lines around the mouth, hollows under the eyes, and marionette lines. Many patients choose to use dermal fillers rather than have facial cosmetic surgery in San Francisco.
Areas that can be enhanced with dermal fillers
- Cheek fullness
- Smile lines or nasolabial folds
- Tear troughs or undereye hollows
- Lip lines or smoker’s lines
- Downturned mouth corners
- Chin/profile shape
- Lip shape and fullness
- Puppet or marionette lines from mouth corners to jawline
- Hollow temples
- Deep and fine lines
Safest and Most Effective Cosmetic Fillers
Dr. Kim offers a selection of what he believes are the most effective and safest of the currently available cosmetic fillers at his San Francisco office. All the fillers offered eventually become absorbed by the body, which means their effect is temporary. Although this may seem less than ideal for those wishing a permanent result, this characteristic actually has clear advantages.
First, the face continues to age and to change even after administration of the filler. The location and amount needed to improve an area will therefore change over time, requiring progressive modification of the technique of filler placement for each person in each location. Permanent cosmetic filler, therefore, might start to look unnatural and out of place over time as the tissue around it changes.
The other important point is that there are multiple reports of complications related to permanent fillers. Chronic infection, skin granulomas, scarring, etc have been reported with the use of these products at a rate much higher than the absorbable fillers. Dr. Kim believes that permanent fillers can lead to permanent problems, and for this reason does not offer them in his practice.
With so many cosmetic filler products in the market, you may be confused about which is the best choice for your needs. Dr. Kim and his staff can help you select the best choice for your anatomy and your goals.
Lisa’s approach to dermal fillers
During your consultation with Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner, Lisa, you will discuss your specific goals and areas of concern. Because every person is different, Lisa does not use a cookie-cutter approach to dermal filling, but rather creates a customized treatment plan for each individual. Lisa will analyze your face and skin, and make recommendations based upon your particular needs.
Lisa is known for her calm, gentle, meticulous technique, and her supportive, caring manner. She coined the phrase “NorCal Natural” to describe the look her patients desire: refreshed and natural, never “done” or “frozen.” In addition to her skillful expertise, Lisa’s innate artistic aptitude and perfectionism draw patients to her care. Some of Lisa’s beliefs include:
More is not always better – Overtreatment will lead to an unnatural appearance. A gradual approach is more likely to result in favorable results. More treatments can always be done, but excessive treatment is harder to correct.
Replace volume – Aging leads not only to sagging tissue but also deflation and volume loss. That is why adding volume is important for true rejuvenation. Surgical lifting procedures are therefore much more likely to result in excellent outcomes if enhanced with replacement of lost volume as well.
Avoid permanent fillers – The dermal fillers that Lisa uses are long-lasting but do eventually become metabolized by the body. Although this means that retreatments are necessary in order to maintain improvements, this is actually a good thing. Since the face changes over time, the ideal location, type, and amount of filler needed will change as well.
Lisa is an expert in the use of blunt-tipped microcannulas. This gentle, advanced technique allows for less bruising and swelling, due to the smooth, rather than sharp, tip of the microcannula. During your consultation, Lisa will be able to recommend the fillers and techniques that are best suited for your unique needs and desires.
Hyaluronic acid fillers
The dermal fillers that Lisa offers are soft, smooth, gel-like substances made of hyaluronic acid or HA. HA is already naturally present in our skin, so is not considered “foreign” by the body. Hyaluronic acid’s properties make it a highly effective choice for dermal filling. For example, HA attracts water, giving the skin a hydrated, soft appearance. HA also adds structure and support, boosting your skin’s own production of collagen and reversing the signs of aging and sun exposure.
- Ultra Plus®
Restylane™, Perlane, Juvederm, Voluma
Restylane, Perlane, Juvederm, and Voluma are safe and effective cosmetic fillers with immediate and long-lasting results. These fillers are used for enhancing lips, facial wrinkles, folds, and replacing lost facial volume. The hyaluronic acid (HA) in these fillers is almost identical to that naturally found in the body. The result is instantaneous and produces a long-lasting, natural enhancement that is gentle and safe for your skin.
Treatments take approximately 30 minutes. Recovery time is minimal and most patients return to normal activities immediately. Duration of these HA fillers usually lasts six to twelve months.
The characteristics of the HA fillers differ from brand to brand. Restylane is the currently the most prevalent cosmetic filler in the world and represents a standard by which most other fillers are compared. In Dr. David W. Kim’s practice in San Francisco, Restylane is used for superficial to medium depth lines and folds.
Juvederm is a similar product, with a slightly smoother quality. This allows Juvederm to disperse more within the tissue, a feature that gives it advantages in some areas.
Perlane is a larger particle version of Restylane which is designed for application into deeper areas. Dr. Kim uses Perlane for deeper folds or regional volume enhancement.
Areas that can be improved with HA fillers:
- lines between the eyebrows
- worry lines
- pebbly chin
- lines around the mouth
- lip sculpting and enhancement
- receding lips
- lip lines / smoker’s lines
- sagging cheek bones
- tear trough
- dark circles under eyes
- smile creases
- marionette lines (jowls)
- thinning backs of hands
Restylane before & after
Try the JUVÉDERM® 3D Visualizer
Dr. Kim and his staff are proud to offer liquid face lift to his patients who wish to achieve a rejuvenated facial appearance without undergoing invasive surgical procedures such as facelift, brow lift or blepharoplasty. Liquid facelifts involve the use of various injectable dermal fillers, usually in combination with Botox or Dysport, to provide a comprehensive, minimally invasive facial treatment tailored to meet the individual needs of each patient.
In performing liquid facelift, Dr. Kim and his aesthetic nurse specialist utilize the full spectrum of injectables at his disposal, including Botox, Dysport, Juvederm, Restylane and Sculptra. Our staff relies on many years of experience to choose the correct mixture of these highly effective products to meet the aesthetic needs and desires of their patients.
With liquid face lift, patients are provided with a gentle lift of individual facial features, reduction wrinkles, creases and folds, and restoration natural facial contours. As a result, our patients leave the office looking more rested and energetic. Results can range from subtle to dramatic and can lead to many compliments from unsuspecting family, friends, and associates who are unaware that the patient has received treatment.
Liquid face lift can be performed in Dr. Kim’s office with the use of topical numbing creams. The procedure takes about an hour, and the patient can return to most everyday activities almost immediately. If you are considering this treatment in our office, please stop the use of any blood thinning medications (ex. Advil, Ibuprophen, Fish Oils and Vitamin E – Tylenol is fine) two weeks prior to your appointment.
Cosmetic Dermal Fillers are administered by our Injections and Laser Specialist, Lisa Leung, RN, MS, NP.