What Are Cheek Fillers?
Cheek fillers, also known as dermal fillers, are used to enhance the look of cheekbones on a person’s face. The cheeks are one of the first things on the face to age, as we get older our skin becomes less elastic and looser, we also begin to lose bone volume, fat and muscle tone, with all results in the skin sagging and losing its youthful appearance. The treatment helps reintroduce the volume and sculpt of the cheeks.
What Types of Cheek Fillers Are Available?
- Collagen – effects last 3-4 months
- Hyaluronic acid – lasts around 4-6 months
- Calcium hydroxyapatite – lasts 18 months
- Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) – injections given over several months, effects can last up to 2 years
- Polymethylmethacrylate beads (PMMA) – permeant, but most risky
Aren’t Cheek Fillers and Botox the Same?
No, cheek filler and Botox are not the same. Botox eliminates wrinkles that come from facial muscles contracting, it does this by freezing the muscles and keeping them from moving. Botox also takes a few days to kick in, whereas fillers that use hyaluronic acid are immediate. Cheek fillers, on the other hand, can help smooth out deep set wrinkles that Botox cannot. Pretty much the only similarity between the two is that they are administrated through a syringe.
What’s Involved in a Cheek Filler Procedure?
A local anaesthetic will be injected or a numbing cream provided. The practitioner will then inject the filler in a series of small injections and may massage the area to even out the filler.
Treatment normally takes thirty minutes to one hour, but this time may vary. The procedure may feel uncomfortable but should not be very painful.
Afterwards, the affected area may be a little swollen, tender and red for 24 hours. During this time the doctor may advise you to avoid coffee, alcohol, hot drinks and the sun.
Risks Associated with Cheek Fillers
- Rashes, swelling, itching and bruising
- Filler moving away from intended treatment area
- No guarantee desired effect will be achieved
- Filler forming lumps under skin – may need to be treated with surgery or medication (rare)
- Filler blocking a blood vessel – can lead to tissue death, permanent blindness or pulmonary embolism (rare)
What If a Problem Occurs?
If you’ve received cheek fillers and are not happy with their appearance, and experience problems such as lumpiness, then you should take this up with the practitioner at the clinic that treated you.
If there are post-procedure complications that require medical attention go straight to A&E or your local GP, depending on the seriousness.