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A Beginner’s Guide to Fillers

newbeauty logoOriginal Article By Elise Minton. Fillers and injectables are often the prescription fix recommended by dermatologists and plastic surgeons to stave off the effects of aging. But if they’re not used properly, fillers and injectables can do more harm than good making you look swollen or distorted. On the flipside, when they’re used right, and in the right patient, fillers and injectables can not only erase the signs of aging, but also hinder them, too. “Fillers target signs of aging deep beneath the skin by adding volume to it. Restoring volume in the skin prevents wrinkles caused by the action of the muscles of facial expression,” says New York dermatologist Adebola Dele-Michael, MD.

Fillers and injectables can improve the look of aging skin because they plump up volume-deficient areas to give fullness, fill in lines and wrinkles and stimulate collagen to some degree. While certain products, like Sculptra Aesthetic and Radiesse, are used primarily for their ability to create new collagen in the skin, generally any time any type of filler is injected into the skin, new fibroblast activity is stimulated that prompts new collagen to be created.

New to fillers and don’t know where to start? First off, sit down for a consultation with your dermatologist, plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon so you can map out the best anti-aging plan for you (keep in mind that it may include other in-office treatments like peels and lasers, as well as a good skin care routine). Next, you’ll want to identify the areas that need to be treated, how to best do it and which fillers will be used. Hylauronic acid fillers like Restylane, Juvéderm and Perlane, which typically require just one session and give instant results, can be used to add volume to the lips and cheeks and smooth out lines around the mouth (although there are plenty of off-label uses, too). Radiesse and Sculptra Aesthetic, which show improvement over a series of treatments, are usually reserved for those with more extreme facial fat loss as well as deeper smile and marionette lines, the corners of the mouth, chin wrinkles, and the jowl area. If there is an area of concern that shows zero signs of aging, you may not need to treat it just yet. For the most part, you only want to treat parts of your face where there are some age-related changes, even if they are minimal.

If you only have a few small lines or wrinkles, you may only need a little bit of filler. It’s better to start off small than go overboard in the beginning. “Preventing signs of aging takes less fillers and injectables than someone who has lost a lot of volume through age and has wrinkles that has been there for awhile. When the someone wants to prevent aging, just small amounts of product are often enough,” says Concord, CA, plastic surgeon Eric Mariotti, MD.

Because you’re treating the first signs of aging, you can probably stretch out your appointments. “Many of my patients schedule their Botox for every three to four months and add filler at every other visit. I say doing a bit of filler more often is better than doing a lot every once in a while,” says Dr. Mariotti. Also, you may not need nearly as much product as if you were treating a full-fledged aging face. The results will last for the same amount of time regardless of how much product is being injected. Expect anywhere from six months to 16 months or longer depending on what is injected and where.

So the big question at hand still remains: At what age is it appropriate to start taking measures into your hands to ward off future aging? “I don’t believe there is a certain age for proactive measures, as everyone ages at different rates depending on genetics, skin care and sun exposure. In your 30s, it may be a good time to start using Botox sparingly and perhaps a little bit of cheek filler to replace what has started to go,” says Dr. Mariotti. Adds Dr. Dele-Michael, “The age to start receiving preventive cosmetic treatments should be determined after a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist. Hyaluronic acid fillers are great to start off with because they are reversible and their effects are temporary.”

Male patient receiving an Emsculpt NEO treatment to the abdominal area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can EMSCULPT NEO do for me?

EMSCULPT NEO is an amazing noninvasive body sculpting treatment. It’s perfect for patients who are looking to get summer body ready! With this state-of-the-art, two-in-one technology, you build muscle and burn fat at the same time! This treatment provides a 30% reduction in subcutaneous fat and 25% growth in muscle on the treated area after a recommended number of treatments.

How does EMSCULPT NEO work?

While you lie down and relax, EMSCULPT NEO sends high-intensity energies deep below your skin, making your muscles contract in a big way that is like doing thousands of crunches or squats in a few minutes. While your muscles are contracting, the energy from the applicator simultaneously sends warmth to your fat cells, heating them up to the point of destruction. So you build real muscle from the contractions while destroying fat cells that are later naturally eliminated by your body.

How many EMCULPT NEO treatments will I need?

The recommended treatment plan is 4-6 treatments, one week apart. Depending on the patient, you may see improvement in your muscle tone, core strength and posture within a few weeks. And you’ll see fat reduction continue for about 12 weeks after your last treatment.

Are there any patients for whom you do not recommend EMSCULPT NEO?

EMSCULPT NEO is great because it has been shown to be safe and approved for all body and skin types. Contraindications include hernia, recent surgery, and pregnancy, so if a patient has any of these conditions, they should wait until they don’t to get EMSCULPT NEO.

What is the difference between CoolSculpting and EMSCULPT NEO?

CoolSculpting is a well-known treatment that is excellent for reducing unwanted fat in targeted areas. EMSCULPT NEO also reduces fat, but it has the benefit of building muscle, which is what its predecessor EMSCULPT was made to do.

Which treatment you choose depends on what your body needs and your personal goals. If you have great muscle tone and only need to get rid of some extra fat in a specific area like your abdomen or below your chin, CoolSculpting is an excellent option. But if you have loss of muscle tone and need more of a lift or tightening to a certain area like your abs or butt, EMSCULPT NEO is your two-in-one solution.

What is your favorite thing about EMSCULPT NEO?

Not only is this treatment super convenient with one treatment lasting only 30 minutes, but there is also no downtime! Patients can go about their day as they normally would immediately after their visit.

Greenwich Med Spa