Cheek fillers – what they do and how they work

The ageing process can be unkind to our faces. The loss of vital tissues, such as bone, muscle and fat pads and substances such as collagen and elastin can equate to a myriad of issues; such as loss of volume, sagging skin and an overall change in the shape of the face. This can result in a more masculine appearance to a woman’s face and jowls and sagging cheeks in both men and women alike. Lines and wrinkles also deepen and the face seems to look tired, gaunt and haggard. Not a good look for anyone. Fortunately here at The Harley Street Face Clinic in the heart of London’s west end, we offer cheek augmentation using dermal fillers to re-plump areas of lost volume and to lift the lower face for a more youthful appearance.

What do cheek fillers do?

Dermal fillers are gel-like substances of varying viscosities which contain hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is a substance which is found naturally within the cells of the body and is mainly present in areas such as the eyes, connective tissues, joints and the skin. HA can deplete over time and for the skin, this means dehydration, sagging, lines and wrinkles and an ageing appearance. When injected into the underlying layers of the skin, dermal fillers in the cheek area help physically plump out areas of lost volume, hydrate the skin and when expertly injected into several areas at once, can create a face-lifting effect for the lower face. We utilise fillers in the area of the cheek with considering to the perfect facial proportions in accordance with our research on the Phi golden ratio, to enhance the feminine curvature, in medical jargon termed the Ogee curve.

How do cheek fillers work?

Cheek fillers work in several ways. Firstly, it’s most likely that your medical practitioner will choose a thicker, viscous dermal filler containing a cross-linking agent for longevity and stability for the cheeks. These bulky gel-like fillers will lie under the skin and push the tissues upwards. This means that you can achieve more defined cheek bones with a rounder appearance. As this is a physical action, the results are seen immediately. Whilst the upper cheek area can be enhanced and made to look more prominent, this, inadvertently raises the skin on the lower face area as well as pull the skin on the face outwards, improving lower face sagging as well as reducing nasolabial folds (the lines from the nose down to the mouth). Newer techniques address these issues with this method, as opposed to older methods where the dermal filler would be placed along these folds. Using dermal fillers in the upper cheek areas to form a ‘scaffold’ to support skin in the lower facial regions means a more natural appearance is achieved as opposed to simply ‘filling’ in lines and folds.

A lighter, more fluid dermal filler can also be used to smooth lines and wrinkles in the lower face and hydrate the skin from within. As HA can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water, it is a superb skin hydrator and newer dermal fillers which do not contain cross-linking (thickening) agents can be used in conjunction with traditional viscous fillers as a form of ‘liquid skincare’ in a fully-holistic facial rejuvenation approach. Over time, the HA is dispersed in to the skin tissues and a smoother, rejuvenated and more hydrated complexion will be experienced.

The treatment is quite straightforward but it’s important to remember that dermal fillers should only be administered by a fully-qualified and highly-skilled medical professional such as those here at The Harley Street Face Clinic. A small amount of topical numbing cream may be applied, prior to the treatment, to ensure that you are comfortable.

Your practitioner will then use either a needle or a cannula (a blunt needle used , to minimise bruising) to inject the dermal filler in to the areas of your cheeks that need attention. The method used will depend on your individual needs and the best outcome possible for your particular requirements.

Once the dermal filler has been injected, your practitioner will then massage the area with their fingers to ensure the most natural and pleasing look possible. Lighter and more fluid dermal fillers placed in lines and wrinkles do not always require the massaging technique. Your practitioner here at The Harley Street Face Clinic will have all the necessary experience to know which techniques to use in the various areas of the cheeks and lower face.

After your treatment, you may experience some mild swelling and bruising, as any injectable procedure causes trauma to the skin tissues and a short period of healing time may be required but this will not prevent you from continuing with your everyday activities. Any tenderness , bruising or swelling can be minimised by using an ice compress. Simple aftercare protocols include avoiding caffeine, alcohol and hot baths, saunas or steam rooms for up to 24 hours following your treatment. This will help minimise any bruising that may occur.

The longevity of your results will depend on your own physical response to the substance which has been injected and how quickly you metabolise the HA. Every patient responds in different ways and various lifestyle choices can affect the longevity of your results. For example, if you are an extreme sun worshipper, a smoker or you partake in regular and strenuous exercise, you may find that you need to return to the clinic for another dermal filler treatment sooner than someone who doesn’t. However, expect your results to last between 6 and 12 months. Expected results and their longevity will be discussed with you in your pre-treatment consultation.

Here at The Harley Street Face Clinic, we are dedicated to delivering you the most beautiful results with your cheek augmentation using dermal fillers. With our team of highly-skilled medical practitioners, our range of clinically-proven dermal filler products and our passion for professionalism, you can be confident in a safe, effective and comfortable journey with us at every step.

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