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05-02-2008, 02:54 PM
Though not as durable as a facelift, dermal fillers have become popular among women seeking a younger look and offer yet another alternative to cosmetic surgery, reports the April 2008 issue of Harvard Women's Health Watch.

Dermal fillers are substances injected into the skin of the face to fill in deep folds and wrinkles. They are used mainly for "static" facial lines and folds, the ones that don't come and go as you change your expression. They work chiefly as a substitute for lost collagen and fat under the skin. Their results may vary in different areas of the face, as does the duration of their effect.

The dermal filler field is booming because the effects are immediate, the procedure doesn't involve real surgery, and costs are reasonable with very few side effects, says Harvard Women's Health Watch.

Fillers are used mainly in the lower two-thirds of the face. Vertical frown lines between the eyes and "tear troughs" below the eyes can also be treated, but complications are more common in these areas. The greatest danger is inadvertently injecting a filler into a blood vessel near an eye, causing a lack of circulation that results in blindness in that eye.

Harvard Women's Health Watch suggests that before you decide to use a dermal filler, you should schedule a consultation with a practitioner you trust. Success depends greatly on the skill of the practitioner, so look for someone who has plenty of experience with different fillers. She or he should be very familiar with the anatomy of the area, adept at choosing and applying the filler, and able to manage any complications that may arise.

Harvard Women's Health Watch
Harvard Health Publications Harvard Medical School 10 Shattuck St., Ste. 612
Cambridge, MA 02115
United States
http://www.health.harvard.edu (http://www.health.harvard.edu/)