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Dermal fillers: Avoid too much of a good thing

Go to your cosmetic surgery consultation armed with photos of yourself throughout the years.

Go to your cosmetic surgery consultation armed with photos of yourself throughout the years.

If you’re thinking about getting dermal fillers, such as Restylane, you probably want to look like yourself, only better, and avoid looking fake and overfilled.

In the 80s and 90s plastic surgery sometimes produced a pulled-tight surgical look. Then along came the ‘liquid facelift,’ which did the opposite. Injections of dermal fillers are now used to enhance cheekbones, jawlines and lips. But instead of subtly-enhancing features, many women receive too much filler and become puffy and swollen-looking.

Injecting dermal fillers takes anatomical understanding, years of experience and an artistic sense. Practitioners with these skills, usually board-certified plastic surgeons or dermatologists, can now also be found reversing too much of a good thing. Women come to them to undo the effects of too much filler – cheeks that are too round and lips that are too full. To reverse these effects, doctors inject enzymes like hyaluronidase, which can break down or deflate dermal fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm and Perlane.

According to the January issue of Marie Claire, the year 2013 will usher in a subtler more conservative use of fillers. The article points to icons such as Diane Keaton, Lauren Hutton and Meryl Streep. In these women, you can’t tell whether or not they’ve had work done. They look great, like themselves, and not like they’re trying to pass for 30. Marie Claire interviewed a prominent NYC plastic surgeon who recommends going to a cosmetic surgery consultation armed with photos of yourself throughout the years, so your doctor can see the original shape of your face and how it has aged.

Before picking up the Restylane syringe, good plastic surgeons look at you long and hard evaluating your 1) skin quality and texture, 2) tissue tone and thickness, 3) cheek and lip volume, 4) bone structure and 5) how your face looks when animated and how it looks when still.

An experienced, knowledgeable injector will avoid pitfalls such as these: adding volume to deep set eyes can recess the eyes further and make them look smaller; overinflating nasolabial folds and marionette lines can take away midface structure; and overfilling cheeks can make the under-eye area appear hollow.

If you’re considering dermal fillers, put yourself in the hands of a board-certified plastic surgeon and proceed slowly instead of doing everything at once.

04, February, 2013Dr. Richard Schwartz

Dr. Richard Schwartz author

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