Breaking Down the Stigmas of Facial Filler

Written On January 19, 2022

In the age of social media and the internet, it’s no secret that more and more people are seeking out dermatologists for advanced treatments to help as they age. Whether it’s lasers, chemical peels, botox or fillers, individuals are shifting their disposable income towards aesthetics and wellness more than ever. 

We often speak with patients who are curious as to what type of facial injections exist and how they can assist in the aging process, but oftentimes, these conversations can bring up feelings of fear, shame or embarrassment. Even as more people open up about using injectables, there remains a hesitation and stigma towards filler and other facial injections for many. 

Vérité is determined to help break down these stigmas and empower patients to feel comfortable and confident in their decisions! In addition, we hope that educating our patients about filler will help to ease any anxiety or hesitation.

Keep reading as we break down the stigmas that surround this topic and learn a bit more about why we LOVE using filler!

Why Do Filler Stigmas Exist? Where Do They Come From?

Some people believe altering their appearance is vain

One of the most common stigmas that shrouds fillers (and facial injections) is that people may feel vain for wanting to alter their appearance with anything other than a topical cream or treatment. Filler does slightly alter—and restore—the shape of a patient’s face as it is used to add or correct volume loss that naturally occurs as we age. This can seem a bit more intensive than using injections to relax a wrinkle (botox), but it’s simply all about how the application of filler is applied.

Dr. Kademian is committed to a gradual, conservative and natural application for patients. We always want a patient to look their best and to look natural. “Facial aesthetics is truly an art form in which I restore, balance and highlight your best features, never with the intention of making you look like someone else”, she notes. . 

There are countless things we all do in the name of indulgence, and wanting to maintain your youth is nothing to feel ashamed about. Just as we dye our hair as it grays, wear lipstick to change the color of our pout, or even splurge on a luxury handbag, individuals should feel empowered to seek out the things that bring them joy!

Patients may be squeamish or uncomfortable with needles

For many, it boils down to the application: a needle— an undoubtedly uncomfortable tool—is used to inject a substance into the skin. This thought alone is enough to make an unfamiliar person feel squeamish, or make someone scoff at the idea of enduring pain in the name of beauty, but there’s simply no other way to apply filler! Many of the fillers we use contain an anesthetic to minimize discomfort. Ice and topical numbing can also be used when needed. 

Plus, filler remains one of the most advanced medical ways to preserve and restore volume loss in the skin. 

As the age-old saying goes, “beauty is pain” and honestly, we would argue that wearing stilettos to dance all night is far more painful than a few quick injections…haha!

A lack of proper education around filler exists

Consultations and individual appointments with patients at Vérité are structured to facilitate dialogue—one that strives to create an environment focused on education and trust as well as friendship and an ongoing relationship. Dr. Kademian’s goal is to provide an experience for patients that feels genuine, approachable and empowering.

When it comes to filler, we help people understand the treatment and where it can be used to help empower them in the conversation. We also stress the importance of a conservative, gradual approach—if we apply filler during an appointment, we encourage patients to let the results settle for 4-6 weeks before adding more. This leads to a much more natural appearance and very satisfied patients!

People have seen “bad” or overdone filler and think that’s how they’ll look

We all remember images of “bad” filler more than good. 

“When filler is done well, everyone will notice, but no one will know, “ Dr. Kademian explains.

Our goal is to make patients look youthful and refreshed, NOT like they have filler in their face! If a loved one or friend voices concerns about filler for fear you’ll look stiff or overdone, know that that is likely the result of an unskilled practitioner and poor choice of product application, not the filler itself. Conservative, expertly placed filler will go unnoticed to others, aside from making you look younger and more refreshed!

What Are Hyaluronic Acid Fillers?

Hyaluronic acid fillers are a class of dermal fillers that are derived from hyaluronic acid, a natural component of collagen present in the skin that keeps things plump. As you age, you lose the naturally occurring hyaluronic acid in your skin which causes volume loss and sagging. 

When Dr. Kademian assesses a patient prior to applying filler, she looks at the contours of the face to determine where this person is losing volume. For many individuals, volume loss begins in the cheek, under eye and around the mouth; but each face is unique, so it’s critically important to assess carefully for the best results.

Common Filler Applications by Age

We’ve included a general guide for common filler applications by age. Please note: every person’s facial structure and rate of visible aging is different, so this timeline will not reflect everyone.

20s-30s

Lip enhancements for people with genetically fine lips,  or under eye filler for contours/concavities that may be bothersome.

Late 30s to early 40s 

This is when many people begin to notice early signs of sagging and laxity. We encourage patients to consider filler around this age because we can apply small tweaks that will help maintain the skin’s integrity as you enter your late 40s and 50s. 

Patients who have not had filler before roughly age 50-55 will likely have lower face laxity and jowling, much of which can be avoided if filler is applied in previous years to plump the skin.  

60+ 

Filler applications for patients over the age of 60 will depend on the patient and the integrity of their skin. 

Individuals who haven’t had filler in the past will likely need more volume  to rebuild a youthful contour in the midface, bringing attention to the cheekbones and eye area rather than the lower third of the face that happens as we age. 

Common Filler FAQ’s

What are the most common areas treated with filler?

Under eyes

Mid face / cheeks

Naso / Melo labial folds

Chin area / lateral chin to help with early signs of jowling

Temples

Jawline

Neck area when horizontal neck lines are present

Back of the hand

Earlobes

What should you expect during a filler treatment?

A  topical anesthetic cream and ice application can be used to make the injections more comfortable.. Most people experience brief discomfort, but the procedure is relatively short and painless. Many of the fillers used contain an anesthetic which numbs the area gradually during treatment and helps with minor post procedure discomfort. You can expect the treatment to last roughly 15-30 minutes per area treated.

Can filler move or migrate?

Filler migration is rare in the hands of a highly skilled practitioner! It’s all about proper placement and knowledge of facial anatomy and blood vessels. It’s also important not to overdo it and allow the initial filler to settle for a month or so to avoid issues. 

And as you’ll learn in your consultation, hyaluronic acid filler can be dissolved with an enzyme if you’re not happy with the results. We rarely have instances where someone requests to have this done, but it’s always nice to know the option is available, especially for people trying filler for the first time.

Guiding Patients Through the Process of Filler

We approach all patient conversations with compassion, ensuring we truly hear and understand each person’s questions and concerns. Once the patient is comfortable with the game plan, we can get to work! 

The best results come when we achieve a balanced facial anatomy that enhances your best features. If one structure (cheekbones/chin/jawline) starts to look out of proportion, we can assess this and correct it with the science of injectables and the art of facial aesthetics. 

Filler is one of the most rewarding procedures we do for our patients! And watching faces light up with delight after seeing the immediate results is how we know we’re on the right track.