Injectable fillers are most commonly used for the face, but unbeknownst to most they are often administered in other parts of the body as well. Because they are non-invasive, dermal fillers have become a popular choice when looking to restore lost volume, smooth out fine lines, or diminish wrinkles. Dermal fillers work by plumping up the injection site to fill out the targeted wrinkle, fold, or line, leaving patients with a refreshed look.
Depending on the patient’s goals, different types of filler can be used since not every filler is right for every wrinkle or skin type. The most common types of FDA approved fillers are hyaluronic acid (e.g. Juvéderm®, Belotero®, or Restylane®), collagen, calcium hydroxylapatite (e.g. Radiesse®), and PPLA (e.g. Sculptra®). While some fillers are approved for a specific area of the body, you will find that some doctors use them for other sites as well.
8 new and unexpected uses for injectables that may surprise you
1. To combat cellulite and dimples
While there are natural techniques to reduce cellulite and dimples, there are just as many procedure types too. Typically, when people think about cellulite or dimple procedures, they think of lasers or radiofrequency (RF), surgeries like Cellulaze™, or massage therapy like lipomassage. Unknown to most, injectables are also a way to minimize divots because they can fill out the undesired dimples and even lift up some of the skin to diminish the cellulite. Sculptra® is one type of injectable that is not explicitly approved for the butt area, but is sometimes used to combat dimples and cellulite. Sculptra® is a synthetic material called poly-L-lactic acid (PPLA) that is gradually absorbed into the skin to rebuild lost collagen. Patients usually require a treatment administered by a trained specialist once a month for three months, with results lasting up to two years.
2. To plump up earlobes
With statement earrings being on trend and Kris Jenner confessing her insecurity about her ear lobes, this year, ears have been a hot topic in the beauty treatment industry. Ears may not be the first feature you think of when you think of the signs of aging, but they can also become wrinkly and sagging. This is particularly common among older women who have worn heavier earrings for most of their lives and may even suffer from stretched out earlobes as well. Fortunately, there is a quick fix to rejuvenate earlobes, and you guessed it – it is filler treatments! Restylane or other hyaluronic acid fillers can quickly plump up the lobe to mask any wrinkles, sagging, or stretching. The procedure is administered by a dermatologist, takes roughly five minutes, and is practically painless. The procedure costs about $500 and lasts around six months, which comes out to about $1,000 a year for young-looking earlobes! Dermatologists and plastic surgeons are already lifting sagging skin around the face and neck, so the addition of restoring volume in the earlobes makes for a complete transformation.
3. To restore volume in temples
With aging and fat loss, there is commonly facial volume loss, especially in the temples region (located on each side of the face above the top of the cheekbones and below the brow ridge). Loss of volume can create an undesired, tired looking shadow. There are several different types of injectables to choose from, such as hyaluronic acid fillers or collagen-replacing fillers, but your dermatologist should be able to determine the best type or combination of fillers to suit your needs. The injections will plump up the hollowed region and also lift the outer corner of the eyes, contouring the face for a refreshing look. Filler injected into the temples typically lasts six months to a year, depending on the type of filler used.
4. To smooth wrinkles on knees and/or elbows
Another sign of aging can be sagging and wrinkling of the skin around the knees and elbows. While not the most common procedure, it can certainly be done. The procedure for smoothing the knees and elbows is quite similar to the one for cellulite or dimples. Again, Sculptra® is one type of injectable that is not explicitly approved for the knee or elbow area, but is sometimes used to soften the lines around them. Since the knees and elbows are less commonly treated areas, it is pertinent that patients carefully select a practitioner who has extensive experience in injectables specifically for the knees and/or elbows.
5. To augment the chin and/or nose
Surprisingly, a rhinoplasty (nose job) is not the only way to restructure the nose. Small amounts of dermal filler can lift the tip of the nose and reduce the appearance of dorsal humps. While you can make significant changes to the nose with injectables, it does have its limitations. For instance, you are not able to reconstruct the nose (e.g. make the nose smaller or narrower). Additionally, dermal filler also provides a non-surgical and non-permanent option to augment the chin by adding fullness to give the chin more definition.
6. To smooth out scars
Another transformative way to use injectables is to smooth out acne and surgical scars by lifting up the skin so it is flush and no longer creates shadows. Because there are so many different types of scars, there are many varieties of dermal filler that can be used. By speaking with a dermatologist, you can determine which filler will best lift the depression and increase volume from the scars. For instance, Bellafill® is a popular choice that specifically corrects acne scars. Bellafill® is FDA approved and is a mix of both collagen and acrylic, which gives long lasting results. Bellafill® lasts around 12 months when treating acne scars and up to five years when correcting nasolabial folds, making it considered a semi-permanent filler.
7. To rejuvenate the hands
While most cosmetic procedures are focused on the face, one of the most age-telling feature is actually the hands. They are constantly at work and unknowingly exposed to sun damage, especially during activities like driving. As a result, the hands can begin to look saggy, bony, and even show vein and/or joint protrusion. Radiesse® is a versatile facial injection that has become increasingly popular for hand rejuvenation as it restores volume and smooths out the back of the hands. It is currently the first and only filler that is FDA approved to correct volume loss in the hands. Its results are immediate and expected to last one to two years.
8. To slim the face
Unknown to most, BOTOX® injections can do more than just smooth lines and wrinkles – it can actually slim the face too! While people usually think of liposuction to reduce fat, BOTOX® is a much less invasive way to achieve similar results in the face. When BOTOX® is injected into the masseter muscle (the muscle used for chewing), it relaxes the muscle which can round out a square jawline or slim down “chubby” cheeks. Results typically take around two weeks to be noticeable and can last around three to four months, with extended results upon completing a few treatments.
Remember to do your due diligence
It is an exciting time in the cosmetics procedure industry as new treatments and uses are being approved daily, but it is still so important to do your due diligence. Make sure you ask all of the right questions beforehand and seek out a top injector or dermatologist, particularly when targeting a less common feature or requiring off-label usage. Inquire about the name and type of filler and confirm that the prospective doctor has experience using that type on the desired feature. Once you are confident in your choice of doctor, you are ready to get started!
Did any of these 8 uses for injectables surprise you?
Written by Samantha Stone
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