Health Alert: Fillers

NATIONAL - Last year, people having cosmetic surgery received nearly two million injections of fillers. That's the material used to smooth wrinkles, for example. There are several different kinds of fillers, each lasting a different amount of time.

Elena Rachel doesn't like her laugh lines. "Sometimes it seems like, you know, you look more sad or mad because of the lines."

So now her doctor's injecting the area with a dermal filler to plump them up and make them less visible.

Fillers have been around since the 1980's with the introduction of collagen. Now there are a slew of products available, each with their own unique qualities. Dr. Simon Ourian says, "If somebody wants something that works quickly for them, they don't want to spend a lot of money for something that's going to give them a quick fix - I go with something like collagen or restylane."

Quick fixes cost several hundred dollars and last a few months. But they're good for your first try to see if you like the look. Longer-lasting fillers can cost thousands and require several treatments.

Dr. Ourian says, "Currently the longest-lasting fillers we have are Sculptra and Radiance which last anywhere from a year to three or four years."

The filler your doctor uses depends on what you have done. Dr. Ourian says, "I use something like Juvederm or restylane for around the eyes. And when I get to areas around the mouth or nasolabial lines, I want to use something that's thicker."

Injectable fillers are versatile. They can straighten a bumpy nose, improve a weak chin, even plump your earlobes. But don't expect miracles. Dr. Ourian says, "If you bring me a picture of a movie star and say this is how I want to look like, that I will tell you is not going to happen. But if you bring me a picture of yourself five, 10 years ago, I can try to achieve that a lot easier."

For Elena, a 30-something model, that's good enough.

Doctor Ourian says patients are less likely to be allergic to the newer fillers. Another important point is to make sure you find a doctor who has experience in using fillers, especially if you prefer the longer-lasting ones.

Posted by Chantelle Janelle