Everything you need to know about dermal fillers

Dermal Filler Treatment

Watching reality TV shows like the Bachelor, it seems like everyone is getting dermal fillers nowadays. While fillers allow you to add volume to your pout, there are all sorts of other applications you may not be aware of.

In this article, we give you the lowdown on dermal fillers, how they work, what they’re used for, and possible side effects to be mindful of. We’ve also included a case study from one of our clients, who has benefited tremendously from our dermal filler treatments.

Dermal fillers – how do they work?

Dermal fillers are temporary fillers comprised of a type of gel called hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a component of the deeper layers of skin and joint capsules. The hyaluronic gel fillers are injected into or under the skin to smooth out lines and create a “plumper” appearance.

There are also other types of dermal fillers on the market, such as skin boosters, which are hydrating and rejuvenating, and designed to improve tissue quality.

Biostimulators are another type of dermal filler. These stimulate the body to produce more of its own collagen. They are injected into the skin in a similar way to dermal fillers, but should only be used by more experienced practitioners.

Where can dermal fillers be used?

Dermal fillers can be used to add volume to lips, and to treat:

  • Fine lines such as those around the lips
  • Deeper lines like nasolabial folds (the lines extending from the side of the nose to the corner of the mouth) and marionette lines, which are the lines extending down from the corners of the mouth.
  • Loss of volume associated with the ageing process – typically under the eye hollow, the cheeks, forehead and temples.
  • The contour of the jaw line, nose and the projection of the chin.
  • Skin quality and the treatment of acne scars.

Who is a suitable candidate for dermal fillers?

The legal requirement to receive dermal fillers is 18 years old. The treatment is suitable for both men and women.

People in their early 20s usually opt for dermal fillers for enhancement purposes and to have their lips plumped up.

Those in their mid-to-late 20s and 30s may start to notice some facial volume loss and fine lines, which can be an early sign of the ageing process. All these problematic areas can be addressed with dermal fillers, and the areas restored.

Clients in their late 30s and 40s often have more advanced signs of volume loss, such as sagging along the jaw line and around the mouth and may be developing deeper lines.

The older generation in their 50s, 60s, 70s and older can also benefit from dermal fillers. Depending on the extent of volume loss and the depth of lines and wrinkles, the amount of filler required will vary from person to person.

A preliminary consultation is always required. This allows us to assess your skin, explain whether the desired outcomes can be achieved and what the results are likely to be realistically.

How does the treatment feel?

There is local anaesthetic in all the fillers, so they are usually reasonably comfortable.

Is there any downtime?

Usually only 1-2 days of mild swelling and redness. Occasionally, patients may experience bruising, but usually these minor side effects settle quickly.

How long do dermal fillers last?

Typically, dermal fillers last six to eighteen months, depending on the site injected and the type of filler used. The longevity of fillers in some areas can be improved by combining filler treatments with anti-wrinkle injections. The filler is eventually broken down and absorbed.

Any serious side effects?

One potential serious side effect of dermal fillers is that they can be inadvertently injected into a blood vessel and cause a blockage. Signs to look for include:

  • Severe pain in the area injected
  • Blackening of the skin
  • Blistering of the skin
  • Loss of vision.

If you experience any of the above, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately to reverse the effect of the filler. This is achieved with injection of an enzyme called hyaluronidase that rapidly breaks down the filler. It is important that any clinic doing dermal filler injections has hyaluronidase available, and that staff are trained on how to recognise complications and use hyaluronidase appropriately.

Why choose a cosmetic medical clinic for injectables?

Medical centres and doctors’ offices are a common place to seek injectable treatments, but they can also be found at beauty therapy clinics, hotels, spas, and even home injectable parties.

Please know that you need to have a medical degree in order to write a script and to purchase injectables, as they are classed as Schedule 4 medications. This means they need to be prescribed by a registered, qualified, licensed doctor. They can be administered by a registered nurse as long as it is under the supervision of a doctor.

Ideally when you embark on this type of cosmetic journey, the practitioner should ask for a comprehensive medical assessment and have a treatment plan formulated that is tailored to your specific concerns. Unfortunately, in many beauty therapy and chain laser clinics, there are no doctors on site, and the injectables are prescribed after a video or Skype consultation with a doctor. This is fine when the nurse is experienced and knows how to recognise and treat complications, but problems can arise when the injector is inexperienced and unable to manage and treat a complication quickly and appropriately to avoid a serious long-term issue. In some cases, these clinics use doctors who are in a remote location and not even in the same state, so they are not available to help out in the event of a problem.

It is also important to see a doctor or nurse who has a good grasp of facial aesthetics. They should understand appropriate facial balance and ideal beauty proportions to achieve natural-looking results. Ultimately, the patient should look refreshed and rejuvenated, rather than over-filled or frozen with the loss of facial expressiveness.

How to protect yourself

Injectables like dermal fillers are a medical procedure, so make sure you go to a reputable cosmetic or medical centre. Ask your practitioner for their experience and qualification in the field. Make sure they know how to handle or better still avoid any complications that may arise.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If it doesn’t feel right, walk away. This is your body, your money. Be empowered to take control of your experience.

Case study of how dermal fillers helped Beccy, 40, of Mentone

What were your skin concerns?

Hollowness and dark circles around eyes, volume loss in cheeks and crepey skin under eyes.

What treatments had you tried in the past?

Eye creams and skin needling. Drinking lots of water and excising helped reduce my dark circles but I still looked very tired.

How did you hear about Southern Cosmetics?

I live locally, word of mouth.

What treatment did you use?

Cheek and under eye fillers.

How did it benefit you?

I look a lot less tired, my under eye area is smoother and make up sits well now.

As well as adding volume to my cheeks, the treatment gave me a mini ‘lift’ and I feel my jawline has more definition.

Would you recommend Southern Cosmetics to others?

The treatment was quick and pretty comfortable and there were no significant side effects. I saw an improvement straight away. I have always had hollow eyes, it’s hereditary, and I feel that this is the best they’ve ever been.

Like to book in?

If you’d like advice about whether dermal fillers may be right for you, please book in for a consultation. Our practitioners will discuss your desired outcomes and walk you through the process.


324 Bluff Road, Sandringham
P: 03 9533 1100
E: [email protected]