Celebrities are under extra scrutiny these days with countless 'before' and 'after' pictures alongside debates as to what vanity work they might have done on their faces. With botox and fillers now becoming much easier to access and more affordable, there is a huge upward trend in the amount of people taking advantage of these anti-ageing innovations. Some of our celebrities look distorted and unnatural and others simply look fabulous. Having heard that fillers, unlike botox, use a macromolecule similar to the Hyaluronic acid naturally occurring in the body, we asked Dr Joseph J Huskisson, more about the process and the possibilities.
Dr Huskisson is a highly experienced aesthetic practitioner based in Stellenbosch; more than that though, he is also an artist. Alongside his practice, painting is his passion. I imagine that's probably why he is so successful - shaping faces on canvas probably enhances the skill needed to do the same on live faces. And that's the key, a skillful qualified practitioner is able to create the right effect and avoid any of the risks associated with fillers. His clients rave about the uplifting changes he is able to make with a small amount of intervention. Many of them feel it gives them the lift they need to boost their confidence while others believe looking after yourself and employing anti-ageing therapy is a responsibility we should all attend to.
WHAT ARE FILLERS
Fillers are injected into the skin to counter sagging areas of the face. They can enhance cheekbones to make them fuller and more defined, fill in wrinkles on either sides of the mouth, enhance the brow; volumise hollow upper lids and fill in hollows under the eyes that contribute to dark circles.
The most popular filler is hyaluronic acid, a natural substance found in the body. Hyaluronic acid is biodegradable which means it will gradually be absorbed.
The effects of the treatment are instant but recovery may take a week or so if there is slight swelling or bruising.
TYPES OF FILLER
Filling agents vary in molecular size and weight; this gives them different levels of skin penetration and longevity on the skin. There is a vast number of filler brands on the market, Dr Huskisson's advice is to make sure the product being used is FDA approved.
Risks & effects
The risks are mainly associated with inexperienced or unqualified practitioners and the most important thing is to choose someone with a good track record with ample expertise and experience.
Bruising or redness at the injection point. This is common and lasts a few days. In rare cases bruising can last longer.
Overfilling. The practitioner requires skill to know how much filler to use. Fillers absorb water and can swell so if too much is used it can look unnatural or create lumps. Lumps or overfilling can be dissolved to reverse the problem.
Inflammation. The body may react with inflammation up to 14 days after treatment but this is very rare (approx. 0.02-1% people experience this)
Infection. There is minimal risk of infection if the procedure is performed properly.
Injection into a large blood vessel. Unqualified practitioners without knowledge of the anatomy could make the mistake of injecting into a blood vessel. This is dangerous and can result in tissue loss and cosmetic disfigurement. One case recorded blindness after a filler was incorrectly positioned.
Discolouration. This is a bluish effect called the 'Tyndall effect' which appears under the skin when the filler is injected too superficially. This condition can be reversed by expressing the filler with a small gauge needle.
Movement. If the filled area is manipulated shortly after being inserted the filler can migrate and lead to swelling.
Allergic or hypersensitivity. Itching or swelling as allergic reactions is rare.
Hyaluronic acid is a gel-like substance that holds water and is naturally present in all mammals. It operates as a space filler and cushioning agent for joints and nerves and it also hydrates the skin and hair and keeps eyes hydrated and protected. Its magic lies in the ability to hold over a thousand times its weight in water in the skin cells. This makes it an excellent moisturiser and skin booster. Naturally, our bodies contain about 15 grams of hyaluronic acid and apart from improving skin hydration and stimulating collagen production, it works as an antioxidant and free radical scavenger. It also has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory purpose. Another important function is removing waste matter from cells.
Our levels of hyaluronic acid decrease over the years ' by the time we reach our mid forties, it will be half of what it used to be.
Hyaluronic acid is considered equally important as collagen and is used extensively in anti-ageing therapy. According to Dr. Huskisson, modern day fillers and techniques make it a great choice for recovering youth and refreshing the face.
Dr Joseph J Huskisson
(Aesthetic Practitioner, MB ChB Stell 1990),
Winelands Medical & Aesthetics
Tel: 021 880-2881 Email:
Dr Huskisson has been practicing since 2006. He has an upmarket practice in Stellenbosch Square. His team is professional and discreet and provides a relaxing atmosphere with individual attention. Dr Huskisson has established a strong client base through his thorough and personal approach to every patient.
“Wellness Warehouse strives to help you live life well but because we are retailers and not medical practitioners we cannot offer medical advice. Please always consult your medical practitioner before taking any supplements, complementary medicines or have any health concerns and ensure that you always read labels, warnings and directions carefully, prior to consumption.”