As the face ages several predictable changes begin to occur. Most notably, the face looses volume and fullness in critical places, like the cheeks and lips. In addition, as the skin elasticity worsens and gravity takes its tole, sagging begins to appear. This leads to enhanced grooves and shadowing in areas like the Nasolabial lines (lines that extend from the corner of the nose down to the mouth) and marionette lines (lines that extend from the corner of mouth down).
Although some of these changes can only be addressed by surgical procedures, today with advances in filler substances, much more can be done in place of or to delay surgery. One such filler, Restylane, can be skillfully placed to camouflage deep grooves and plump up deflated lips.
Fillers can be simply thought of as either permanent or temporary in there results. A commonly used permanent filler is ones own fat, also known as "Fat Grafting". The potential advantage if successfully performed, is that the results are permanent. However the risks involved are that fat grafting can at times be somewhat unpredictable and may lead to asymmetry. In addition, correcting over augmentation is a difficult problem.
As for temporary fillers, the most common type used today are of the hyaluronic acid family. This is biological substance found in all species, humans and bacteria alike, and therefore does not require any skin testing to detect allergies, as does collagen. It is broken down by the bodies enzymes and hence the results lasts 3-6 months. The disadvantage is that repeat treatments are needed to maintain the desired look. However, if slight imperfections are created or the patient prefers their previous appearance, the results are not permanent.
Fillers are a great adjunct to maintaining a youthful appearance. They are well tolerated, produce immediate results, and have limited down time. In combination with other nonsurgical therapies like Botox and peels, one can make significant changes without the need for surgery.