Cheek fillers are injectable substances commonly made from HA (Hyaluronic Acid) or Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) that can be used to enhance the face.
As we age, not only do we lose collagen, we also lose bone in the skull. This combination of collagen and bone loss caused the changes in our faces as we age. The apex of the cheek flattens or sags lower. The Nasolabial line deepens. The Chin shortens and sometimes lines beside the corners of the mouth, called jowls, start to form. The temples and forehead can also start to hollow out. Cheek fillers can help defy the signs of ageing by lifting and giving both cheeks symmetry to achieve the appearance of youthfulness. Cheek fillers can also soften the visibility of wrinkles and fine lines to accentuate your defining facial features.
Cheek fillers are primarily a cosmetic procedure and it is up to the personal choice of the patient whether or not to undergo the treatment. The main reason people get cheek fillers is due to ageing. When people get older, the skin loses volume and firmness which causes the face to deflate.
Another reason that people undergo cheek fillers is for fixing the nasolabial fold. Also known as smile lines, the nasolabial folds are the parenthesis-like lines that stretch from our nose to mouth that causes drooping. Others get cheek fillers because of cosmetic reasons. People in their early 30s who are not experiencing problems with ageing may want to enhance their facial features, which is why they go with cheek fillers.
Cambridge Medical only uses US-FDA approved, Singapore HSA-approved and European CE-approved cheek fillers. Hyaluronic acid (HA), also known as glycosaminoglycan polysaccharide, is a biocompatible substance that can be naturally found in our body. This makes it easier to absorb and less allergenic compared to other dermal filler substances. The largest amount of HA in our body can be found in our skin. Aside from giving the skin volume it also hydrates it by holding water and through keeping the skin moisturized it creates a plumping effect. It can hold up to 1000 times its molecular weight in water.
Cheek fillers offer several benefits to those who undergo the treatment. The hyaluronic acid in the fillers makes it a convenient and fast option for those who want to reverse the signs of ageing. Aside from adding volume and shape, it also minimises the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and gives the illusion of having a more defined bone structure.
The treatment usually has almost zero downtime and is quick to perform that many patients can go back to their regular activities immediately after. Another advantage of HA-based cheek fillers is that it can be modified and reversed if you are not satisfied with the result. Lastly, cheek fillers are less expensive compared to invasive cheek enhancements or implants that require undergoing the knife with surgery.
A consultation will be done to assess your skin and areas around your cheek. Our doctor will determine during this step the amount of filler that will be used. He will put markings on the target area that will serve as a guide in injecting the filler. A picture of your face will be also taken for comparison after the treatment.
The nurse will clean the injected area and a topical numbing cream will be applied to manage discomfort.
Our doctor will carefully inject the cheek filler using a syringe on the marked areas. This whole process will take about 15-30 minutes. Then a gentle massage on the injected area will be applied to make sure that the filler spreads evenly and he will then evaluate the result.
As soon as our doctor is satisfied with the result, the markings will be removed, and the patient may go back to their everyday activities.
Cheek filler injections are not painful and will cause minimal discomfort as most modern HA fillers have local anaesthetic combined inside. Most patients who went through cheek fillers said it was a very tolerable procedure. The topical numbing cream applied before injecting the filler helps to manage any discomfort.
There is almost no downtime when undergoing cheek fillers. After the procedure, patients can go back to most of their daily activities except for the strenuous ones. During the recovery period, a proper sleeping position must be observed especially in the first few days. Sleeping facing up is advised and it is very important that patients do not sleep on their cheeks. Avoid touching, massaging, or pricking around the injection area to avoid complications or infections.
Some types of medications such as common painkillers e.g. Aspirin or NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), traditional Chinese medication (TCM) should be stopped before and a few days after injections.
Pure HA-based cheek fillers is largely a reversible procedure. Patients have the option to reverse the procedure if they are not satisfied with the outcome. The hyaluronic acid injected into the skin can be dissolved by injecting an enzyme known as hyaluronidase. When applied to the treated area, the enzyme will safely dissolve the hyaluronic acid and return your cheek’s original appearance.
The effects of cheek fillers are not permanent. Most of the time, its effects will last between six to twelve months after the injection depending on each individual. As soon as the hyaluronic acid dissolves, the cheek will go back to its normal shape. To maintain your firm and youthful cheeks, our doctor might advise you to get a touch-up injection every six months.
With more than 10 years of medical aesthetics experience and a graduate of the world-renowned University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, Dr Lee aims to draw out one’s natural beauty through the application of safe, minimally invasive and holistic procedures. He is also a key opinion leader in the realm of aesthetic technology, often travelling the world to seek out the latest and most effective treatments.