Cheek fillers are one of the most requested treatments at our Sidcup & Brighton clinics. The midface is a very important area on the face for age appearance and for beauty. Beauty can be created and enhanced by injecting dermal fillers into the cheeks.
When the face is ageing, one of the first areas to show the loss of volume associated, is the cheeks.
Most beautiful faces have high cheekbones and this is an area where this look can be achieved by skilled practitioners with excellent techniques.
Filling the cheek area with dermal filler is an effective treatment with minimal downtime.
The cheeks are usually injected for two reasons:
To replace lost volume
To revive the face, giving a more youthful appearance
As we age, our cheeks lose volume, the bone and soft tissue dissolves, leaving us with reduced structural support in that area, creating loss of volume, folds and wrinkles. Volume loss in the cheeks can be treated with dermal filler.
Some people were born with great cheeks, and others were born with undeveloped cheeks whose appearance could be improved. For those who weren’t born with the perfect cheeks, it is so simple to just inject them to improve the appearance.
DERMAL FILLER CAN IMPROVE
Size of Cheeks
Often clients come to the clinic with flat / underdeveloped cheeks they wish to be enlarged. This is very simple to do.
Skin of Cheeks
The wrinkling on the skin of the cheeks, especially from smiling can be improved with dermal filler or skin boosters.
Shape of the Cheeks
Some clients need more volume in the front of their cheeks and some patients need more volume at the side of their cheeks, and some just need more volume at the high point of their cheeks. The client will be assessed and the practitioner will have a discussion with the client about their anatomy, and how it can be improved.
As we age, we lose volume in the cheeks and hence structural support of the overlying tissue. This can be replaced.
Symmetry of the Cheeks
Asymmetry of the cheeks is very common, and can be improved with dermal filler treatment.
Smile lines of the lower cheeks can also be treated with dermal filler.
Dosage required for cheek filling is very variable. Some patients will be satisfied with 1ml, others will need 4 mls to get the results that they want.
Some clients may just want to enhance the cheekbones and others may want to treat both cheekbones and the apple of the cheeks, in this case more filler will be required.
We will assess the face and decide on the best dose after taking a history and examining the client. If a client has a history of complications with dermal fillers, or if their budget is small or if they want a more subtle result, then a smaller dose might be chosen to start with.
With cheeks, a typical way to plan cheek improvement is to inject them with 2mls and then at 1ml a time to build, injecting them every 1-3 months until they reach the size where the patient is satisfied.
Typically, we will inject 2mls at a first treatment then review the patient at a month. If they said ” I liked the swelling after the last treatment and was disappointed when it went away” then we would recommend the patient to have a further 1ml, and repeat this until they don’t like the swelling afterwards.
CHOOSING THE AMOUNT OF FILLER TO HAVE IN THE CHEEKS
CHEEK FILLER PROCEDURE
The face will be cleaned with alcohol and a numbing cream will be applied. The practitioner will inject using a very fine needle. Then pressure with gauze will be applied.
If a cannula is used, a fine needle makes a small hole in the skin where the cannula is inserted.
A topical numbing cream (eg EMLA or LMX ) may be applied to the area prior to the treatment. There is also a local anaesthetic in the filler.
SIDE EFFECTS / RISKS
As it is a medical procedure, there are risks associate with cheek fillers:
Bruising occurs in a significant number of cases
Swelling in the injection area will likely occur. This usually lasts for 24-48 hours.
Need for further treatment. Often with cheeks, it will take several syringes of product to get to where the client wants to be.
Asymmetry. Sometimes one side is better treated than the other, this is usually because the patient is asymmetrical to begin with.
Infection is a very rare complication, but always a possibility when piercing the skin.
Necrosis is extremely rare. This is where a blood vessel is blocked, interfering with the blood supply to the skin. This can lead to scarring.
Blindness due to a blood vessel being blocked is an extremely rare but catastrophic risk of dermal filler.
After your cheek filler treatment there may be some redness and swelling. The cheeks may have a more “sharp” look about them, but when the swelling goes down after 2 days, the sharpness will reduce and give way to a more natural appearance. Patients often like the swelling in the first couple of days.
After your cheek filler treatment please avoid the following:
Avoid make up for 24 hours
No heavy exercise for 24 hours
Avoid any face products for 24 hours
No spas, saunas for 1 week post treatment
Avoid putting any pressure on the cheeks for 5 days, for example no leaning on your hand whilst watching TV
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER YOUR CHEEK FILLER TREATMENT
The effect of the dermal filler will be obvious immediately. Straight after, there may be redness and swelling. the cheeks may have a more “sharp” look about them, but when the swelling goes down after 2 days, with the sharpness reducing, and giving way to a more natural appearance. Patients often like the swelling in the first couple of days.
Most of the swelling from the dermal filler will have resolved by 2-3 days after the procedure. There may be a small amount of swelling for even 2-4 weeks after the procedure.
HOW LONG WILL THE TREATMENT LAST?
The answer to this is very individual and depends on the clients anatomy, metabolism, the dose, the placement, the product etc.
If the patient is happy with the results at 1 month (for example there has been adequate fill) they should be treated at 6 months, then at 6 months and then once yearly.
At 1 month, if the patient is not satisfied with the results (for example more dermal filler is required to obtain the results that they desire), then further dermal filler should be injected every 1-3 months until the desired appearance has been reached, and then the patient should have treatment at 6 months, then 6 months, then once yearly.