Dermal Fillers Promise to Make Us Look Younger and Fresher. But Only if Used Correctly
New York plastic surgeon David Shafer says he’s ordering three or four times more Juvéderm Voluma XC than prepandemic in 2019 and injecting on average 100 to 150 syringes a week.
PHOTO: FERNANDO GOMEZ / TRUNK ARCHIVE
“Trout pout” is a term used to describe a common effect of too much dermal filler: when, because of overzealous injections, one’s lips are so inflated they begin to curl outwards. The other frequently cited filler fail occurs when cheeks become bloated and broaden, something comedian Amy Schumer called out on her Instagram a few months back: After test-driving filler, Schumer said she looked like the pointy-cheeked Disney villain Maleficent. According to the Aesthetic Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), among nonsurgical procedures performed by board-certified plastic surgeons in the U.S., fillers are second in popularity only to Botox. Despite the name recognition, though, dermatologists say there is still plenty of confusion about what fillers should and shouldn’t be used for.
The FDA describes dermal fillers as gel-like substances that are injected under the skin to increase fullness or lessen the appearance of lines. Ingredients often include hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite and poly-l-lactic acid. “Filler is really designed to recreate the natural fat and bone support that we had on ourselves five or 10 years ago,” says New York dermatologist Robert Anolik. Among the FDA-approved fillers, doctors often single out hyaluronic acid–based ones like Juvéderm Voluma XC as especially popular. Patients at the Brooklyn office of oculofacial plastic surgeon Chaneve Jeanniton call it “fancy jelly,” and New York plastic surgeon David Shafer says he’s ordering three or four times more Voluma than prepandemic in 2019 and injecting on average 100 to 150 syringes a week.