Choosing The Best Cheek Filler

Best cheek fillerAs we age, volume is lost in our cheeks. That’s why filling our cheeks is one of the most effective ways to rejuvenate. Choosing the best cheek filler, though, depends on multiple factors.

The ideal cheek filler is one that provides strong support and lift without looking unnatural, one that lasts for a long time, and one that is reasonably priced.

Fortunately, we have several filler options to choose from.

Why fill the cheeks?

Our face changes in several ways as we get older. In particular, we lose volume especially in our cheeks. Our facial volume is mainly from our skull and the fat in our face.

As we age, our skull changes and we lose fat in our face.

So, one of the ways we can reverse this sign of age is to replace some of that lost volume with cheek fillers.

Filler options

Fortunately, multiple fillers are available to replace cheek volume lost with age. In the United States, these include Voluma, Restylane Lyft, Radiesse, and Sculptra.

Each of these dermal fillers has unique advantages and disadvantages.

Voluma, Restylane Lyft, and Radiesse all directly replace volume where they are injected. Meaning that except for bruising and swelling that occurs from injection, results are usually seen immediately.

Sculptra is unique in that it is a bio-stimulatory agent.  Sculptra adds volume by stimulating collagen production. As collagen is stimulated and grows, it replaces lost volume. Once enough collagen is produced, you see results. Thus, results take a few months to be seen.

An important point is that the other fillers mentioned above also stimulate collagen. Although, they don’t rely on this effect to see results.

Lift and support

Voluma, Restylane Lyft, and Radiesse all provide strong lift and support. They are thick products that hold their shape reasonably well once injected.

To illustrate, if any of these cheek fillers were squirt out of a syringe into a pile, they would hold their shape well and not spread into a puddle.

Sculptra works a little differently.  It does not provide lift and support. However, it is still an excellent choice for many people.

Sculptra adds volume by stimulating collagen growth in that area. It can be injected over a larger surface area.  Thus, Sculptra is a good choice when a larger area such as the full cheek and temples need filling, and this is it’s main advantage.

Cost and value

Instead of thinking about cost in determining the best cheek filler, it’s important to consider value. By value I mean, answering the question, “what is the most cost-effective way to achieve the results you want?”

The factors that go into value are the price of the syringe of filler, how likely the cheek filler will be successful in giving you good results, and how long those results will last.

Let’s talk about how likely the filler will be in giving you good results first. The bottom line is that there is no point in doing any treatment if it won’t get you the results you want.

With cheek fillers, almost everyone is likely to get at least decently good results from Voluma, Restylane Lyft, or Radiesse for replacing localized volume loss. However, everyone metabolizes fillers differently, so some people’s body will do better with one filler versus another.

For those people with larger areas of volume loss, Sculptra is often the best choice.

Price per syringe

The price of a syringe of filler is another important factor in determining the cost.

Fillers are priced by the syringe in the case of Voluma, Restylane Lyft, and Radiesse. Sculptra is priced by the bottle.

Generally, the price per syringe (or bottle) is a little higher for Voluma and Sculptra than for Radiesse and Restylane Lyft. In our office, Restylane Lyft is the least expensive option per syringe.

The cost per syringe is only one part of the equation, though.

You also need to consider how many syringes you will need to use.

To illustrate, Radiesse is more expensive than Restylane Lyft, but one syringe of Radiesse is equal to 1.5-2 syringes of Restylane Lyft in terms of the amount of volume and lift it provides.

Lastly, how long a product lasts also factors into the overall value.

Sculptra typically lasts 2 or more years. In clinical trials, Voluma provided lingering improvement in a reasonable portion of patients for up to two years after injection.

In reality, Sculptra usually lasts the longest, followed by Voluma, Restylane Lyft, and Radiesse.

The best cheek filler

We’ve discussed that multiple factors go into identifying the best cheek filler option.

The bottom line is that the best choice is not the same for everyone.

For those needing a large area of volume replacement (such as those who have a gaunt appearance), Sculptra is usually the best choice.

Incidentally, Sculptra is often an excellent choice even for people who do not have a wasted appearance. It creates a nice foundation to combat the early stages of volume loss.

In patients where we are filling a localized area of loss such as a flattened central cheek, or in patients where we are replacing lost support on the lateral cheek bone, one of the other major fillers is usually the best choice.

Picking the best cheek filler depends on how you have responded to that filler in the past and the extent of the current budget.

One important point to remember is that facial rejuvenation is not a one time event. So if you need multiple syringes to replace lost volume, you don’t have to do them all at once.

You can start with a certain amount and add more over time until you get to your ideal, natural appearing correction.

In fact, sometimes it is better to take this approach – start with a a syringe or two, and add more over time if needed.


You’ve probably heard about CoolSculpting recently, whether in an advertisement on TV or on a local billboard or in a promotional spot on the radio. Yet what exactly is CoolSculpting and is it right for you?

This brief breakdown on one of the newest and hottest procedures around will introduce you to the benefits of CoolSculpting and how it can act to replace the often intrusive and painful alternative of traditional surgical methods of removing unwanted fat.

What is CoolSculpting?

CoolSculpting is a relatively new, FDA-approved non-invasive procedure used to target and eliminate stubborn fat on the body. It is not a “get-thin-quick” gimmick or an easy way to bypass diet and exercise in the search for a perfect body. Instead, it is a way by which medical professionals can help reduce areas of fat on the body that these traditional practices cannot achieve.

Weight loss involves merely reducing the size of fat cells on the body, while CoolSculpting – through the use of temperature-specific therapy applied to targeted areas beneath the skin – aids in the body’s natural eliminating of these cells by freezing and killing them off.

CoolSculpting vs. Surgery

Traditionally, surgery has been the only successful approach for removing fat cells from the body. Losing weight through diet and exercise can decrease the size of the cells on the body, but is ineffective at eliminating them. Because the number of fat calls on the body becomes permanently fixed during puberty, the only way doctors have been able to get rid of them has been invasive operations – until now.

Recently, the clinically proven science of Cryolipolysis has shown the effectiveness of using cold temperature therapies to freeze and kill these specific areas of fat. The fat, once frozen, dies and is eventually processed and removed from the body naturally.

CoolSculpting: The Better Choice

CoolSculpting is quickly becoming a preferred method of removing fat because it is non-invasive, it’s practically pain-free, requires no down time, and works for just about anyone. The procedures are much shorter and much less expensive than traditional operations, yet the results achieved are the same as both eliminate fat cells themselves.

There are no needles, no need for anesthesia, no knives, no down time, and no pain. CoolSculpting also offers an advanced degree of precision, as it can target very specific areas. In addition, it has been cleared as both safe and effective by the FDA, with nearly 5,500 clinical studies and 60 scientific publications supporting its effectiveness.


The Science Behind CoolSculpting Explained

CoolSculpting – it’s been applauded, admired, praised and pronounced the fastest, easiest, and most effective means for combatting unwanted fat without going under the knife. Proven, lasting results that do what diet and exercise cannot without the pain of surgery?

It sounds too good to be true, and yet endorsements for this non-invasive fat-eliminating treatment continue to grow each and every day. How does this miracle treatment work? What is the science and medicine behind the media hype?

Here is a brief breakdown of what exactly CoolSculpting is and how it works, putting to rest once and for all the myths and facts associated with this modern-day medical miracle through the backings of science.

CoolSculpting Explained

For those who haven’t yet heard about CoolSculpting, it is a non-invasive treatment option intended to eliminate stubborn, unwanted fat deposits on the body through the process of freezing. By targeting the cells beneath the surface of the skin, the procedure safely and effectively reduces fat. It is not a “quick weight loss option” but rather an FDA-approved means for minimizing and eliminating fat, the same types of fats traditionally targeted by invasive, expensive, and often painful surgeries.

The Science: How it Works

The entire process originated when two scientists at Harvard University noticed and observed the dimples that formed on children’s cheeks as they ate popsicles. From there, Dr. Anderson and Dr. Manstein discovered that the cold temperature from the popsicles was actually eliminating small pockets of fat within the kids’ faces. Thus, they expanded upon this concept and created the CoolSculpting method to eliminate unwanted fat.

CoolSculpting utilizes Dr. Anderson and Dr. Manstein’s science of Cryolipolysis, in which fat cells are crystalized and frozen, causing them to die. When these cells no longer function, the body naturally eliminates them over time and the result is an overall firmer physique. It does not affect the surface skin and, because it can be done with exact precision, only affects specific areas mapped out by a practiced medical professional.

The natural effects of the body while it eliminates these cells is the ultimate effect of procedure, making it both safe and natural. Likewise, because it eliminates the cells themselves, the results have been proven to be long term. More than 5,500 clinical studies have been conducted with nearly 60 researched articles and published scientific papers proving both this new science and new technology to be both safe and effective.


Top Trends in Cosmetic Rejuvenation

Like any other industry in the world, cosmetic rejuvenation technology experiences its own version of trends. Some breakthrough procedures stay on the radar forever while others may have their moment and quickly die out. But as we continue to push forward, our patients often surprise us with what they are looking for in terms of results and treatment. So what can we expect to see in 2016?

Less is More

As people’s schedules become busier and busier, many people are looking for a quick fix that they can fit in during their lunch break. Therefore, more people are asking for the least invasive option available. Treatments that take a maximum of 20 minutes and allow the patient to return to work immediately are preferred.

Self Help

The fat grafting trend is incredibly successful and who doesn’t want fat removed from their inner thigh? Fat injections tend to have longer lasting results and also are a more natural fix than having an outside chemical placed in the skin. The research on stem cells has propelled fat transfer procedures and patients are onboard with it.


Thanks to social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram, the selfie is more prominent than ever. People WANT to show off their face and they want to look good doing so. Not only are cosmetic rejuvenation clinics seeing more millennials than ever, but everyone wants their nose adjusted or eyelids lifted for a more youthful look (and to look better on Twitter).

Liquid Courage

As mentioned before, patients don’t have the time to be out for days or weeks to heal from a surgical rhinoplasty or facelift. But thanks to liquids fillers, patients can have their nose contoured or double-chin lifted in just 15 minutes.

It’s Raining Men

Facelifts, Botox and nose jobs are not just for women anymore. Again, thanks to social media, more men are finding themselves in front of a camera and may not like what they see. Being older in the workplace also no longer has its benefits; therefore, men are taking steps to maintain their youth in order to still appear bright-eyed and eager even if they have enough experience to be a bit worn down.

Cold as Ice

Blasting fat has never been so easy or painless! The rise of CoolSculpting, the act of literally freezing fat cells that are later disposed of by the body, is encouraging people to take care of target spots without surgery. Losing inches in weeks without severe bruising or recovery time is a quick alternative to invasive liposuction.


Lip injections, fat transfers, lip augmentations, fillers. Plump, mouth-popping pouts are everywhere these days and so are the procedures that produce them. With all the different options out there, it can be nearly impossible to know which is which and subsequently which is right for you.

If you’re in the market for a mouth makeover and are considering the possible options to give your lips a fuller, softer, and more luscious look, it’s essential you understand the different choices available and what they involve.  This is the only way for you to choose the procedure or practice right for you.

In this brief article, we will help explain the difference between lip injections and lip augmentations, two commonly confused practices that both seek to add volume and shape to the lips.

Lip Injections

Often explored as the initial introduction into lip plumping procedures, lip injections are the quickest, easiest, safest, and least expensive option available. With this routine treatment, typically conducted within the comfort of your doctor’s office, a hyaluronic acid compound is directly inserted into the lips through a series of needle-administered injections.

The procedure is practically pain-free and usually takes less than an hour. It’s also incredibly safe and 100% natural, as hyaluronic acid is a substance that occurs naturally within the body, attracting and absorbing water to create volume. The results are immediate, there’s no down time, and the treatment lasts up to a year.

Lip Augmentations

The other common option explored in treating thin lips is that of lip augmentation. This is a more permanent option and one that requires more commitment and typically more investment both in terms of time and money.  Lip augmentation is – unlike lip injections and fillers – a surgery-based option that consists of applying grafted fat or implants directly onto the lips.

The results are permanent and the overall effect is usually more dramatic than the use of fillers. Despite the fact that it is the more invasive and more medically involved option, it is still completely safe with little risk and big results that last a lifetime.

Which is Best for You?

If you’re seriously considering a sexier smile, then lip injections and/or lip augmentation treatment is a great option for you, as both offer unique benefits depending on your individual need. In general, lip injections offer a more natural look in no time, with zero pain and zero side effects, but the effects typically last only a year. Lip augmentation is generally more expensive and produces a more dramatic look, but is permanent in the long run. Deciding which is best for you is something you and your doctor should discuss.


Have you ever thought about lip injections? Chances are, if you’re currently dissatisfied with the size, shape, and volume of your mouth, you have – and you’re not alone. An increasing number of Americans and individuals worldwide are opting for lip injections to enhance their curve-free, thin and flat lips. Safer procedural practices, lower costs, better results, and practically zero pain and zero down time make the growing popularity of lip injections no surprise.

It’s one thing to merely dream and desire luscious lips like those of the Kardashian variety, but it’s quite another to actually undergo the process and fill one’s lips. What is it actually like? How does it feel? How long does it last? Above all, does it hurt?

All of these are appropriate considerations for anyone interested in these popular procedures. Here is a brief, basic introduction into the world of lip injections.

The Basic Procedure

Getting your lips injected typically involves the use of hyaluronic acid, a natural compound found within the skin that attracts and absorbs water. A medical professional, a certified specialist or plastic surgeon will use a needle to directly inject the solution beneath the surface of top, bottom, or both sections of the lip, as deemed appropriate during an initial consult.

An initial consultation will precede every application so that your doctor can tailor the treatment to your particular wants and needs. The actual procedure often begins with the application of a topical numbing agent, though some seasoned patients opt out of this pain-alleviating aid, as they believe it unnecessary. Once the numbing agent has taken effect, the doctor will stabilize the lip, insert the needle, and fill with the prepared hyaluronic acid.

As the liquid is successfully injected beneath the surface, the doctor will manipulate the gel to achieve a natural, smooth finish and eliminate any bumps or inconsistencies. Typical sessions usually involve anywhere from one to three full syringes of a hyaluronic filler applied in multiple injections. Once the procedure is complete, expect a little bit of redness and swelling. It’s recommended to ice the treated area for ten minutes or so post treatment.

The effects are visible immediately, but sometimes take a few days to settle. The entire process lasts usually under an hour and requires no down time.

But Does It Hurt?

The entire process of sticking a needle into one’s lips and physically injecting it with a filler may conjure up a frightening scene, but the reality is the opposite. The application of the numbing agent generally eliminates all pain sensation in the area, and those who have had the treatment often compare it to the feeling of biting one’s cheek or the slight pinch of an eyelash curler.

In short, it’s basically a pain-free procedure and any discomfort lasts less than a millisecond. More often than not, the only sensation associated with lip injections is a strange, pressure-like feeling as the gel is manipulated and dispersed beneath the skin.


Smooth, even skin. It’s something we all want yet only a rare, lucky few are blessed with naturally. For the rest of us, conditions such as acne, brown spots, age spots, dull skin, and scar tissue can leave the surface of our bodies looking less than ideal. Thankfully, medical advancements have allowed for better treatment of defects on the epidermis. No longer are temporary cover-up and concealment methods the only option. Cosmetic procedures like that of microdermabrasion have made it possible to permanently improve the quality and appearance of less than perfect skin.

What is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a non-invasive, chemical-free procedure done by a medical professional to remove the outermost layer of the skin to reveal the healthier, younger layers below. The treatment involves applying a spray of tiny microscopic crystals to the surface of dry, damaged, and overall unhealthy skin.

Not only does this process remove the rough, outer layer of one’s dermis, but it also encourages the health of layers below the surface by facilitating higher production of collagen and elastin. Compared with dermabrasion, a similar process that involves a deeper level of penetration, microdermabrasion is significantly more gentle and still yields incredible results.

Sounds too good to be true. So, who is a good fit for a microdermabrasion treatment? Typically, the procedure works best on those with light to fair skin. It’s most successful at targeting lighter scars and pock marks left behind from acne and, in some cases, lessen the severity of active acne on the skin. Likewise, the chronic inflammation and redness associated with rosacea can also be reduced with microdermabrasion treatments.

How Do I Prepare For a Microdermabrasion Procedure?

If you think you’re an ideal candidate for microdermabrasion treatment, you’ll first want to consult with your local doctor for an initial consultation. He or she will offer advice specific to your situation and unique skin condition, as well as give you the best instructions for proper preparation.

In general, there are a few ways to get ready for these types of deep exfoliating therapies. First, make sure to wash your face with oil-free, soap-free cleansers prior to each session. Second, do not use Retinol creams or other exfoliants for three days prior and avoid using tanning lotions and sprays for one week prior to the procedure. If you’ve recently undergone laser surgery, used Accutane, had a chemical peel, or undergone other skin procedures such as collagen injections, you should not pursue microdermabrasion for at least three weeks or as directed by your doctor. Lastly, do not wax or tan the intended area for a few weeks before each session.

For more information on microdermabrasion and how to prepare properly, consult your qualified doctor or plastic surgeon.


Hair today, gone tomorrow! At least that’s what most women today hope for when it comes to laser hair removal. After all, the whole point of the procedure is to eliminate unwanted hair growth so your body can be bikini-ready regardless of the season. Laser hair removal treatments have been growing in popularity due to their speed, precision, and long-term results.

The laser hair removal process involves applying highly concentrated light sources onto hair follicles. Pigments within the hair follicles then absorb this light and, in turn, are destroyed, thus eliminating the source of hair growth. It usually takes anywhere from three to seven treatments every four to six weeks for total elimination.

Still, even as the best alternative to shaving, waxing, and tweezing, there are things you can do to improve results. There are steps you can take before, during, and after your treatments to maximize the effect and truly make it last. Here are a few ways to get the most out of your laser hair removal efforts.

Find the Right Professional

This one goes without saying. Laser hair removal is only as effective as the medical professional administering the treatment. If you opt for an individual with no credentials and poor reviews, then you’ll not only be more likely to receive poor results, but you could be putting your health at risk as well. Laser therapy is, after all, a medical procedure that requires training to administer. Always do your research before deciding on the right doctor.

Let It Grow Before You Go

One of the most important and effective tips to maximize hair removal efforts is to keep the targeted areas untouched and untrimmed. For approximately six weeks prior to each session, refrain from tweezing, plucking, waxing, shaving, and all forms of electrolysis. This is due to the fact that lasers target the root of the hair, so removing that follicle root prior will make the treatment ineffective.

Stay Out of the Sun

For approximately six weeks before and after each treatment, avoid exposing your skin to the sun. Sunlight and UV rays have been shown to decrease the effectiveness of the laser removal process. In addition, complications can become more likely the more time your treated skin is in the sun.

Follow Your Doctor’s Advice

The simple, surefire way to truly make your laser treatment last is to adhere to the specific recommendations of your doctor. Though all procedures are generally comparable, your doctor will have the best understanding of how to care for your unique situation. Lastly, remember the only way to ensure long-term results is to complete the process fully, doing as many sessions as necessary to eliminate all growth.


How Long Before Botox Results Can Be Seen?

Botox injected into faceBotox is the most popular, and probably the most effective single cosmetic treatment available.  In fact, it was it’s discovery of how well it could treat wrinkles that truly enabled minimally invasive rejuvenation.

One of the most common questions I receive about Botox treatment from patients is how long it will take before results are seen.  The short answer is that it typically takes 3 days to start seeing results and 2-3 weeks to see full results.

Botox treats wrinkles by preventing muscles from contracting and wrinkling overlying skin.  It actually does this by blocking nerves from sending signals to the muscle to contract.

After being injected, Botox gets absorbed by the nerve endings in the area.  Once absorbed, Botox blocks the nerve’s ability to release chemicals that lead to contraction of its associated muscle.

Under normal circumstances, your brain signals a muscle to contract by sending a message down a nerve fiber leading to the release of chemicals onto that muscle.  Those chemicals cause the muscle to contract.  Botox works by blocking the release of those signaling chemicals from the nerve fiber.

Why it takes a few days to start seeing effects and longer to see full results is because it takes time for Botox to be absorbed and exert its effects on a nerve fiber.  However, once it kicks in, there’s no denying that Botox works great.

In fact, according the, Botox gets a 95% user satisfaction rating.  That is very high especially considering the number of people who get Botox and have weighed in with their opinion.

One of the reasons Botox is so highly rated is that it’s effects are predictable and noticeable.  In fact, it is rare for one not to respond to treatment.  There are some patients who develop a resistance to the effects of Botox, but it is rare.

The most common reason for patients to think Botox did not work is because they see residual lines in the area treated.  Wrinkles can have both a dynamic and static component.  Dynamic lines only appear when the muscle is flexed.  These will virtually always respond to Botox treatment.

Static lines are present even when the skin is at rest.  These lines are “etched in”.  One way to tell whether or not you have static lines is to stretch your wrinkle.  If you can still see a line even as your wrinkle is stretched, it means there is a static component.  A filler such as Restylane or Juvederm is needed to treat the static component of the line.

It has been my observation, too, that static lines diminish over time with regular and consistent Botox treatments.  It’s almost as though the area of wrinkling acclimates to its less wrinkled state.


The Double Chin Eliminator: Kybella Explained

KYBELLA-Patient-Before-and-After-Female-Side-ViewDouble trouble. That certainly is the truth when it comes to your chin. No one likes the look of excess fullness beneath the face, yet millions of Americans suffer from the dreaded double chin and do nothing to correct or eliminate it.

Thankfully, we live in an age of medical miracles, with emerging technology and scientific advancements enabling the blind to see, the paralyzed to walk, and the deaf to hear. Ailments, infections, diseases and disorders that used to be life-threatening sometimes now seem less hazardous than a case of the hiccups.

Okay, well maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but the point is that all of this incredible advancement has also afforded us with opportunities to correct some of our less than likable physical conditions. From excess fat to unwanted hair growth, today’s technology has made making peace with our bodies a little easier.

Eliminating the double chin is no exception. The recent introduction and use of deoxycholic acid, known also as Kybella, has provided displeased individuals worldwide a safe, easy, and effective way to get rid of that fickle flesh just below the jaw.

What is Kybella?

If you haven’t yet heard of deoxycholic acid or Kybella, you likely will in the near future. The first of its kind, Kybella is an innovative, non-invasive injectable treatment method for the removal of excess fatty flesh on the neck commonly known as the “double chin”.

How It Works

The clinically-proven use of deoxycholic acid to target and eliminate fat deposits in the neck involves a series of multiple injections applied around the neck and face over a period of time. The injections contain a synthetic version of deoxycholic acid, a naturally-occurring substance found within the body that facilitates the breakdown and absorption of fat cells. Use of Kybella acts as a way to target and eliminate cells permanently, which means the results are long-term.

The Treatment Process

Kybella is administered only by trained medical professionals and consists of a series of 15 to 20 minute sessions in which multiple injections are directly applied to the targeted areas. An initial consultation prior to each session will help you and your doctor determine the specifics of your treatment. The sessions will take place no sooner than four to six weeks between each, and the total number of sessions will again depend on your individual assessment.  However, often no more than 2 – 4 sessions total is recommended.

Because the procedure is non-invasive, it’s practically pain-free with zero physical down time.  Patients only experience slight bruising, numbness, and/or swelling visible after each visit.

Over time, your body resolves the swelling, revealing a slimmer, more youthful neck.

What makes Kybella especially great is that results are permanent.  The fat destroyed by Kybella will never return.


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