Cheek Enhancement/ Facial Contouring
Cheeks are a very important feature of the face. As we age, the structures of our face change, not just the quality of our skin, but also the underlying support, including the skull, muscles and fat! This causes the face to shrink in some places, fat and muscle descend with gravity and the skin having become thinner and less elastic, no longer ‘fits’. This leads to the formation of jowls (the sag around the chin area) and naso-labial lines/folds (the line from the corner of the nose to the corner of the mouth) .
People age differently; some may lose fullness or volume, some may find the volume descends – droops or sags or even both. Replacing volume in the cheeks is therefore of high importance when rejuvenating the face. With inadequate cheek volume, the face no longer has the natural youthful curves provided by fuller cheeks. Furthermore, the mid cheek can support the lower eyelid, and in many cases, adding volume to the cheeks can improve the appearance of under eye bags and hollows.
One of the advantages of treating the cheeks is that it lifts the entire face and reduces naso-labial lines and jowls. The shape of the face can be reverted to a youthful ‘upside down triangle’. Cheek enhancement is performed using an injectable dermal filler to temporarily improve the volume of the cheeks, increasing definition and fullness.
What is it & How Does it Work?
A dermal filler is slowly injected to place the filler above the cheek bone. Further product may be placed laterally in the cheek to further enhance the contour depending on the natural shape of your cheek.
The majority of brands are made from hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring sugar chain molecule found in all skin and soft tissues throughout the body, identical across species. It attracts and binds water in the skin, providing volume and hydration, but also ‘cushioning’ and supporting collagen and elastin fibres and providing a medium, or carrier, for chemical messages between the cells.
Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are a clear sterile gel in a syringe for injection into the skin providing instant correction.
Dermal fillers are manufactured, usually through fermentation and cross linking with proteins to produce a clear, sterile gel for injection into the skin. In the UK, there are over 160 brands on the market due in some part to weak regulation.
Not all hyaluronic acids are the same and legitimate brands are NOT available for general sale on the internet and should only be administered by trained clinicians. Each brand has a range of ‘tissue tailored’ products designed for specific results. One size does not fit all.
Leading and well established brands include, but are not limited to;
- Juvederm™ (FDA 2006)
- Restylane™ (FDA 2003)
- Belotero™ (FDA 2011)
What Results Can I Expect?
- Immediate results
- Single treatment
- Minimal downtime
- Lasts 6-18 months depending on the product used and site of treatment
- Safe, pain free, quick and effective
- Improves the appearance of under Eye bags and hollows
- Restores youthful volume to sagging cheeks
- Reduces jowls and lifts jawline
- Recreates Facial Vi shape (triangle of youth)
- Correct facial asymmetry
- Face appear softer, more youthful and ‘uplifted’
- Very little or no recovery time
Longevity does vary between products, and between individuals, but most will last between 6 months and 18 months. For more information on dermal fillers please click here.
After the Treatment
- Your practitioner will provide aftercare advice designed to minimise risk and promote speedy recovery from any expected side effects.
- Most people are able to continue with normal activities with immediate improvement in their appearance. Some will have some redness, pin prick marks, possibly swelling- particularly in the lips.
- Possibly bruising.
- Any swelling and bruising may be more apparent the next day.
- Make-up should not be worn for 12 hours
- You will be advised to avoid alcohol, vigorous exercise, sunbathing, and extremes of heat or cold for 14 days post treatment.
Am I suitable for Treatment?There are a number of medical conditions and or medicines that may affect the decision to treat or the treatment plan. A full medical history and assessment of your expectations is necessary in advance of any decision to treat.
With any injectable treatment;
- Treatment is not recommended if you are suffering from any skin infection in or near the treatment area or are unwell in any way (even a cold).
- If you have previously experienced allergic reactions to any dermal filler or local anaesthetic.
- If you are taking any medicines which affect bleeding, such as aspirin or warfarin.
- If you are taking steroids or have autoimmune disease.
- If you have any bleeding disorders.
- If you suffer from a poorly controlled medical condition.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you are currently or have recently completed a course of Roacutane (Isotretinoin acne treatment) in the last 18 months.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Injections on the face can trigger the cold sore virus. If you are a sufferer, you must advise your clinician in advance of treatment. If you have recently had treatment with any other dermal filler.
- If you are planning to attend a special event when a bruise, should it occur, would be unacceptable to you. Some over the counter medicines and supplements can also affect bleeding (make you more prone to bruising) as can alcohol- which should be avoided the day before and after treatment.
- Vigorous exercise, sun exposure, sun beds, sauna should be avoided for 48 hours, or as advised by your clinician, after treatment. Safety has not been established for those skins susceptible to keloid scarring.
If, having had treatment, you are at all concerned about symptoms you were not expecting or not happy with, please contact the practitioner for advice. If necessary an appointment will be made for you to be seen.
Is it Safe?
All treatments carry a degree of risk.
All risks and complications will be discussed with you at consultation and prior to any treatment being agreed. Dermal fillers should be administered by a healthcare professional with specialist training. Side effects include, but are not limited to;
The above are temporary and usually resolve within the first few days, swelling is often marked the next morning but settles within hours, bruising can take a week to 10 days to resolve and can sometimes persist for longer.
Does it Hurt
Most leading brands also contain a local anaesthetic and most clinicians will apply topical anaesthetic cream, or ice, prior to treatment to numb the skin. Treatment need not be painful.
How Long Will it Last?
Longevity does vary between products, and between individuals, but most will last between 6 months and 18 months.
Before & After Pictures