When it comes to cosmetic treatments, patients often complain they wish they’d chosen therapy sooner. The one factor that frequently prevents this is a fear of pain. Dermal fillers, among the most popular of all treatments, can be especially intimidating because they incorporate a needle. But we have good news: Juvederm, available at the Smile Boutique in Winchester, MA, contains properties that help ensure a comfortable treatment.
Is Getting Juvederm Painful?
This is usually the first question people ask before committing to treatment, and we understand why. Facial skin is thinner and more delicate than anywhere else on the body. With this in mind, Juvederm XC products are made with lidocaine, a local anesthetic that numbs the area and reduces pain. So, to answer your question, this injectable does not hurt.
You may at first feel the pressure of the needle, but then the lidocaine’s effects will take place so the rest of your treatment continues without pain. It’s important to remember, however, pain is subjective and experienced in different ways between different patients. In the past, health care providers gave nerve (dental) blocks or applied ice before administering fillers to mitigate discomfort.
Since the release of Juvederm’s XC formulations, however, these techniques have been nearly eradicated (some providers still use them for patients who are highly sensitive). Lidocaine works to instantly numb the area, and studies confirm that patients who receive it mixed with their injectable experience much less discomfort. Topical anesthetics can also be applied before treatment to help reduce any feeling associated with the needlestick.
Without lidocaine, treatment would be uncomfortable but not necessarily painful. You can liken it to any injection you might receive, such as one containing steroids to control joint pain. And while the thought of a needle coming toward your face might be a little scary, rest assured we use care and precision with all of our treatments. Most patients are so satisfied with their results, and they incorporate routine treatments into their anti-aging plans.
How Does Lidocaine Work?
Pain ensues when specific nerve receptors are stimulated by touch. The stimulation prompts sodium to enter the nerve ending that, in turn, causes an electrical signal to grow within the nerve. Once that signal is big enough, it travels from the nerve to the brain, where it is translated into a sensation of pain.
Lidocaine temporarily blocks this pathway by keeping sodium from entering the nerve ending at the pain site. Physicians also use this medication for the emergency treatment of heart rhythm disturbances, particularly when a heart attack is suspected or proven.
No Changes to Efficacy
The inclusion of lidocaine allows Juvederm to numb the entire treatment site. Surrounding nerves, however, will not be affected, as fillers are used in very targeted ways. And the numbing effects are rapid, developing in under 90 seconds and lasting for about 20 minutes.
This concept of mixing lidocaine with dermal fillers is not new; Juvederm earned FDA approval for the combination in February 2010. Clinical trials show the products under this umbrella maintain the same safety and efficacy profiles as their lidocaine-free predecessors. Those same trials also prove that although most patients do feel a slight pinch when their injections are first administered, subsequent injections are not felt as the lidocaine takes effect.
What Does Filler Feel Like?
This largely depends on whether you want to lift and sculpt the treatment site or simply seek to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles. With the former, a cannula may be used during treatment. This long, thin tube has a blunt tip and allows the injectable to reach deeper under the skin. A syringe, on the other hand, provides for more superficial delivery to smooth wrinkled skin without adding volume.
Having said this, you may feel the injectable under your skin in a way that isn’t unpleasant but rather unfamiliar. Some areas of the face, such as the lips and apples of the cheeks, contain nerves that are closer to the surface. The sensation of having treatment in those locations may be felt more than in other parts, but don’t expect it to hurt. If anything, it will just feel strange. Again, the inclusion of lidocaine helps significantly.
The Benefits of Cannulas
It’s worth noting cannulas provide benefits that surpass needles. Slightly flexible, they are inserted into a small pilot hole in the treatment site created with a very small traditional needle. In turn, the entire area, such as the cheek, can be treated using only this tiny entry. This further minimizes the risk of feeling any discomfort and is a popular treatment method in Canada and Europe. The technique also allows for a truly soft and sculpted appearance.
The Beauty Pain Scale
To give a better idea of what to expect with treatment, we’re going to compare this filler with other common therapies. Botox, consistently ranked as the most requested of all aesthetic treatments, ranks at one on a pain scale of one to five, with five being the most uncomfortable. This neuromodulator is injected quickly and easily with a thin needle. Most patients report it feels a little like a bee sting, but the sensation is usually gone almost as quickly as it started.
Juvederm is next and earns a two on the beauty pain scale. Some patients choose not to have numbing cream applied first because they don’t need it. In these instances, the initial needle prick is described as feeling like a splinter but less uncomfortable than a paper cut. Closing your eyes and focusing on breathing can help your session pass more quickly.
A Look at More Treatments
Bigger and more viscous fillers, like Radiesse, stretch the skin further and tend to cause slightly more discomfort upon administration. Even these, however, are not painful. By comparison, Juvederm is softer and more malleable; it, therefore, causes less stretching once placed below the skin’s surface.
Kybella, an injectable uniquely designed to dissolve fat under the chin, earns a three on the pain scale. When lidocaine is not used before treatment, patients can feel a deep and throbbing ache that may persist for 15 minutes. This sensation is not unbearable, but it can be enough to make patients’ eyes water. Laser treatments rank at four, with the pain continuing to build, and Ultherapy – used for skin tightening – ranks the most painful at five.
Everything You Need to Know
Juvederm fillers are made with hyaluronic acid (HA), a naturally-occurring sugar that retains water and keeps tissues hydrated. This makes treatment both safe and beneficial. HA can smooth moderate wrinkles and restore volume; it can also improve skin’s health and appearance by providing a soft, radiant glow. Glowing skin is the result of that which is moisturized, reflecting light in a way that makes you look lit from within.
Several different fillers fall under this umbrella brand, as mentioned earlier. The first we’ll discuss is Voluma, injected into deep cheek tissues to correct age-related volume loss and into the chin to provide contouring. Vollure eliminates moderate to severe folds and wrinkles, including stubborn nasolabial folds. Volbella provides subtle lip augmentation and corrects perioral lines, while Ultra plumps the lips in a more visible way.
How Do They Work?
Once injected, each of these formulas integrates into facial tissues. For volumizing, they fill spaces made by fat loss and/or collagen degradation, both of which occur with age. Likewise, wrinkles are smoothed away by just slightly plumping the skin. Juvederm fillers are noted for their longevity, with most patients enjoying results that last between 12 and 18 months.
The depth and consistency of the injection will help determine your treatment outcomes. We’ve already discussed this to some degree, but to reiterate, here are the different and most dependable effects you might expect:
- Deep injections and firmer consistencies add volume and shape to the face
- Mid-depth injections reduce creases
- Superficial injections and soft consistencies plump and hydrate skin while eliminating wrinkles
When Will Results Show?
They show immediately, which is one of the reasons fillers are so popular. You don’t need to wait weeks to see the improvements to your face. While the full effects will need five to seven days to develop, you’ll walk out of our office with visibly smoother and plumper skin. Equally important, there is little to no recovery time associated with treatment. Most patients instantly return to their normal routines, although we do recommend that you:
- Not touch or rub the treatment site for several days
- Avoid rigorous exercise for 48 hours as the injectable settles
- Wear sunscreen every day to protect your skin
How Are Fillers Different from Botox?
Both are used to reverse the effects of aging, but they work in very different ways. Botox temporarily stops signals between nerves and muscles that prompt movement. Those muscles, which completely relax after treatment, are no longer able to contract in ways that show lines and wrinkles.
Is It Possible to Have Natural Results?
The answer to this is an unequivocal yes. We put a lot of stock in the rule that less is more. Results should be almost invisible to the eye, and if done correctly, shouldn’t feel as if they’re present. It’s always possible to add more filler later, but it’s much more difficult to take it away (although that’s also possible).
The point is that if you do not want fish lips or hamster cheeks – names commonly given to overdone features – you won’t have them. Overdoing fillers in a single and cautious treatment is almost impossible. Problems arise when patients and providers keep adding filler in a careless manner until results look unnatural and disproportionate.
Subtle but Pretty
Keep in mind that any work done should reflect the whole of your face; this means we’ll take into consideration all of your features, including:
- The length and width of your face
- The side of your eyes, nose, and lips
- Your facial shape
- Your skin health
In turn, we’ll deliver subtle but pretty results that enhance, not alter, your appearance. The effects of dermal fillers will likely be different for you than for another patient, but this is perfectly normal. The goal, after all, is to craft a personalized treatment plan that bridges the gap between your current appearance and your aesthetic goals.
A Pain-Free Treatment
Don’t let a fear of pain deter you from treatment. Thanks to the addition of lidocaine, this filler can softly and subtly remove lines, restore volume, and improve hydration – with little to no discomfort. Schedule your consultation today by calling the Smile Boutique in Winchester, MA.