Dermal fillers are well known for their ability to help patient’s fill in wrinkles and volumize facial features. However, a new study, published in the February issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that dermal fillers can do much more than fill in wrinkles. They can also help restore a more youthful pattern of facial movement and expressiveness.
Ivona Percec, MD, Ph.D. of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, who led the study, using 3-D digital stereophotogrammetry to measure facial stretch and compression in 30 women, age 41 to 65 years of age. Scans were taken of a full range of facial expressions. Then the women were treated with hyaluronic acid dermal fillers in their lower face, specifically the nasolabial folds (NLF) and marionette lines (ML). Scans were taken again 6 weeks after treatment.
The scans were then compared with a group of 20 younger, untreated women, age 25 to 35. Before the dermal fillers, the scans of the older womens revealed significantly higher stretch profiles in the NLF and ML areas compared to the younger women. After the dermal fillers, the scans showed significant reductions in strain and stretch. They were more similar to the stretch levels of the younger women.
The importance of this study for the aesthetic field
This study is important for a number of reasons. The authors of this study believe, “Facial dynamics should be central to the evaluation of rejuvenation treatments to produce natural-looking results.” So with further analysis and research, strain analysis could help with planning and optimizing the outcomes of dermal fillers and other injectable treatments. It is also important because the areas around the mouth are especially active and prone to wrinkles, lines and volume loss. The more we understand about how the face works and facial dynamics, the better we become at treating these areas and producing natural, great looking results.