High, prominent cheekbones might be popular on the runway, but they’re not always the reality for everyone. If you are wishing for more prominent cheeks or to smooth out lines and wrinkles, cheek fillers might be an option you would like to explore. Sometimes patients ask whether it’s safe to inject different cheek fillers in the same area and other questions about the procedure. Your clinician will be able to answer your questions, but here’s some information on cheek fillers that you might want to read first.
WHAT ARE CHEEK FILLERS?
A cheek filler, sometimes also called a “liquid facelift,” is an injection that goes around your cheekbones to make the area appear more prominent. The material will sit under your skin for between six months and two years, making it a temporary option for those who want to have cheekbones that look higher and more defined.
There are several different types of cheek fillers. Hyaluronic acid is one kind. Another is polylactic acid. And some doctors will use calcium hydroxylapatite, which is a material used for bone regeneration; this is an off-label use, but it is commonly used because it has a natural appearance and a long safety record. Other types used are PMMA and polyalkylimide.
WHY MIGHT TWO DIFFERENT FILLERS BE USED?
Many times, just one type of cheek filler will be used at once. For example, your doctor might use Juvederm, which is a hyaluronic acid filler that can produce dramatic results quickly. Or he or she might choose Sculptra, which is a polylactic acid. This type of cheek filler works by promoting the development of more collagen, which is something your body would produce naturally.
In some cases, a doctor might choose to use Juvederm (or another filler of its type) on the upper cheeks and Sculptra (or another of its kind) on the lower cheeks close to the upper lip. So even though they are both being used on the cheeks, they are not actually being injected in the same area.
IS IT SAFE TO USE TWO DIFFERENT CHEEK FILLERS AT THE SAME TIME?
In general, most doctors avoid mixing two fillers of different types in the same injected area, as it can cause a less-than-optimal appearance. This does not mean that two won’t be used, however; it just means that they are not placed together in the same space. You might have one type injected around the cheekbones and then another type injected lower down in your cheeks, for example.
There might be a situation where two different fillers are used. This is something that your facial surgeon will discuss with you. He or she will know best what to use in your particular case, and if you have questions about safety, you should ask them. It is important to find a doctor that you are comfortable with and who you can ask questions of easily.
WHAT IF LESS THAN A YEAR HAS PASSED SINCE MY LAST FILL?
Most cheek fillers will last from six months to two years. If less than that time has passed, you might be concerned about what type of filler you should get. Are you committed to using the same type of filler forever so that two different types aren’t even injected into the same area? Usually not.
If the type of filler you had before is working for you and you were pleased with the results, then your doctor might suggest sticking with it. But if something else would work better, it’s usually possible to try a different type of filler.
This also means that if you would like more volume than you currently have, another kind can often be used to plump up your cheeks more without waiting the full six months or year. Again, you should talk to your doctor about this so he or she can go over all of the options available.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT CHEEK FILLERS?
Your surgeon will talk to you about whether you are a safe candidate for having cheek fillers done. There are a few considerations to keep in mind when deciding whether it’s the right procedure for you. For example, if you have a bleeding disorder or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you might not be able to have the procedure done.
Also, if you are allergic to any ingredient in one or more of the dermal fillers used by your doctor, you might need to have allergy testing or have a different type of filler than your doctor would otherwise recommend for you. Every patient is treated individually when it comes to this type of procedure, so you should discuss your concerns with your doctor.
For the best results after your cheek filler procedure, you should be sure to follow all instructions given by your doctor. You will need to keep your face clean and always wash your hands before touching your face, because you could be prone to an infection before the injection sites completely heal.
Your doctor will tell you whether you need to avoid regular activities in the coming days. Most of the time, patients can return to work or other activities right away, but sports and heavy exertion need to wait a few days. Finally, you will likely be advised not to sleep on your cheeks for several days.
Knowing how to make a procedure as safe as possible for you will go a long way in easing your concerns and also keeping you healthy. Be sure to read over any information your doctor gives you before and after your procedure.
Also, if questions come up, feel free to ask; chances are very good that someone else has also had the same questions. If you are concerned about your healing or how your cheeks look as the days pass and your procedure takes full effect, you should also call to check if your experience is normal or warrants a visit.