Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers can address specific concerns about flatness or poor volume in your face, including your temples, cheeks, tear troughs, lips, chin, and/or jawline. Seek a fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon to help determine whether dermal fillers are appropriate for your concerns.
What Qualities Distinguish Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Filler Products?
Dr. Jeffrey Harmon
Different Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Filler Products Deform and Change Under Stress Differently
The study of how a material – in this case, hyaluronic acid dermal filler – deforms and changes under mechanical stress is called rheology (1). Hyaluronic acid is produced in the body in massive quantities but is soon dissolved. In contrast, hyaluronic acid dermal filler products are produced in a laboratory, outside of the human body, with particles of a controlled size, concentration, and extent of crosslinking. Crosslinking is a chemical process that binds these hyaluronic acid particles. It is these qualities that are used to produce dermal filler products with features that are optimized for placement in specific areas of the face to achieve a cosmetic goal.
Extent of Crosslinking and Concentration of Hyaluronic Acid Determines Rheology
More extensive crosslinking results in a stiffer dermal filler. It also prolongs the effect of the product. A higher gel concentration also results in a stiffer gel. Different products include hyaluronic acid at different concentrations and different levels of crosslinking to produce a desired effect.
Rheology Describes Useful Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Filler Qualities
The stiffness of a dermal filler, or its ability to return to its original shape when acted on by forces, is called the G’. The higher the G’, the stiffer the gel. Each hyaluronic acid product takes a different approach to reach a specific G’, with some products focusing more on the extent of the crosslinking while others focusing more on the concentration of hyaluronic acid particles in the gel.
For example, softer hyaluronic acid fillers such as Restylane Silk© are often used more superficially or in areas with thinner tissue overlying it, such as the tear troughs, due to its lower G’. In contrast, Restylane Lyft© has a high stiffness, or G’. As a result, it is generally placed deeper and in areas requiring a more pronounced, stable lift, such as the cheeks or temples.
The extent of crosslinking and concentration of hyaluronic acid gels also determine the product’s cohesivity, which determines whether a product maintains projection or falls apart with pressure, such as massage. A less cohesive product is more malleable and can be massaged in place more easily. Restylane products have the lowest cohesivity of the different brands of hyaluronic acid fillers (2).
Trust your face to a facial plastic surgeon
It is important to seek a fellowship-trained specialist in plastic surgery of the face and neck when you have concerns about flatness or poor volume in your face, including your temples, cheeks, tear troughs, lips, chin, and/or jawline.
Request a consultation
Request a consultation with Dr. Harmon at Harmon Facial Plastic Surgery in Cincinnati. Visit our clinic. You will learn more about Dr. Harmon’s credentials, style and approach. Build a relationship with our dedicated team. Do not stop at searching “plastic surgery near me.” Get in touch with us to learn more!
1. Heitmiller K, Ring C, Saedi N. Rheologic properties of soft tissue fillers and implications for clinical use. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2021 Jan;20(1):28-34.
2. Sundaram H, Rohrich RJ, Liew S, Sattler G, Talarico S, Trévidic P, Molliard SG. Cohesivity of Hyaluronic Acid Fillers: Development and Clinical Implications of a Novel Assay, Pilot Validation with a Five-Point Grading Scale, and Evaluation of Six U.S. Food and Drug Administration-Approved Fillers. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2015 Oct;136(4):678-686.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute direct medical advice. It is essential that you have a consultation with a qualified medical provider prior to considering any treatment. This will allow you the opportunity to discuss any potential benefits, risks, and alternatives to the treatment.