Dr Efraim vd Walt - Fillers

The most commonly filler used worldwide is hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a gooey, slippery substance that your body produces naturally. Scientists have found hyaluronic acid throughout the body, especially in eyes, joints and skin.


What does hyaluronic acid do for you?

Hyaluronic acid is a remarkable substance because of all the benefits and uses it has in your body. Here are just a few of the benefits of hyaluronic acid:

  • It helps things move smoothly. Hyaluronic acid helps your joints work like a well-oiled machine. It prevents pain and injury from bones grinding against each other.
  • It helps keep things hydrated. Hyaluronic acid is very good at retaining water. A quarter teaspoon of hyaluronic acid holds about one and a half gallons of water. That’s why hyaluronic acid is often used for treating dry eyes. It’s also used in moisturizing creams, lotions, ointments and serums.
  • It makes your skin flexible. Hyaluronic acid helps skin stretch and flex and reduces skin wrinkles and lines. Hyaluronic acid is also proven to help wounds heal faster and can reduce scarring.

How is it made?

Hyaluronic acid is often produced by fermenting certain types of bacteria. Rooster combs (the red, Mohawk-like growth on top of a rooster’s head and face) are also a common source.

Is hyaluronic acid safe?

Yes. Research shows that hyaluronic acid is safe to use. Reactions or adverse effects from hyaluronic acid are rare, and it’s safe to use if you’re pregnant or nursing.

Does hyaluronic acid work?

Yes, depending on how it’s used. It’s a versatile molecule and scientists are still finding new and beneficial ways to use it. Right now, it’s most often used for skin, joint and eye health. It’s also the topic of hundreds of scientific studies and trials around the world.

What does hyaluronic acid do for skin?

Long-term use of hyaluronic acid serum on your skin or in a supplement taken by mouth can improve overall skin health. It’s also great for helping improve overall skin flexibility and elasticity (meaning it makes your skin more stretchy and soft).

Is hyaluronic acid good for acne?

Hyaluronic acid is widely used as an ingredient in fillers that repair or conceal scars left behind by acne. There has been some limited research into combinations of hyaluronic acid and other medications to treat acne, but so far, there isn’t much evidence that these are effective.

Is hyaluronic acid safe?

Yes, depending on how it’s used. Over-the-counter hyaluronic acid serums and products applied on your skin (creams, lotions, etc.) or in eye care products are considered safe.

Hyaluronic acid injections as fillers

There are numerous different brands of injectible hyaluronic acid. An esthetic practitioner will use a brand that he has become accustomed to use, and that produces good results in his hands. Dr van der Walt uses the Juvéderm range most often. The different types (Voluma, Volbella, Volift) differ in the size of the interlinked molecules of the product. The larger the molecules, the more solid is the feel of the result, and it will consequently be used in deeper planes like the cheekbones and the nasolabial folds.

Most of the fillers are mixed with a local anesthetic and it therefore not that painful to inject. The duration of the procedure depend on the volumes to be injected, but should seldom me more than half an hour.

You may experience a bit of discomfort, redness and swelling immediately after the procedure. Cooling packs will help to reduce these effects.

The effects of fillers can last up to 9-12 months, but that can also differ from patient to patient.

Side effects are usually minimal, but the most common are excessive swelling, blueness and sometimes numbness.