There is a fundamental difference in the way different ethnicities age. African American represents a broad range of skin thicknesses, pigmentation, and bony structure. Most patients age with discrete changes within the deeper structures and are affected by volumetric changes within the face and neck by typically not effecting the skin. In Caucasian patients, many changes are seen externally within the skin as well as in the deeper structures.
Every ethnicity will lose facial volume over time. This loss of facial volume can make faces look more gaunt and older. Understandably, many patients do not want an overly full face though either. The key to restoration of facial volume is to individualize the amount of volume and specific location of volume for each face. For most patients this requires an intimate understanding of facial anatomy with specific consideration of an individual’s anatomy.
Most hyalarounic acid fillers, such as Juvederm or Restylane, are not a good option for African Americans. The most common complaint after receiving such a filler is that it did not do anything. Radiesse is a much better choice for most African American patients. It is a more robust filler and can provide a better way to volumnize for African Americans. Radiesse is different in that it is replaced by the body and turned into collagen, the substance of youth.
It is important to emphasize that each patient must be treated with a tailored approach specific for their individual anatomy. A common statement I hear from patients is that the facial filler did not work for me. Typically, this is a result of utilization of the wrong type of facial filler as well as inappropriate layer depth and placement.
The photographic example demonstrates immediate benefit of the appropriate facial filler utilized in one location. Typically, facial fillers are placed throughout the face in order to rejuvenate the entire facial complex. The filler demonstrated is preferred for this patient due to the skin thickness and amount of volumetric rejuvenation needed. Often times, treating patients with facial fillers can prolong or even prevent the use of facelift/midfacelift surgery.
How long does the facial filler last?
It depends on the type of facial filler utilized. The filler used in the photographic example should receive benefit from one to three years.
What is my downtime?
Typically you can return to work immediately.
Can anyone inject a facial filler?
Dr. Shah believes injection of a facial filler is an art form and should not be underestimated. Some of the newer facial fillers last longer than traditional fillers, as such application of these fillers demands appropriate placement of the fillers. In addition, knowledge of the latest fillers allows for the right filler for the right patient. Dr. Shah has a unique application of facial fillers based on his experience from world renowned plastic surgeon in Manhattan and a facial plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills.
What is Dr. Shah’s philosophy on facial fillers?
In order to treat a patient with facial aging, one must understand how we age and the anatomy of aging. Soft, subtle changes are preferable to harsh, obvious contours. In the African-american face, I inject in order to provide even volumetric balance to the face and provide a slight lift to the entire face. Most injectors, essentially, try to fill in the lines. However, this approach does not adequately address facial aging including the midface, malar region, perioral region and entire face. Often times, patients are treated with a series of injections to slowly transform the face.
Can I keloid with a facial filler?
There have not been any reports of a keloid after use with a facial filler. A facial filler is typically placed in an atraumatic approach and thereby effectively eliminating facial keloids.
Are Juvederm or Restylane effective in African American patients?
Generally speaking, I do not utilize Juvederm or Restylane in African American patients. I have found the longevity, visual impact and longevity not to be much less effective than its counterparts. I have treated a number of patients who have told me that Restylane does not work. Juvederm and Restylane arehighly effective product when used with the right candidate and the appropriate location.
I want a permanent filler, what are my options?
Dr. Shah does not believe a good permanent facial filler exists. There is an expression “Permanent filler is a permanent problem.” Permanent fillers can travel down the face over time and can not be removed, not a good set of problems to have.
Is facial filler expensive?
Not if comparing it to a surgical procedure. It does not require anesthesia and most patients can return to work or go out that evening after an injection.
Do I need repeat injections?
Most patients receive additional injections every year to 2 years.
Why should I have Dr. Shah be my physician?
Dr. Shah has expertise in aging in African Americans. He was featured on the Santitia Jackson show and called an “expert in ethnic plastic surgery”. He has patients seek his expertise from all corners of the world. More importantly, Dr. Shah’s skill as an injector can help transform your face and restore youth.