Besides having a range of injectable fillers at their disposal, dermatologists also have an array of injection techniques from which to choose. The method used for depositing the filler under the skin can have an effect on how natural and smooth the result appears. Some aestheticians use more than one technique depending on the type of treatment area, the depth of the injection, and the substance being used. Others specialize in perfecting a particular technique that works well for them across a broad range of treatments.
Although one method may work better than another for specific purposes, the experience level of the dermatologist administering the treatment is usually the most important factor in achieving good results.
Questions patients can ask their provider include:
• How many procedures have you done using this product in the past year?
• How often do you use this filler for wrinkles that have the same depth and location as mine?
• Do you have a particular injection method that you prefer to use? What made you choose that technique?
• Are you experimenting with different injection techniques? If so, what are you hoping to achieve with these new approaches?
If the dermatologist is using a new technique, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He or she may be seeking ongoing professional training to continuously provide better treatment options. Dermatologists often share information with their colleagues about novel approaches that have delivered superior results for their patients. Since most fillers are absorbed by the body over time, it is somewhat safer to experiment with new methods for this type of treatment than it would be with something like surgery.
Linear injections are performed by inserting the needle under the skin and injecting the filler in a straight line. This is sometimes called the threading or tunneling technique. Serial puncture is a related method that involves creating a series of short injection lines end to end to fill a long shallow line – especially in areas where the skin is thin.
Fanning is done using multiple injections starting close together but at an angle to one another to create a fan effect. This technique is often used alone or in conjunction with threading to help fill out the triangular area between the side of the nose and the corners of the mouth (where smile lines form). Cross hatching is done by creating two sets of lines at right angles to each other and overlapping. With all of these techniques, the substance is massaged into the skin immediately after the injection to distribute the wrinkle filler as evenly as possible.