The popularity of aesthetic facial fillers is on the rise and the demand is higher than ever. But before looking into how to enhance, change or do anything with our skin, it’s very important to understand the relevant anatomy and physiology of both the skin and face, as well as how the environment plays a huge role in its appearance.
S K I N / A N A T O M Y
The first thing to know is that the skin serves as a protective barrier. It protects against microbes, it helps regulate our body’s temperature and allows for the sensations of heat and cold.
The three layers of tissue it is consisting of include:
The Epidermis – the outermost layer of the skin that contains the main protective structure. Its acts as the physical and biological barrier to the external environment as well as preventing the loss of water.
The Dermis- forms the inner layer of the skin and is much wider than the outermost layer. The main function is sustaining the epidermis, cushion the deeper structures from injury, and plays the major part in wound healing.
‘The Dermis is one of the most important structures when it comes to aesthetics and fillers because the skin wrinkles as part of its aging process, which is a result of the lack of collagen and elastic fibres found in the Dermis structure.’
The Hypodermis – the layer below the dermis consisting of mainly fat. This layer gives the main structural support for the skin and does all the insulating work.
STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS– If we look overall at the skin’s anatomy, we find its three main functions to be Protection, Sensation and Thermoregulation. – It serves as a barrier against mechanical and chemical trauma as well as damage from UV light.
F A C I A L / A N A T O M Y
Over time, the bone structure of the face as well as underlying tissue changes is what causes the overall appearance of the face to change.
Acknowledgement of the facial anatomy is just as fundamental as the skin’s anatomy when performing enhancement procedures. A lack of understanding can lead to serious complications which is why it’s important to know all the facts before any treatment you wish to undergo. The anatomy of the face consists of the upper, middle and lower parts of the face and the deeper anatomy is made up of muscles, fat pads, nerves and vessels.
UPPER FACE REGION
SUPERFICIAL FAT COMPARTMENTS OF THE FOREHEAD
Treatments for the forehead involve reducing activity of the Frontalis muscles. As the aging process happens, there is a lot of volume loss of the frontal soft tissue. Volume is then restored through the use of soft tissue fillers in the deep compartments of the Forehead.
MIDDLE FACE REGION
The middle face region begins at the lower eyelids and ends above the lip. This is the central face region. A significant part of this region is the nose. The nose is covered superficially with skin and has no underlying fat pads. The three-dimensional structure of the nose is what is key to understand when undertaking non-surgical rhinoplasty because one dimension is changed to affect the appearance of the other areas.
LOWER FACE REGION
The lower face region contains the lip, chin and jaws. This is what is primarily focussed on when undertaking profile balancing. The muscles of this region are very close together.
Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are often used in the chin and jaw to create a sharper jawline and mandibular angle. A common concern in the lower face region is the lack of skin laxity and firmness causing the skin to drop around the mouth area. Treatments such as erasing the lines that bring the face downwards, lip enhancements and chin augmentation all help to structure the lower region of the face.