Poorly placed fillers can actually make people look older, doctor says

MIAMI – In the search to look younger, many people rely on injectable fillers, but in some cases, these products are actually making people look older.

“In reality, the most important thing is how the filler is used,” said Dr. Rian Maercks, a plastic surgeon in Miami.

Maercks said most practitioners follow guidelines set by the companies that make fillers, which focuses on the mid-face.

“I call that the no-fly zone,” Maercks said.

He contends that placing fillers in the cheek area can actually age the face.

“What you end up seeing is the pulled down face or what I call the golf ball look or the lion look. It’s pulling down the face, making it bottom-heavy and our brain is telling us, ‘This is an older face,’” he said.

Maercks came up with a process he calls “aesthetic facial balancing,” which involves injecting fillers around the orbital area, the mouth, the jawline, the temples and the forehead.

“These are areas where we have muscles contracting all our lives and we age and lose volume,” he said.

With before and after pictures of several patients, he demonstrated the difference.

“If I alter something on a human face, I want another human’s brain to recognize it as a natural human face,” he said.

While many may assume fillers are less expensive than undergoing invasive plastic surgery, the cost can run several thousand dollars and the process will need to be repeated as the filler naturally dissipates over time.

About the Authors: