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Fillers vs. Thread Lifts

Fillers vs. Thread Lifts

When it comes to beauty and esthetics, there are often several options for anyone seeking a desired change and a boost to their facial profile. However, one of those options will almost always stand out as the better choice. In Calgary, a lot of it comes down to specific personal factors, availability of services, budget, and age.

We often get questions about the difference between dermal fillers and thread lifts, and what to expect from a cosmetic standpoint: should I get fillers on my face? Will fillers make my cheeks puffy? Here, we’ll explain the differences between the two procedures and the situations that each is best suited for.


What are Thread Lifts?

Let’s start with some basic definitions. Thread lifts are a popular form of facial restoration with minimal risks that uses a dissolvable but strong thread, inserted under the skin and through the underlying tissue. Surgically non-invasive and surprisingly quick (they are called “lunchtime facelifts” for a reason), thread lifts are best used for younger clients who want noticeable results without a lot of surgical work. They help promote additional collagen formation to boost future skin appearance, too, and they can last for several years before needing another lift done.


Can Threads Lift Your Face?

Here’s the thing: the answer is both yes and no, and it depends on your personal body circumstances. This is why the initial consultation is so important, and why any reputable thread lift clinic will do that before booking anything else. It tells us exactly which approach would be best for you.
Threads can lift facial skin if the major issue is skin laxity – that is, sagging because of age or a loss of elastin and collagen. Skin is lightweight enough for the small threads to pull it up and hold it in place, giving you a rapid improvement to your facial structure. However, if the issue is not just skin laxity, but instead involves subcutaneous fat, fat pads, or a loss of muscle definition, then threads alone won’t be enough to hold it in place. The underlying tissue is too heavy for the suture and something like a lower facelift might be a better choice.
Fillers can mask – but not entirely fix – these situations (more on that below). Typically, we’d add fillers around the fat pad that has fallen in an area. 

Types of Thread Lifts

Have you heard of a “fox eye” thread lift? How about a “Hollywood thread lift” (also known as the ponytail thread lift)? Maybe the “non-surgical brow lift”? These are a few types of thread lifts used for different effects, depending on the look you want.
While those have specific names, the truth is that there are multiple types and potential placements for threads when doing a lift. These are ultimately decided based on your facial appearance, individual circumstances, and desired outcome. We’ve got much more information in our blog all about thread lifts here.

How Long do Thread Lifts Last?

The standard is about two years, but new technology in development in the United States is boosting the lifespan up to a maximum of three years. Expected to arrive in Canada soon, these new threads will further extend the length of time between lift appointments and keep clients looking younger and healthier for longer.


What are Fillers?

On the other hand, fillers are synthetic or natural compounds that are injected at various points of the face – usually along the lines, folds, or creased tissues that show signs of aging. They are similarly non-invasive, requiring no surgical procedures, and they have been a common treatment for lips, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity for many years. There are many different types, and each has different properties, longevity, and application processes; at Bardöt Beauty, we use hyaluric acid.


Can Fillers Lift Your Face?

So now on to the question: are fillers better than thread lifts? Well, as with anything in beauty, it all depends on the situation.
Fillers are typically used for volume loss in areas that are associated with aging – such as eye tear troughs, the cheeks, and the jawline and jowls. When used under the right conditions, these can restore some youthfulness and volume, putting the facial profile closer to where it was before. For example, as you age, you may lose some bone mass and tissue in the cheeks, so putting filler there makes sense.

Fillers and Aging Skin

However, in many cases as we age, the skin is not losing volume so much as the collagen or other tissues beneath our epidermis are losing elasticity and hold. As a result, the skin sags down – this is especially noticeable around the nasolabial area above and beside the mouth, and along the jawline at the bottom of the cheeks.
In these instances, filler would not fix the problem. It would just make an already-drooping area look heavier, puffier, and swollen. The solution would be to lift the skin back into place and stimulate more collagen to form and heal – meaning that thread lifts would be the better way to go (for most people, anyway). For the nasolabial folds (as well as jowls and brows), the underlying pads of fat tend to drop as we age, and the best way to get your “old look” back is through thread lifting.
As a general rule, we recommend against getting filler injections for age- or collagen-related changes to the jowls or nasolabial areas. With that said, everyone is different and personal factors make a big difference! A consultation with a professional is the best way to tell which one is right for you.

Fillers and the Ramus

As we age, we lose the bone density at the back corner of your jaw, known as the ramus. This means that, instead of appearing as a nice angle and distinct jawline, the area becomes less defined and saggy. In certain cases, we can use filler near the ramus to help redefine the corner of the jawbone.

How Long Do Fillers Last?

Fillers usually last about 6 months but can range a bit higher depending on metabolism, the amount and type used, and other specific factors. Many of them are designed to dissolve over time and reabsorb back into the body.


What About Fat Deposits?

If you struggle with jowls caused by stubborn fat deposits (and let’s face it – most of us do), then a filler isn’t an option, and a lift will be ineffective. But we can use products like Belkyra to help dissolve the fatty cells along the jawline during 3-4 sessions, and then perform a lift afterward. In our experience, this gets excellent results!


More Information on Fillers

If you still have questions or want to know more about the process, costs, and what to expect, simply reach out and let us know. When it comes to fillers, thread lifts, or anything else in the field of medical esthetics, we’re trusted for advice and answers in Calgary and across southern Alberta. We look forward to helping you look and feel your best!


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