Nose threadlifts and nose fillers are both heavily sought-after treatments in Singapore - simply because our Southeast Asian genetics give us a wider (bulbous) nose tip, and a shorter and flatter nose bridge. This can cause the middle face to lack definition and ideal proportion.
“Nose jobs without going under the knife” is a concept that revolutionised aesthetic treatments many years ago. You now have the option to enhance your appearance without a huge surgical fee or the usual surgical risks, with options such as nose fillers and nose thread lifts.
I wrote this post to help you better understand the different options you have to shape your nose without having to go under the knife.
It is important to state here that a medical rhinoplasty with fillers or threads is not suitable for everyone. Some people will benefit very little from either or both options, and you should ask your doctor to explain the option of surgical rhinoplasty, as well as its pros and cons.
A brief history of the use of nose fillers
Nose fillers were first used in the 1800s with substances such as liquid paraffin and medical-grade silicone. These substances proved to be harmful to the body, and the procedure was really only popular when suitable and safe filler substances came about at the start of the 21st century.
In 2002, Dr Alexander Rivkin began using FDA-approved substances such as Restylane (hyaluronic acid) and Radiesse (calcium hydroxyapatite). These substances are still in use to the present day.
It is an interesting fact that the first nose filler was done to make a bumpy or curved nose straighter, and it was observed that it actually made the nose look smaller (even though it is known as nose augmentation). Poorly done medical rhinoplasties make the nose look bigger and more prominent, which is ironically never a goal in nose augmentation.
A beautiful nose is an elegantly blended, frequently unnoticed facial feature.
What are the pros and cons of nose fillers vs nose thread lifts?
With the rapidly increasing popularity of nose thread lifts, you are now truly spoilt for choice when it comes to medical rhinoplasty (non-surgical nose jobs).
There is a lot of talk about thread lifts being the safer and easier option when compared to nose fillers, but is it all true?
This table provides a quick comparison of both:
|Nose thread lifts|
Are nose thread lifts or nose fillers more suitable for you?
To summarize the benefits of nose fillers and nose thread lifts in a nutshell:
- Fillers are excellent for volume/height of your nose bridge and tip, as well as precise correction of any bumpy or curved defects.
- Nose thread lifts are amazing for definition and tip projection. They are also more rigid than nose fillers (like an in-between fillers and surgical implants).
In other words, both nose fillers and thread lifts are useful in their own right. Which to use really depends on your concerns, as well as your skin quality.
What are the risks of nose fillers and nose thread lifts?
Sadly, many doctors in Singapore are abandoning nose fillers for threads, because of the potential of some fillers to cause severe side effects such as:
- Broadening of the nose bridge
- Skin necrosis
- Blindness (much more likely when performed with poor technique)
The result is more unsatisfied patients, as nose fillers can still give superior results in certain cases. Sometimes, a combination of both threadlifts and fillers are necessary to correct the underlying aesthetic issues. This combination can be done in a single session or sometimes a staged procedure. This combination technique is not as simple as deploying one after another and should only be performed in the hands of a very experienced injector.
The tendency of Singaporeans to choose threadlifts over fillers or combination treatments has also resulted in a surge of side effects related to threads, especially in the hands of less experienced injectors.
Threads are not dissolvable like fillers, even if they do disappear over time. If removal is warranted after a bad job, it may cause scarring and pain. Poor technique may also cause migration, deviation, and extrusion of threads to the skin surface.
It is extremely important to get a certified doctor to do your medical rhinoplasty. An experienced one should recommend the best option for your situation, perform it safely, and teach you how to take care of it. It is, after all, your face.
How can Botox help with your nose?
Botox/Dysport/Xeomin (BTXA) is for relaxing muscles, while fillers help to “fill” and heighten areas.
How then can Botox help with improving the appearance of a nose?
The answer is that it can actually relax muscles that are causing a wide or depressed nose tip! This can help make your nose tip smaller, and even lift it higher.
Check with your doctor if you are suitable for this simple and safe procedure!
What must you know before going for nose thread lifts or nose fillers in Singapore?
These are some factors that really matter when choosing between nose thread lifts or nose fillers. You should read through this before you decide!
1. Your doctor's assessment
As mentioned earlier, one option may be more suitable for you over another.
This is difficult for you to tell yourself, as it involves not just a doctor analysing your nose shape, angles or proportions, but also feeling the skin and other structures of your nose.
Some factors make it undesirable to perform any type of medical rhinoplasty. These include:
- Undesirable facial proportions
- Overly sebaceous skin (oily skin) or
- Unrealistic expectations.
You should find a doctor you trust to tell you no when something is not needed or cannot be done!
2. Type of nose filler or nose thread lifts
The technology of fillers or threads obviously matter! A good filler for the nose is one which is:
- Very hard
- Attracts little water
- Is long-lasting
I use 16 different types of fillers in my current practice for their unique properties.
This includes brands from Europe and Korea such as Teosyal, Ellanse, Radiesse, Belotero, Juvederm and Elravie.
I like to keep trying new options (usually on myself first), given that filler technology keeps improving, and better options keep coming out!
3. Technique and Art
Good ingredients only make a great meal in the hands of an expert chef.
A good injector is one who understands his tools and ingredients well, knows his or her surgical anatomy to perform his craft safely, and appreciates the individuality and art of aesthetic treatments.
In many cases, doctors would combine threads, fillers and botox so as to give optimal and natural results. There are many techniques to combine both threads and fillers, and I personally employ a mix of techniques with most cases.
There is an exact science on how these injections should be comfortably and safely carried out. To sure to find a doctor who spends time to explain the various risks possible with this procedure. In other words, do not find someone who brushes them aside as impossible.
A responsible doctor discusses the risks and obtains informed consent while reassuring you with their experience and proper techniques. Remember that side effects can happen even in the hands of the most skilled surgical hands!
An experienced injector in this area usually does the treatments smoothly with minimal discomfort and no sudden movements. This minimizes any bruising or swelling afterwards.
Which are the best nose filler and nose thread lifts in Singapore?
Each nose filler or nose thread brand and type has its own strengths and weaknesses.
There are only a few options which I would recommend for the nose. Using the wrong filler here will give you a broad or unnatural nose!
Both G Prime and Cohesivity matter greatly for nose fillers. Don’t be fooled by some products boasting only a high G Prime! The highest G prime hyaluronic acid happens to have a cohesivity which is only 20% of the Teosyal Ultradeep!
The following options have the highest G Prime and Cohesivity combination amongst the current fillers available in Singapore.
1. Semi-permanent collagen stimulators:
- Radiesse (calcium hydroxyapatite) or
- Ellanse (polycaprolactone)
These are my first options as they are the stiffest and project both nose tip and bridge perfectly. This usually gives natural and beautiful results. However, take note that they are not dissolvable.
Hence, any mistake by your doctor could be difficult to correct. It is important to visit a doctor who is comfortable and experienced with semi-permanent products.
2. Hyaluronic acid choices:
- Teosyal Ultradeep or
- Belotero Intense
These two HA fillers are my favourites! I enjoy using Teosyal fillers because they have continuously improved their fillers over the years, with heavy emphasis on their R&D.
3. Nose thread choices:
A good thread is one that does not migrate after insertion and can also give a long-lasting result. Do note that longevity and safety of your nose thread procedure is very dependent on your doctor’s expertise – as a regional trainer for this procedure, I frequently have to resolve undesirable side effects from this procedure.
If you find that your nose threads keep giving problems such as migration, extrusion, or simply do not last beyond a few months, you may want to consider a second opinion.
Final tip: Insist on fresh fillers and threads!
Finally, do insist on a fresh syringe of fillers and a fresh pack of threads for your procedure!
In Singapore, some clinics are known to reuse unfinished fillers and threads.
Brand new fillers and threads are usually sealed in a vacuum package to prevent contamination, and also to ensure that the freshest product is used for you.
All in all
To sum up, cosmetic injections are first a precise science, and afterwards, an intricate art.
A successful aesthetic procedure for your nose is one that creates a natural appearance and a nose in harmony with the rest of your features.
Your friends will comment that you look sharper or generally prettier, but will otherwise be unable to pinpoint what exactly you had done! I think my patients would hate to be called out for having obvious and unnatural fillers on their faces, so if someone points out that you seem to have something done to enhance the nose, it usually isn’t meant as a compliment.
There is definitely no one size fits all -- a certain nose shape which you desire may not actually look right on you. Find a doctor whom you trust with a good sense of beauty and aesthetics, and remember that the straightest nose may not be the perfect one for you!
Dr Chua Cheng Yu (Veritas Medical Aesthetics) is a frequent trainer at medical seminars and often shares his knowledge on multiple aesthetic technologies, including the Ultraformer HIFU and Teosyal fillers. His clinic mirrors his philosophy of functional aesthetics: holistic health and beauty. In his spare time, he plays the piano, dabbles with amateur photography, and maintains a personal blog.
- Wang LL et al. Update on injectables in the nose. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. August 2017.