Dermal fillers are soft tissue fillers which are injected into your skin to reduce facial wrinkles and restore a rejuvenated appearance by increasing the skin’s volume. Fillers are temporary, as the material used is absorbed by the body over time. Fillers in the United States are classified as medical devices, are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and must be administered by a licensed physician. The effectiveness of each treatment is determined by the area you select to treat and based on which dermal filler is used. Some dermal fillers have different textures and will produce outcomes will differ based on the plan you come up with with your provider. Some treatments may have longer effects than others, however, your medical provider will help you determine the best type and volume of filler required to treat your areas of concern.

  • What Are Dermal Fillers Used For

    Dermal fillers have a wide variety of uses, however, fillers are commonly used for smoothing out lines around the nose and mouth, enhancing and plumping lips, and restoring volume to your face. Other areas fillers can be used include the chin, nose, and under the eye.

  • What Are Dermal Fillers Made Of?

    There are four major types of dermal fillers:

    • Hyaluronic Acid—Brands: Belotero, Captique, Esthèlis, Elevess, Hylaform, Juvederm, Perlane, Prevelle, Puragen, Restylane
    • Polylactic Acid—Brands: Sculptra
    • Calcium hydroxylapatite—Brands: Radiesse
    • Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (PMMA)—Brands: Bellafill
  • Which Type Of Dermal Filler Should I Use?

    Selecting a dermal filler comes down to the desired area you wish to treat and the desired outcomes you wish to achieve. In many cases, a health care provider will suggest a class of dermal fillers, while in other cases a specific brand may be used to achieve your results. Let’s start with a few of the most common treatment areas:

    Trying to smooth your face or get rid of acne scars, crow’s feet, frown lines, and worry lines?

    The most popular sub-category of dermal fillers, hyaluronic acid based treatments tend to focus on crow’s feet, worry lines, frown lines, and even some facial scars. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance found in the body. 

    Brands include: Captique, Esthèlis, Elevess, Hylaform, Juvederm, Perlane, Prevelle, Puragen, Restylane

    In some cases, and depending on the desired treatment area and outcome, your clinician may elect to use Botox over a dermal filler. As with any procedure, it is important that you discuss your outcome goals with your healthcare provider. 

    Smoothing under the eyes – Juvederm, Restylane, Fat injections

    Smoothing Marionette lines – Juvederm, Belotero, Restylane, Refyne

    Need to reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles?

    To reduce the appearance of deeper facial wrinkles, we typically see providers choosing Radiesse, which is made from calcium hydroxylapatite. Radiesse’s consistency is a bit thicker than a hyaluronic acid filler and usually last a bit longer. For most patients, Radiesse injections last on average about 12 months from the time of treatment. Some providers may elect to instead use Sculptra, composed of poly-l-lactic acid, which is a synthetic substance that stimulates collagen production.

    Looking to enhance your facial tone, adding volume to your cheeks?

    Juvederm Voluma XC and Restylane are typically used as dermal cheek fillers. Interestingly, Voluma XC is the only FDA approved hyaluronic acid filler approved specifically for adding cheek volume and is designed with cheek treatment as a primary use case. With Voluma XC, receiving the injectable is a fairly quick procedure and some patients have seen results that have lasted a number of years. Radiesse (calcium hydroxyapatite) may be used in certain circumstances add cheek volume

    Interesting in adding volume to your lips?

    Plumping your lips is a common treatment. Providers will most commonly elect to use a hyaluronic acid dermal filler to get the job done. In our research, Juvederm was the number one dermal filler for lip volume, followed by Restylane. Patients tend to have a higher satisfaction with Juvederm, as the injectable has a smoother texture which translates to a smoother result.  For many, Juvederm may outlast the effects of Restylane as well.  

    Looking to target nasolabial folds—the lines that occur next to your nose?

    For a shorter-term treatment that can last up to 12 months we typically see Juvederm Belotero, Restylan, Radiesse as the top three most popular treatments. For a longer lasting treatment (12+ months) we typically see VOLLURE, Sculptra, Bellafill as the top three dermal fillers.

  • What are the side effects of dermal fillers?

    The most common side effects often include :

    • bruising 
    • swelling 
    • redness 
    • Pain
    • itchting

    Less common side effects include:

    •  infections
    • bumps
    • lumps 
    • discoloration 
    • change in pigmentation

     Incredibly rare but serious risks include:

    • scarring
    • vision loss/blindness
    • severe allergic reaction 

    Please remember to discuss the variety of treatment options with a health care provider. Side effects typically occur shortly after treatments and should subside within two weeks. In very rare cases, some side effects may continue for weeks or months after treatment. If any side effects continue over an extended period of time, please talk to a licensed health care provider.

  • What else should I look for when researching dermal fillers and treatments?

    Don’t- Do buy dermal fillers off of the Internet or try to administer treatments yourself. It is critical that a trained, specialized clinician administers the treatment. 

    Don’t – Do not use dermal fillers for a non-intended use. Many patients have attempted to “body contour” using dermal fillers. This is not suggested nor advised and may have long-term negative effects. 

    Do – work with a licensed health care provider who can answer any questions you may have, help guide you to the appropriate treatment, and properly administer the treatment. 

    Do – research the FDA-approved injectable filler labeling information.

    Do – research all possible outcomes based on the type of product to be injected