What are fillers?

Also known as dermal fillers and soft tissue fillers. Fillers are used for minimally invasive aesthetic procedures to add volume, alter the contours of the face, and fill in wrinkles. Common areas to inject fillers are in the face, neck, and hands resulting in a fuller, smoother and more youthful appearance. Dermal fillers are among the most popular aesthetic procedures because they carry immediate results, very few risks and little recovery time.

Common brand names for fillers:

  • Hyaluronic Acid-based fillers- Restylane®, Juvederm®, Belotero®, Revanesse Versa®
  • Semi-Permanent fillers- Radiesse®

When to Consider Fillers

  • If you have deep lines around your mouth or volume loss around your eyes.
  • If you would like to change the contours of your jaw, cheeks or lips.
  • If you are interested in a minimally invasive procedure.

Pros

  • Filler injections are quick and only require a topical anesthetic at most.
  • Results are immediate and there is little to no downtime.
  • Fillers provide a subtle look that can be adjusted to meet your aesthetic needs.

Cons

  • Fillers are temporary and require repeat injections to maintain your goal.
  • Some people may be sensitive and bruising and swelling is to be expected for up to 2 weeks post treatment.
  • No vigorous exercise for up to 24 hours.

How is a filler procedure performed?

Fillers are administered with a syringe to various areas on the face and head, including around the eyes, along the jaw, cheeks, around the lips and the neck. The number, location and depth of the injections depend largely on the type of dermal fillers used and the desired results. Some fillers contain a local anesthetic like lidocaine to enhance comfort during injection. Numbing cream may also be used.

Types of Fillers

  1. Temporary Fillers
    Hyaluronic acid-based fillers- A naturally occurring substance in the skin and primarily used to promote fullness and volume.
  2. Semi-Permanent Fillers
    Calcium Hydroxylapatite- Heavier and denser than hyaluronic acid, this filler is injected deeper, underneath the skin, and does not usually cause immune or allergic responses because the material is found in bone.

Immediately After Injection

You will likely see the results of your injections immediately following the procedure, though it is not uncommon for patients to experience swelling or minimal bruising in the area of the injection site. Your injector may give you an ice pack or cold compress to help decrease swelling and bruising. The period of swelling will depend largely on the type of soft tissue filler you received, though most swelling, bruising, and redness should dissipate within 1-2 weeks.

Recovery and Results

One of the most enticing features of soft tissue fillers is their minimal recovery time. In the approximate week it takes for swelling and bruising to disappear, your injector may advise you to avoid wearing hats or other headgear and only use small amounts of makeup.

The length of results from your dermal fillers is dependent on the type of injection you received. Hyaluronic Acid- based fillers- results vary, though results of most common brands will last five to nine months. Semi-Permanent fillers- results will last between seven and nine months.

Dermal Fillers Before and After

Restylane®


Juvederm®

Juvederm® patient before 4Juvederm® patient after 4
Juvederm® patient before 3Juvederm® patient after 3
Juvederm® patient before 2Juvederm® patient after 2
Juvederm® patient before 1Juvederm® patient after 1

Belotero®

Belotero® patient before 1Belotero® patient after 1
Belotero® patient before 2Belotero® patient after 2
Belotero® patient before 3Belotero® patient after 3

Revanesse Versa®


Radiesse®

Radiesse patient before 1Radiesse patient after 1
Radiesse patient before 2Radiesse patient after 2
Radiesse patient before 4Radiesse patient after 4
Radiesse patient before 5Radiesse patient after 5

Dermal Fillers FAQ

Dermal fillers are biocompatible, injectable substances that create lift, add volume, and restore a more youthful appearance to certain areas of the face that show signs of aging.
The most common fillers are made of a soft gel consisting of non-animal hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that naturally occurs in the human body, and it is found in our skin. It helps hydrate and adds volume to the skin. It is naturally broken down by our own bodies. Dermal fillers consisting of hyaluronic acid include Restylane, Juvederm, Voluma, and Belotero.

Other fillers, such as Radiesse, consist of synthetic calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres suspended in an aqueous gel. Calcium hydroxylapatite is a natural mineral component found in bone. These microspheres stimulate your own collagen. Over time, the body degrades the calcium hydroxylapatite and gel, leaving behind your natural collagen.

Sculptra is made of a synthetic of lactic acid, called poly-l-lactic acid or PLLA. Lactic acid is also naturally occurring in our muscles after exercise. PLLA contains no animal products, and it is naturally degraded by our body’s own enzymes. It stimulates growth of the body’s natural collagen, and the results can be long lasting.

As we age, we lose volume in key areas of the face. This contributes to folds, wrinkles, hollow temples, thinning lips, sunken eyes, and an older appearance to the face. Fillers can be used to restore this volume loss, smooth out folds and wrinkles, and improve contours to achieve natural results without altering facial expression. Certain fillers can also be used to correct scars.
The effects are long lasting but not permanent. They last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, depending on a number of factors including the patient’s age, area treated, type of filler used, quantity of filler used, and lifestyle.
Most patients experience only mild discomfort. A local anesthetic cream can be applied to the skin prior to the treatment for a more comfortable experience. Many of our fillers are also formulated with lidocaine to help minimize discomfort.

No! You can go right back to your normal routine. However, I always advise my patients that they may have some bruising or swelling, so it is best not to schedule a filler appointment right before any important event.

In general, dermal fillers are considered very safe. The most common reactions are redness, swelling, bruising, itching, and tenderness. These are typically mild and resolve spontaneously in 1-7 days for most patients. Other side effects are very rare.

When fillers are used in the appropriate amount and placed in the right location, the result is a beautiful, natural, youthful outcome. Fillers are not meant to create totally different features. In the hands of an experienced provider that has extensive knowledge of facial anatomy, the outcome simply enhances one’s own facial features.

The choice of filler depends on the individual patient, their treatment goals, and personal facial anatomy. I recommend booking a consultation to discuss these things with your provider.