Also known as dermal fillers and soft tissue fillers
Fillers are a type of minimally invasive aesthetic medicine used 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.
When to Consider Fillers
- If you have deep lines around the eyes, brow or mouth
- If you would like to change the contours of your jaw or lips
- If you are interested in a minimally invasive procedure
- 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
- Fillers are temporary and require repeat injections to maintain your goal
- Some people may be sensitive and experience bruising and swelling
- Results are dependent on the experience and qualifications of your injector
These are the top three pros and cons to weigh when considering fillers. If you want to focus on those specifically unique to you, please consult with your aesthetic plastic surgeon.
Am I a good candidate for fillers?
The following are some common reason why you may want to consider fillers:
- You have lines or wrinkles around your mouth, eyes or forehead.
- You’d like to enhance the volume in areas such as the cheeks, jaw line or lips.
- If you have scars and depressions in the skin resulting from acne, injury or congenital imperfections.
How is a fillers procedure performed?
Fillers are administered with a syringe to various areas on the face and head, including around the eyes, along the jaw, around the lips and in the forehead. 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.
What are my options?
There are three types of fillers commonly used: temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent. Hyaluronic acid-based fillers are temporary, while other types of fillers offer longer-lasting results.
- Collagen-Based Fillers: Collagen is a naturally occurring protein that adds strength and structure to the skin. Collagen was the first filler on the market, but the arrival of hyaluronic acid-based fillers has decreased its popularity.
- Hyaluronic Acid-Based Fillers Like collagen, hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance and primarily used to promote fullness and volume.
- 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 usually found in bones.
Longer-lasting dermal fillers typically contain thicker substances, such as the biodegradable synthetic filler known as poly-L-lactic acid. These types of soft tissue fillers are used to treat deeper facial lines, and though they offer semi-permanent results, it’s possible that you’ll need an occasional “touch up” several weeks after your initial injections.
Permanent fillers are made of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), which are microspheres that are not absorbed by the body. The filler also contains collagen and is only recommended for thick-skin areas such as the nasolabial folds. It is not recommended for any areas around the eyes or for the lips.
Silicone Injections – Patient Safety Warning
Silicone injections are an unsafe and unacceptable option to use as a filler. These injections are not FDA approved and often offered by unlicensed individuals and should be avoided. Always consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon, preferably an ASAPS member, if you have questions about a particular type or brand.
What are the brand names for fillers?
There are a number of soft tissue filler brand names, but some of the most common are:
- Hyaluronic Acid-Based Fillers: Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane, PREVELLE Silk, Hydrelle, Belotero
- Collagen-Based Fillers: Cosmoplast, Cosmoderm, Evolence
- Semi-Permanent Fillers: Sculptra, Radiesse
- Permanent Fillers: ArteFill