The Complete Guide to Dermal Fillers: Types, Uses, Procedure, & Benefits

Published on: Mar 30, 2023 / Last Updated on: Nov 28, 2023 / INJECTABLES
The Complete Guide to Dermal Fillers: Types, Uses, Procedure, & Benefits

What are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers are a type of injectable treatment that is used to restore volume to the face, smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, and enhance the overall appearance of the skin. They are made from a variety of materials, including hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite, and poly-L-lactic acid. Each material has its own unique properties, so it’s important to understand them to know which is best for you.

Dermal fillers are one of the most popular esthetic treatments in the United States. It’s estimated that more than 3 million people get dermal fillers each year. If you’re considering getting a filler then continue reading to be fully prepared for your treatment.

How do Dermal Fillers Work?

As we get older, we start to lose a protein called collagen, which is the most abundant protein in the body and is found in the skin, bones, muscles, tendons, and cartilage. Collagen serves many different purposes, one of which includes giving the skin structure, strength, and elasticity. Around the age of 30, our collagen levels start to deplete causing the skin to lose its volume and elasticity which makes fine lines and wrinkles more visible.

Dermal fillers are used to counter the aging of the skin and the depletion of collagen. They work by injecting a gel-like substance into the skin. This substance then restores the lost volume and gives the skin a smoother, fuller look. The results are immediate and can last anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the type of filler used. Read more to learn about all the FDA-approved and unapproved uses of dermal fillers.

Benefits of Dermal Fillers

beautiful young woman with enhanced appearance from dermal fillers

1. Restoring volume to the face

As we get older, we begin to lose the subcutaneous fat in front of the muscles in our face, which can result in sagging and wrinkles. Dermal fillers can help restore this lost volume, giving you a more youthful appearance. They can also help make your facial features more symmetrical.

2. Smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles

Dermal fillers can help address the early signs of aging which normally is the formation of wrinkles and creases. Dermal fillers can be used to enhance facial contours and smooth out fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth, eyes, and forehead.

3. Enhancing the overall appearance of the skin

Skin damage can occur from a multitude of causes like excessive sun exposure or lifestyle/hereditary reasons. Dermal fillers can improve the texture and tone of your skin, leaving you with a brighter, more refreshed look. They can also reduce the visibility of facial scars.

Types of Dermal Fillers

1. Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found throughout the body. It has many functions including keeping your eyes hydrated and moisturized as well as keeping your joints, muscles, and tissue lubricated and cushioned. Hyaluronic acid is also found in the skin where it helps to retain moisture, making it a great injectable filler for maintaining smooth, glowing skin. Results typically last anywhere from 12 to 18 months. The average cost (priced per syringe) of hyaluronic acid fillers is $684 in the US.

2. Calcium Hydroxylapatite

Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA) fillers are one of the most commonly used and well-studied dermal fillers in the industry. CaHA is a naturally occurring substance found in bones and teeth. However, the CaHA used in fillers is a synthetic, biodegradable version. CaHA fillers have the ability to stimulate the natural production of collagen in the targeted areas, making them an excellent option for augmenting the cheekbones or jawline. Results typically last from 1 to 2 years. The average cost (priced per syringe) of calcium hydroxylapatite fillers is $717 in the US.

3. Poly-L-lactic Acid

Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) is another synthetic, biodegradable substance that stimulates natural collagen production. Unlike other fillers, PLLA can require several sessions and the results can take longer to show up. However, patients can expect long-lasting results, normally over 2 years. The average cost (priced per syringe) of poly-L-lactic acid fillers is $853 in the US.

The procedure of Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are a popular cosmetic procedure that adds volume, smooth lines, and plump face areas. Here's a general outline of the procedure:

  • Initial Consultation: You'll meet with a qualified practitioner or dermatologist to discuss your goals, medical history, and suitability for dermal fillers.

  • Preparation: Before the procedure, the area might be cleaned, and a topical numbing cream applied to minimise discomfort.

  • Injection: The practitioner uses a fine needle or cannula to inject the filler into specific face areas.

  • Adjustments: As the filler is injected, the practitioner may massage the area to ensure even distribution and make necessary adjustments.

  • Recovery: There might be minor swelling, redness, or bruising post-procedure, which typically resolves within a few days.

  • Follow-Up: Your practitioner might schedule a follow-up appointment to check the results and ensure healing.

  • Aftercare Instructions: You'll receive instructions on how to care for the treated area, including avoiding strenuous activity and certain medications.

  • Results and Touch-ups: Dermal fillers are not permanent, and the duration of results varies based on the type of filler used. Follow-up treatments may be needed to maintain the desired look.

  • Possible Side Effects: These can include swelling, bruising, redness, or itching at the injection site, which typically subsides within a few days.

  • Risks: Though rare, risks may include allergic reactions, infection, or filler migration.

Who is an Ideal Candidate for Dermal Fillers?

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the ideal candidate for dermal fillers typically includes individuals who:

  • Are in Good Health: Generally, individuals in good overall health with no underlying medical conditions that might interfere with the healing process are suitable candidates.

  • Are Non-Smokers: Smoking can affect the healing process; non-smokers might experience better results and fewer complications.

  • Have Realistic Expectations: They understand the limitations and potential outcomes of the procedure.

  • Have Specific Concerns: Candidates may have concerns such as smile lines, thin lips, hollow areas, or volume loss they wish to address.

Finding a provider near you

M Health and Beauty offers traditional hyaluronic acid fillers as well as both collagen builders, providing the two leading products for CaHA and PLLA fillers, those being Radiesse and Sculptra respectively. Visit M Health and Beauty or call today to book an appointment.