What is Dermal Filler?

Dermal fillers are injected just beneath the skin's surface. They are made of components already present in your body, or synthetics that can safely be used in the body. Dermal fillers provide balance and symmetry to facial features. They can make the hands look younger and more supple. Suspended in a gel, they are easy to inject beneath the skin. Depending on the material, the effects can last for months or years.

Who is a Potential Candidate for Dermal Fillers?

Most adults, regardless of gender, are great candidates for these procedures.

Every client should set up a pre-treatment consultation to evaluate the issues that dermal fillers can address, and to select the kind of dermal fillers best suited to the person.

During a consultation, the cosmetic surgeon reviews an individual's medical history. Although dermal fillers present only minimal risks, the surgeon needs to explain any risks that the individual person may have. For example, some allergies, skin conditions, or neurological issues may impact the surgeon’s treatment decision.

Be sure to tell the surgeon about any medications you might be taking, even supplements. This knowledge will help your surgeon ensure your safety. It will help you achieve the best results from your procedure, too.

Benefits and What to Expect

By restoring volume to sunken cheeks or temples, dermal fillers can enhance the vitality of a face and its features. They can smooth out acne scars as well as creases, wrinkles, and tired-looking areas of the face.

Dermal fillers by Juvéderm® or Restylane® are frequently recommended for reviving tired-looking areas under the eyes. And Restylane Lyft is especially popular for giving cheeks a lift.
VOLBELLA by Juvéderm is often chosen for plumping up the lips. Dermal fillers such as Belotero, VOLBELLA by Juvéderm, or Restylane Silk can banish the small, vertical lines above the lips, as they plump and restore a smooth appearance to the lips.
Age can create "marionette lines"—vertical lines from the corners of the mouth down to the chin. To uplift the chin area, Juvéderm is a popular pick. So is Belotero®, and the Restylane line.
Dermal fillers can help smooth out smile lines or “parentheses”—lines that begin to border the nose and mouth. For results that last up to 12 months, effective products are Juvéderm, Belotero, Radiesse and Restylane. VOLLURE™, Bellafill®, and Sculptra® offer longer-lasting effects.
Radiesse® offers rejuvenating results for hands.
All of these aesthetic treatments are rising in popularity with men and women alike, and can offer amazing results.

Pain Management

First, note that you should not take any pain medicine in anticipation of your procedure. Do tell your cosmetic surgeon if you have been taking ibuprofen, aspirin, blood thinners, or naproxen. These medications can raise the chances of bruising during the application of injectable fillers.

Just before your treatment, the cosmetic surgery specialist’s staff will clean the area where the treatment will go. Typically, the surgeon will apply a simple but effective topical anesthetic to numb the area, so you will not feel pain during the procedure.

Many dermal fillers also contain lidocaine. This gentle anesthetic enhances your comfort during the procedure and after it is completed.

Downtime After the Procedure

Dermal fillers require no recovery period. There may be some initial swelling or minor bruising for the first few days. Your cosmetic surgeon might advise you to take a day off from strenuous physical activity or your exercise routine. Otherwise, it is possible to go about your daily errands without any concerns.

The exception would be if you are having fat injections. For results that can last many years, some people opt for autologous (from the same body) fat injections. These can plump the lips, and smooth out the skin under the eyes or on the hands. Also called fat grafting, this is the only type of dermal filler injection that involves actual surgery.

The typical fat grafting process is an outpatient procedure. Often, the fat is obtained through liposuction. The process requires general anesthesia, or sedation coupled with local anesthesia. Two weeks of downtime is common. Your cosmetic surgeon can discuss this and other options during your initial consultation.


Dermal filter beforeDermal filter after

Before and After photo after JUVÉDERM® Ultra Plus XC injection.

*individual results may vary. Before & after photos are intended for educational purposes only and do not guarantee similar results for all patients.

Three Most Commonly Asked Questions

Before starting the procedure, people like to know what the options are, and how they work. Here, we explore three frequently asked questions.
What’s the best choice if I’m new to this?
Many first-timers find the results they like with Hyaluronic Acid (HA) or Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA) dermal fillers. The effects of both are temporary, typically lasting 6 to 12 months.

Hyaluronic acid is a natural part of the body, already present in your skin to keep it plump and hydrated. Over the 6-12 months after the procedure, HA is naturally absorbed into the body.

CaHA is a little stronger, for deep lines and wrinkles. It’s calcium-based, and naturally found in our bones. Injected through a gel, it provides rejuvenating effects than may last about a year. It is thought to stimulate the body’s own collagen production.

To maintain your results, schedule later treatments with your provider as needed.
How can I achieve longer-lasting results from a single treatment?
Certain HA fillers do last longer. For example, Juvéderm's VOLUMA lasts more than 18 months. But its use is restricted to certain facial areas, mainly the cheeks.

Synthetic fillers are popular with people who have tried dermal fillers, and wish to commit to long-term results that last beyond two years. Ready to commit to several years? Synthetic fillers can last that long because the body does not immediately go to work absorbing them.

Poly-L-lactic acid works well with the body and is biodegradable. Dissolvable stitches are a well-known example of this material. Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) is also a common medical substance. When used in a dermal filler, it stays under the skin, providing continued support. Plus, both of these synthetic fillers boost your skin’s natural collagen replacement capacity. This effect helps firm up wrinkled skin and smooth out creases.
What can I expect to happen before, during, and after this procedure?
First, do not expect the preparation and recovery time needed for surgery. Dermal filler injections are non-surgical.

Begin with a consultation. Here, you will meet your surgeon or physician assistant. You'll discuss what you'd like to achieve, and any concerns you may have.

Then, the treatment takes place. It can usually happen in just one office visit. Expect the procedure to smooth out wrinkles and lines, enhancing the contours of your face or hands. Most people notice results immediately.

Additional Facts

People wisely want to be sure that nothing unproven or unsafe goes into their bodies. The basic rule here? Be sure you receive widely used, FDA-approved dermal fillers.

FDA-approved HA dermal fillers include the Juvéderm line. Other popular, FDA-approved brand names are Belotero® and Restylane. This includes Restylane Silk, Restylane Defyne, Restylane Refyne, and Restylane Lyft.