What are dermal fillers?

Stephen Handisides
Health Education

As we age, we lose the volume in our face that makes our skin look plump and youthful, so dermal fillers can be used to ‘fill out’ lines and wrinkles and replace lost volume in the skin caused by ageing. They can also be used as a non-surgical alternative to facial implants to add volume to the cheeks or chin, to correct minor deformities in the nose, to get rid of hollows underneath the eyes and to plump up thin lips.

There are many different types of dermal fillers available which last anywhere between three months and five years. Although dermal fillers, particularly temporary fillers, are now very safe, you should make sure you are seeing a properly qualified practitioner to avoid any complications. Dermal fillers can be injected by any medically trained practitioner who has undergone suitable training, including aesthetic nurses, doctors, dentists, surgeons and dermatologists. Beauty therapists should not inject dermal fillers. Dermal filler treatments are becoming increasingly common in the UK as they offer rejuvenation without the expense or downtime of invasive surgery. As the use of dermal filler products has grown, so has the choice of different filler substances. There are now many options on the market, so it is important to find the right product for you.

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery

Dermal fillers are very useful now as minimally invasive procedure for facial rejuvenation. Popular dermal fillers include Juvaderm, Restylane, Perlane and Collagen. The Hyaluronic acids are frequently used to enhance areas including the nasolabial folds, jowls, periorbital areas, and the midcheek regions. Collagen including Zyplast may be useful but has a shorter half-life. Autologous fat grafting is useful throughout the face and may be used with facelift and necklift procedures. Most dermal fillers will need to be repeated in less than a year. 

Dermal fillers are injectable products that are used to fill fine lines and plump up wrinkles to provide a natural and smooth look. They are among the most popular nonsurgical cosmetic treatments. According to the American Society for Plastic Surgery, hyaluronic acid dermal filler procedures -- one category of soft tissue fillers -- are the second most popular aesthetic injectable treatment behind Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA).

Dermal fillers work differently than Botox. Fillers are injected directly into wrinkles and lines, instantly adding volume. There are many dermal fillers to choose from, so be sure to ask your aesthetic specialty doctor which type of filler will help you achieve your desired results. Certain dermal fillers may work better in different people and for different areas, so you may need to try more than one before finding the best product for you. Doctors may use multiple products, depending on your needs, to obtain your desired result. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.