Learn more about specific conditions where dermal fillers can be used
What are dermal fillers?
Dermal fillers – Juvederm, Restylane, Belotero, and Voluma– contain some form of hyaluronic acid, a substance that naturally occurs throughout the body and skin, with the highest concentrations in the fluids of the eyes and joints. Radiesse is a calcium hydroxyapatite filler, while Sculptra contains L-poly-lactic acid. Fillers can be used to temporarily plump lips, raise depressed scars and level wrinkled skin.
First, the doctor marks the areas to be injected. Topical or injection numbing medication may be used for added comfort. Then the fillers are injected by syringe using very fine needles. The effect typically lasts about six months. After that, additional injections are required to maintain the effect.
What should first be done before considering dermal fillers?
First, an ASDS dermatologist will review the patient’s medical history and examine the condition to be treated. Areas to be treated should be kept clean. If there is a skin infection, then treatment needs to be postponed until it resolves. Patients who take blood thinners (such as aspirin, ibuprofen, certain herbal medications) should stop them two weeks prior to injection with the approval of their prescribing doctor.
When are dermal fillers appropriate?
Dermal fillers can be used to treat
Who is not a candidate for dermal fillers?
Dermal fillers are not recommended for patients who have:
- Current oral herpes or a similar infection
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Blood-clotting problems
- Lupus or other connective tissue disorders
Are dermal fillers painful?
Topical numbing agents or anesthetic injections are sometimes applied to ease discomfort. Before and following treatment, ice may be given to ease discomfort and swelling. Patients should avoid applying firm pressure on the treatment area.
What are the complications or potential side effects of dermal fillers?
Common side effect include:
- Lumps and bumps
Uncommon side effects include:
- Allergic reactions
- Blisters and cysts
- Inflammatory reactions
- Migration of filler material to another site
What can I expect after having had dermal fillers?
All hyaluronic acid soft-tissue fillers are temporary, lasting anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the filler and type of procedure. Some patients require maintenance treatments to achieve the best results. Expectations differ following treatment:
- Lip therapy: Dermal fillers can improve the shape, structure and volume of the lips for up to six months. Following treatment, ice may be given to ease discomfort and swelling. Avoid applying firm pressure on the treatment area. Lipstick and other lip products should be avoided immediately following the procedure.
- Scars and wrinkled skin: Bruising, which may last up to a week. Swelling. Redness. Following treatment, ice may be given to ease discomfort and swelling. Avoid applying firm pressure on the treatment area.
For more information and referrals
For more information on skin conditions and treatments, along with a list of ASDS members in your state, please visit the find a dermatologic surgeon section of our website.