• 2016-4-960

    What is a dermatologic surgeon?

    Part of a progressive medical subspecialty, ASDS member dermatologists perform medically necessary and cosmetic procedures to improve the health, function and beauty of skin through every stage of life.

  • 2016-3-960

    From forehead furrows to frown lines…

    Performing more than 5 million cosmetic procedures each year, ASDS member dermatologists offer many treatments that are less intense, safer and have quicker recovery times than ever before.

  • 2016-2-960

    3 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year

    Any suspicious new growths or changes should be examined by a dermatologist immediately. ASDS member dermatologists are trained to select the best treatment choice based on the individual patient.

  • 2016-1-960

    From excess fat to wrinkles…

    Offering a range of office-based cosmetic procedures, ASDS member dermatologists can select the appropriate treatment choice to meet your individual goals.

+ / -
Article to be sent via email:

To email(s):
(use commas to separate multiple addresses)
  (use commas to separate multiple addresses)
Your name:
Your email address:
Add a Message:

In This Section

Dermal Fillers


Uses for Dermal Fillers


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.

Gary Goldenberg, MD, discusses the benefits of dermal fillers.


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?

Before (left) and after (right) lip filler injection.

Photo courtesy of Shannon Humphrey, MD - Vancouver, Canada  
Before (left) and after (right) Radiesse to hands.

Photo courtesy of Daniel P. Friedmann, MD - Austin, Texas 

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:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Bleeding
  • Lumps and bumps

Uncommon side effects include:

Before (left) and nine months after (right) Radiesse.

Photo courtesy of Kimberly J. Butterwick, MD -San Diego, California 
Before (top) and after (right) Radiesse to temples, mid-cheek and madibular angle.

Photo courtesy of Kimberly J. Butterwick, MD - San Diego, California  
  • Numbness
  • Allergic reactions
  • Infection
  • 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.
Before (left) and after (right) Restylane to upper and lower lip.

Photo courtesy C Burgess 
Before (top) and after (right) - Sculptra to full face and Botox to masseters 

Photo courtesy of B. Fitzgerald   

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.

Render 960px View
Render 768px View
Render 480px View
Render 320px View