Understanding Dermal Fillers: What They Are and How They Work

Dermal fillers are cosmetic treatments that are used to enhance facial features, restore volume, and reduce wrinkles or scars. They are injectable substances that work by filling in the targeted area, thus creating a smoother and more youthful appearance. Dermal fillers have become a popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment because of their effectiveness and minimal downtime. This article aims to provide information on dermal fillers, their types, the procedure, and what to expect.

Types of Dermal Fillers

There are different types of dermal fillers that are classified according to their primary ingredient. The most common types of dermal fillers are:

Hyaluronic acid fillers – these are the most frequently used fillers that contain a sugar molecule that is naturally occurring in the body. They work by hydrating the skin cells, improving the skin’s texture and thickness, and filling lines or wrinkles. Examples of hyaluronic acid fillers include Restylane, Juvederm, and Belotero.

Calcium hydroxylapatite fillers – these fillers are made of a mineral substance found primarily in bones. They stimulate collagen production and are often used to fill in deeper wrinkles or scars. Examples of calcium hydroxylapatite fillers include Radiesse and Radiance.

Poly-L-lactic acid fillers – these fillers are made of a synthetic material that stimulates collagen production. They are used to treat deeper facial wrinkles, and they often require multiple sessions for optimal results. Examples of Poly-L-lactic acid fillers include Sculptra.

Polymethylmethacrylate fillers – these are permanent fillers that are used to treat deep wrinkles and scars. They are made of synthetic, biocompatible materials that do not require replacement. Examples of polymethylmethacrylate fillers include Bellafill and Artefill.


Dermal filler injections are outpatient procedures that can be performed in a cosmetic surgeon’s office or a medical spa. The treatment process is simple and typically takes 15-30 minutes, depending on the number of areas being treated. Before the procedure, the doctor will cleanse the targeted area and inject a local anesthetic to numb the skin. The filler is then injected into the targeted area using a fine needle or cannula

After the injection, the doctor will massage the area to ensure even distribution of the filler. Patients can return to their normal activities immediately after the procedure, as there are no incisions, sutures, or significant discomfort. However, some redness, swelling, or bruising may occur in the treated area, which usually resolves in a few days

What to Expect

Dermal fillers produce immediate results, and patients can see an improvement in their facial features or wrinkles immediately after the injection. The duration of the results depends on the type of filler used, the targeted area, and the patient’s metabolism. Hyaluronic acid fillers typically last 6-12 months, calcium hydroxylapatite fillers last up to 18 months, while Sculptra can last up to two years. Polymethylmethacrylate fillers are permanent.


Dermal fillers are a safe and effective anti-aging solution that can restore volume, minimize wrinkles, and enhance numerous facial features. However, it is essential to choose a board-certified and experienced cosmetic surgeon to ensure optimal results and minimize the risk of complications. Patients should also disclose any medical conditions or medications they are taking to their doctor before undergoing the procedure.

In summary, dermal fillers are a popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment that can enhance facial features and reduce wrinkles with minimal downtime. Patients can choose from different types of fillers that suit their needs and desired results. The procedure is quick and straightforward, and the results are visible immediately after the injection. If you are considering a dermal filler treatment, consult a board-certified cosmetic surgeon to discuss your options and expectations.