Dermal fillers are injected into a specific area of your face to enhance the contour, plump the lips or fill a crease or wrinkle on the face. This is a minimally invasive procedure with relatively immediate results, and (as many celebrities can attest) can shave 10 years off your face!
There are several different dermal filler compositions. The most common fillers contain substances naturally found in the body called hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite (HA) or the synthetic filler, polylactic acid.Hyaluronic acid is found in the soft connective tissue of the body. Restylane and Juvederm contain this substance.
Calcium hydroxylapatite is found in the human bone. This natural substance is contained in Radiesse, which is the heaviest dermal filler. Polylactic acid is a synthetic substance that works by stimulating the body to produce collagen. It is found in less popular products like Sculptra and New-Fill.
Pros and Cons of Four Popular Dermal Fillers
First, let’s outline the most popular fillers: Botox, Radiesse, Juvederm and Restylane.
- Botox®: This product is used for treating dynamic wrinkles, or those that are made when facial muscles move repeatedly to smile or frown. Botox was the original treatment of choice for such wrinkles and remains so for many patients.
- Radiesse™, previously called Radiance: Beneficial effects from Radiesse last 2 years or more. While the product is more expensive than most, it does last longer and also requires fewer treatments to attain the desired effects. This filler stimulates the body to produce collagen. The downside to Radiessse is that it is more painful to receive than other products because it requires a deeper injection. The side effects include injection site swelling, tenderness, itching, bruising, skin discoloration and especially more frequent lump formation.
- Juvederm®: This dermal filler lasts up to a year, but commonly lasts for approximately 6-9 months after treatment. It renders the same side effects as Radiesse but is less painful when injected.
- Restylane®: This semi-permanent filler lasts 6-12 months after injected. The injection site reactions include tenderness, swelling, lump formation, itching, skin discoloration and bruising. The most common side effect is bruising, which occurs in 20 percent of patients. There is minimal downtime after a Restylane treatment.
Dermal Filler Data
Most Effective: Radiesse
Longest Lasting: Radiesse
Fewest Side Effects: The four listed products have relatively similar potential side effects. Each patient’s reaction varies based upon personal factors.
Most Realistic Effect: Radiesse or Juvederm, with Radiesse falling into the top position and Juvederm being a very close second on the list.
Least Amount of Recovery Time or Discomfort: Restylane
There are many factors that qualify a person's decision to use a dermal filler and, specifically, which one to use. There are different costs, treatment schedules and also the expertise and product preference of the physician delivering the treatment.
Discussing the ultimate desired results and other contributing factors with the physician will result in the most beneficial effect for each patient.