Hollow Cheeks and Wrinkles? Here's How Dermal Fillers Work

    Hollow Cheeks and Wrinkles? Here's How Dermal Fillers Work

    As we age, our skin loses some of its fullness. This volume loss often makes the signs of aging more visible. Over time, fine lines and wrinkles become evident, and our cheeks may look hollow. Now, to replace the lost volume and improve the appearance of some skin imperfections, many people choose to have dermal fillers. Here’s what you need to know about them.

    What Are Dermal Fillers?

    Dermal fillers are gel-like substances injected beneath the skin to add more fullness (aesthetic skin tissue augmentation). Adding more volume to the skin often results in:

    • Restored fullness of the cheeks
    • Improved areas under the eyes
    • Less visible creases, fine lines, and wrinkles
    • Diminished scars
    • Plump lips

    Some people also choose this treatment to have rejuvenated hands.

    Reports say dermal fillers are an important tool in the management of skin aging. Their results are often instant, cost-effective, and require little to no recovery time.

    Things To Know Before Getting Dermal Fillers

    The most important thing to remember when it comes to fillers is that it is a medical procedure. That means you must never get it in a non-medical setting, like a salon, someone else’s home, or a non-medical spa. Doing so can be dangerous.

    Instead, get in touch with a board-certified dermatologist with expertise in injecting fillers and many satisfied clients. After all, the success of the procedure significantly depends on the skills of the doctor performing it.

    Below are the additional things you need to remember:

    1. There are many types of fillers.

    Note that fillers can be made with different materials, such as hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxyapatite, and poly-L-lactic acid. To be sure which type suits your needs, talk to your doctor.

    They will take into account the areas that need changing, the material, and of course, the desired longevity.

    Minor issues may only require lighter material; however, augmentation may call for denser material. If you want prolonged effects, the doctor may recommend permanent fillers. Finally, some materials, like collagen-based fillers, need pre-testing.

    2. The initial consultation is crucial.

    During the consultation, the dermatologist will inspect your skin to determine the right treatment for your concerns. After receiving the go signal, don’t hesitate to ask questions about their experience in injecting fillers, your risk for side effects, the expected results, or other relevant things that come to mind.

    Likewise, tell them about your medical history and current health status. Also, give them a list of the medicines and supplements you’re taking.

    3. The treatment itself usually takes less than an hour.

    In most cases, the process of injecting dermal fillers can be completed within 30 minutes to an hour.

    Right before the procedure, the dermatologist might use ice, topical anesthesia, or injectable anesthesia. Once the anesthesia takes effect, they will start injecting the filler into the areas involved.

    You might feel a burning or stinging sensation on the injection sites, but these side effects are often temporary. Also, most fillers produce instant results.

    4. There’s little to no downtime.

    While aftercare instructions vary, most cases do not have downtime. That means you may be able to get back to your daily activities right after the procedure.

    To be safe, however, experts recommend the following:

    • Give yourself at least a day before performing strenuous physical activity.
    • Stay out of the sun.
    • Avoid touching or massaging the injection site unless you have specific instructions to massage it.

    5. Most types offer temporary results

    How long the effects last vary. Even the so-called permanent fillers may not live up to their name, often needing other injections after a couple of years.

    Collagen-based fillers are considered a semi-permanent filler which may last for 3 months while longer-lasting hyaluronic acid fillers may last for 6 months to a year.

    Key Takeaways

    Dermal fillers augment skin tissues or replace lost skin volume. With added fullness, fillers improve the appearance of some skin imperfections. If you’re interested in this treatment, it’s best to discuss them with your dermatologist first.

    Learn more about Skin Care and Cleansing here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


    Dermal Fillers: Do’s and Dont’s, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2890128/, Accessed November 8, 2021

    Dermal Fillers (Soft Tissue Fillers), https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/aesthetic-cosmetic-devices/dermal-fillers-soft-tissue-fillers, Accessed November 8, 2021

    Dermal fillers in aesthetics: an overview of adverse events and treatment approaches, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3865975/, Accessed November 8, 2021

    FILLERS: FAQS, https://www.aad.org/public/cosmetic/wrinkles/fillers-faqs, Accessed November 8, 2021

    Learn about injectable dermal fillers, https://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/procedure-learning-center/non-surgical/injectable-fillers-guide/, Accessed November 8, 2021

    Dermal Fillers, https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/dermal-fillers/types, Accessed November 8, 2021

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    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Aug 16
    Medically reviewed by Martha Juco, MD