The Different Types of Dermal Fillers

dermal fillers

There are so many options for treating wrinkles in today’s cosmetic beauty market.  From non-invasive lotions and potions and minimally invasive lasers and Botox to the heavy artillery of plastic surgery – wrinkles have many enemies.  But when it comes to that other pesky sign of aging, loss of volume, there is really only one stand-out solution – dermal fillers.

All dermal fillers have the common goal of replacing lost volume by injecting fat-mimicking substances under the skin.  But with so many different brands on the market, the choices can quickly become overwhelming.  Here is a handy reference guide to help you as you navigate the dermal filler terrain:

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring substance in the human body that provides hydration and structure to young skin.  These dermal fillers are made of synthetic HA have long been the “go to” fillers to replace lost volume and firmness.  The results are temporary; lasting from 3-12 months as the body naturally breaks down and reabsorbs the filler.  If overcorrection, bumpiness or an unpleasing outcome occurs with an HA filler, it can often be corrected through the use of hyaluronidase.

Juvederm – Made by Allergan, the same makers of Botox, Juvederm is a light-weight filler that is useful all over the face and even in the lips.

Restylane – Made by Medicis, Restylane is the oldest and most popular work horse in the group.  It is a smooth, clear gel that works well for smile lines.

Perlane – Also made by Medicis, Perlane is made of larger particles, making it a good choice for deeper injections in areas that need more support.

Prevelle Silk – Made by Genzyme, Prevelle Silk is a good choice for first-time dermal filler patients.  Prevelle Silk is less expensive and results only last 2-3 months.

Semi Permanent Dermal Fillers

This next group of dermal fillers works by using substances other than hyaluronic acid to provide longer-lasting results.  Heavier and larger molecules create a matrix beneath the injection site that allows natural collagen production to increase and bond with the matrix to create firmness and structure.

Radiesse (Calcium Hydroxylapatite) – Made by BioForm Medical, Radiesse has exploded in popularity in recent years due to its long-lasting effects, around 18 months or more, and its smooth consistency.

Sculptra (Poly-L Lactic Acid) – Made by Sanofi Adentis, Sculptra works slowly over a series of months and treatments to replace lost collagen.  The results are not immediate (which helps if you want to avoid looking like you’ve had work done) and last up to two years or more.

Evolence (Porcine Collagen) – Made by Johnson & Johnson, Evolence used pig collagen, which closely resembles human collagen, to replace lost volume.  EVOLENCE IS NO LONGER ON THE MARKET.

Permanent Dermal Fillers

When you are really ready to commit, these long-lasting fillers may be for you.  Because the effects cannot be easily undone, most doctors advise that patients start with more temporary solutions or gradually layer treatments with these permanent procedures for the most aesthetically pleasing results.

Artefill (Bovine Collagen and Polymethyl Methacrylate) – Made by Artes Medical, Artefill uses a bovine collagen to deliver molecules that are not reabsorbed by the body, resulting in an effect than can last for 5-10 years.  While still available, Artes Medical filed for bankruptcy in 2008.  Look for a similar product called Aquamid to possibly take its place pending FDA approval.

Fat Transfer (Processed Autologous Fat) – Most often used in conjunction with a plastic surgery facelift, lost volume can be replaced by harvesting fat from another area of the body, processing it, and then reinjecting it into the face.  Because it is autologous, there is no risk of allergic reaction and the results last for 5-10 years.

Selphyl (Autologous Platelet-Rich Plasma) – The newest form of dermal filler is also known as a “vampire facelift” because the Selphyl system makes use of the patient’s own blood to create an injectable concoction to stimulate collagen growth over time.  Not only used for beauty, the Selphyl system is being also being used in maxillofacial surgery, orthopedics and soft tissue regeneration.

*This is only a reference guide and should not be used as a replacement for medical advice.  Only your provider can choose the best filler for you based on your unique needs.


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About Victoria Strander

Writes about the latest beauty procedures. Her articles are available for syndication. Use Contact Page for inquiries.

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