What Are the Different Types of Dermal Fillers?

Injectable dermal fillers are a cosmetic procedure designed to add volume to areas that lack fullness and smooth out lines and wrinkles on a person’s face. This is a non-surgical procedure, and there are several different types of dermal fillers to choose from. With that said, the procedure of using dermal fillers is far from simple, so it’s best to have a qualified injector carry out your desired treatment.

If you plan on getting dermal fillers any time soon, it’s important to understand the different types of dermal fillers available, what they are designed to do, and how they enhance the face. That way, you can go into your filler treatments with realistic expectations.

Dermal fillers can give a person a more youthful appearance. We can inject dermal fillers into different areas of the face to plump up wrinkles or add volume to areas like the lips, cheekbones, or chin to balance out the face during the different dermal filler procedures. These procedures are usually done around the face, eyes, and mouth, and work great at removing undesired facial lines.

However, cosmetic injectors may use different fillers for specific purposes. So before you go in for a dermal filler, it’s best to know what type of dermal filler injections you’re getting, as some types of fillers work better depending on the area you’d like to inject.

This article looks at the different types of dermal fillers, how they work, and what they are best for. We’ll also look at some of the best dermal fillers that last the longest.

That way, you know exactly which type of dermal filler is the right pick for you before you even step into a Medical Spa.

How Many Types of Dermal Fillers are There?

There are many different types of dermal fillers that are available to patients looking to treat fine lines and wrinkles. Some providers use your body fat to restore your face’s volume (also known as fat grafting), but the more well-known “off-the-shelf” injectable dermal fillers are the option most people opt for.

In this article, we’ll focus on the “off-the-shelf” dermal fillers that you are likely to find at most medical spas which include:

1. Hyaluronic acid (HA)

Hyaluronic acid also referred to as HA, is a naturally occurring substance in our bodies. HA is there to hydrate our skin while also keeping it looking fresh with a lot of volume. However, as the body ages, the production of hyaluronic acid decreases. This is why many cosmetic injectors offer hyaluronic acid fillers, which can give your skin a fresher and younger look from a natural substance.

Generally, hyaluronic acid dermal fillers last around six to twelve months, but they can last up to two years, depending on the type of injectable fillers used and the injection site.

2. Calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA)

Calcium hydroxylapatite occurs naturally in our bones. Like any other type of filler injection, these dermal fillers can cause skin rejuvenation and elastin stimulation and give people a younger appearance. Typically, these dermal fillers last 12-18 months and are used for deeper wrinkles or hyper dilute for neck and chest rejuvenation.

3. Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA)

Poly-L-lactic acid, commonly known as PLLA, helps the body create collagen. Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, is used to create connective tissue. When used as dermal filler injections, PLLA can smooth wrinkles on the face, even if they are deep. These fillers can positively affect facial wrinkles for up to two years.

4. Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)

These fillers consist of collagen and small balls that remain under the skin to smooth lines and wrinkles that cause trouble. These filler treatments can last up to five years and are ideal for moderate to severe wrinkles. These last longer than other fillers, which makes it a fairly popular procedure.

What Type of Dermal Filler Is the Best?

The best type of filler depends on your needs and the extent of your volume loss or the area of skin you would like to add volume to. With that said, if you don’t have experience with other cosmetic procedures and dermal filler products, hyaluronic acid fillers are the most highly recommended. This is because this outpatient procedure tends to have shorter and natural-looking results,

Most HA fillers work great with improving volume loss in cheeks, jawline, and chin. Offering improved contour and highlights when needed.

With that said, the type of dermal filler you need may also depend on the injection site. For example, certain facial fillers work better for lips, while others work better if you want to smooth smile lines.

Regardless of the type of dermal filler, you’re getting and your desired outcome, it’s important to go for fillers from reputable brands. This way, you can rest assured that the injectable treatments you are putting in your face are safe and will treat you well for a long time.

Which Dermal Fillers Last the Longest?

As mentioned earlier,  Since these FDA-approved fillers last the longest, they are some of the most popular options but are typically used for areas on the body such as the buttocks. The second longest-lasting dermal fillers are PLLA fillers, which can sometimes last up to two years.

With that said, not everyone wants their cosmetic procedures to last forever, especially if they are trying them out for the first time. This is why HA fillers and CAHA fillers are highly recommended for first-timers who aren’t ready for a long-term commitment.

What Areas Can They Treat?

Dermal fillers are primarily used for facial tissue. These treatments are great for treating facial wrinkles and lines that may occur naturally as a person grows older. With that said, different fillers are used for certain facial tissues and areas of the face.

With dermal fillers, you can treat crow’s feet, improve nasolabial folds, smooth the vertical lip lines, smooth chin wrinkles, and address just about any area of your face. Before getting treated, we recommend booking a consultation with a qualified cosmetic injector in order to understand what types of fillers are good for the area of the face you want to treat.

Additionally, make sure to speak to your injector and let them know about your desired outcome so they can recommend a treatment that can lead you in the right direction.

What to Expect During a Dermal Filler Treatment

Before any dermal filler is injected into your skin, you need to undergo a consultation. Aside from speaking with your cosmetic injector about your options, it’s also recommended to speak to a provider who can analyze your facial features and recommend the right filler for your needs.

The consultation is very important for determining if you will have an allergic reaction to the treatment, what might happen after the treatment, and the proper aftercare when you’re done. During this stage, the injector may also mark the areas that they will inject the dermal filler and let you know what that can do for your face.

During the consultation, your injector will likely ask about your medical history and allergies. It’s important to answer them as honestly as possible to avoid any potential complications during the treatment.

Regardless of where you get the treatment, it usually starts with the cosmetic injector applying a cream with anesthesia on your skin. This reduces the pain when the needle comes in, but don’t worry. It only feels like a pinch.

From there, the person administering the treatment will make small filler injections with a thin, very sharp needle or a blunt tip microcannula. There may be some pain during the procedure, but most people report that it doesn’t hurt that much, and the pain is manageable.

After the filler injections are administered, the injector will cleanse your face and skin to prevent infection.

During the first few days after the initial injections, you may notice a bit of swelling and pain in certain areas. However, rest assured that side effects disappear within a few days.

Many people report that they see results immediately after treatment. However, not everyone has the same experience. So, if you go in for dermal fillers and don’t see immediate results, don’t panic. Some people have to wait a few days to see the full extent of the treatment, so be patient.

Dermal fillers are a relatively simple treatment that works well for many people. There are quite a few types of fillers in the cosmetic medicine field, and choosing the right one is important. So, don’t skip out on researching to find the right injector for you.

Wrapping this Up

Generally, there are four types of dermal filler injections that you can find in most medical spas. Each of these filters has its advantages and drawbacks, so it’s important to speak with your provider before going in for your first dermal filler.

Before your treatment, your cosmetic injector should have a consultation and explain the different types of fillers to you. They may also recommend certain fillers depending on your needs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do your research. And once you understand the types of dermal fillers and their advantages, you’re ready to see if this treatment is right for you.

Interested in trying dermal fillers for the first time?

Book your complimentary consultation with me, I’d love to personally meet with you to discuss your aesthetic goals.

Hi there. I’m Jenn Cobbs a board-certified physician assistant with over 15 years of experience.

I’m also on faculty for Allergan Aesthetics (the makers of Botox and Juvéderm), a Consultant/Key Opinion Leader for Allergan, a Revance Aesthetic trainer (RHA dermal fillers), and the owner of JC Aesthetics Training.

I strive to provide natural-looking results through a detailed consultative process in order to learn your goals and find the best treatment plan for facial balancing and harmony.