American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals

How long do dermal fillers last?

dermal fillers lifespan

In 2020, more than 13 million noninvasive procedures were performed in the United States, with botulinum toxin and dermal fillers topping the list. Dermal fillers involve the injection of a product, typically hyaluronic acid, into the face to restore or enhance the facial features.

As we age, we slowly lose volume in our faces. As children, our faces have a more cherub-like appearance, and this facial volume is associated with youth. However, as we age, we lose volume of both the bony structure as well as the fatty compartments of the face. Dermal fillers allow your doctor to directly address this loss of volume with a product that can build up the structure of the face and restore the volume that you desire.

Different products for different places

As these procedures grow in popularity, so do the number of products available for injection. Each of these products differs in its thickness and specific qualities. This is why it is critical to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon to fully evaluate your facial anatomy and choose a product and injection technique to give you the natural results you desire.

Noninvasive facial rejuvenation is truly an art form, and plastic surgeons rely on a variety of different products to achieve the desired look. For loss of structure and support, such as in the cheeks, forehead and temples, your doctor may choose a thicker product to provide the most support for your tissue. These injections are often performed deeply atop your bone for maximum effect.

The perks of these deeper injections are that they are often less painful, cause less bruising and last longer than other types of injections. Deep injections may last as long as 12 months, and newer products on the market may last up to two years. For my patients, once we have injected an area and my patient is very happy with their results, I will consider moving on to a longer-lasting product for subsequent injections to maximize the length of their results.

For lines and wrinkles closer to the skin, your doctor may choose a thinner product to fill in the contour and smooth the skin. These products may be metabolized more quickly and will last for 6-12 months. In areas of the face with more movement, such as the lips, for example, the constant movement of muscles breaks down and dissolves the filler at a faster rate, and fillers tend to go away quicker in these more active areas.

What parts of my face can we treat with fillers?

Fillers can be used all over the face to treat a variety of areas. In the upper face, fillers can be used in the tear trough, or the deep groove and dark circle under the eye to restore volume and reduce the look of dark circles and a tired appearance. Volume is often added to the cheeks and cheekbones with filler to improve the appearance of lower wrinkles and restore the youthful cheek appearance.

Dermal fillers can also be placed in the thin and deeper wrinkles of the lower face and around the mouth and jowls. These can create more fullness and reduce the appearance of sagging and aging sing in this location.

Some patients still have a lot of youthful volume but use dermal fillers to enhance certain features. The most common area I treat with volume is the lips. A variety of different fillers can be used to give a range of results from a very subtle restoration to and more pronounced "Kyle Jenner" type look.

Fillers are also being used for liquid rhinoplasty, a noninvasive technique used to improve the appearance and harmony of the nose with the facial anatomy. Deep fillers can be used to contour the face, creating a more defined jawline, chin or cheekbone to provide more structure and improve the shape of the face.

What should you expect with dermal fillers?

Noninvasive procedures such as fillers are attractive because they are quick and have minimal downtime. Your entire visit will take place in under an hour. Following your injections, I usually recommend that patients avoid exercise for 24 hours and remain upright for the remainder of the day. No naps or downward dogs!

The other perk to fillers is that results are immediate. Yes, you can peek in a mirror after your procedure and see instant results! Depending on the type and location of your filler, you may experience some discomfort during or after the injections, bruising and swelling. I advise my patients not to schedule their procedure before a big social event just in case they have bruising after their injections.

What if you don't like the results?

Most of our patients are thrilled with their results, but if you're not completely happy, hyaluronic acid fillers are reversible. Your plastic surgeon can inject an enzyme that dissolves your filler until you are happy with your facial contour.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.


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