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How Long Do Dermal Fillers Last?

Achieving full cheeks, smooth skin and plump lips are few of the things that not many are fortunate enough to have naturally from birth, but that does not mean that no one cannot have them. There are treatments available to help achieve the finest results that you could possibly desire for your face and skin. One of them is dermal fillers.

What are dermal fillers?

Dermal fillers are made out of FDA approved products that are commonly used by cosmetic surgeons. Most fillers are categorised by the materials that they were made with, such as acid fillers which we will be focusing on.
The most common dermal filler is made from hyaluronic acid (HA). As of 2020, technological advancements in medical aesthetic has bought much progress in many ways, one of which is in the type of dermal fillers available now.
HA, when it is injected into our tissues, attracts moisture or water molecule which gives an instant volumised effect to the area. As a result, skin will look smoother, plump and less sunken.

In current times, CaHA and PLLA, both which possess bio-stimulatory properties, are more popular due to its collagen stimulating properties. However, CaHA lacks long-lasting results and for PLLA, immediate effect.
An example of Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA) is Radiesse and one of FDA approved Poly-L-lactic acid fillers is Sculptra® Aesthetic.

PolyCaproLactone (PCL), is another collagen bio stimulator. It revitalises collagen production and combines durability with the immediate outcome, making it superior to CaHa and PLLA.
Ellanse is a PCL bio stimulator and it had been well-documented to be safe and efficacious.

Categories of dermal fillers

There are three categories of dermal fillers; hyaluronic acid, bio-stimulants, and muscle relaxant. Let’s break them down.

Hyaluronic acid (HA)

Hyaluronan or known better as hyaluronic acid is a clear, sticky substance that is produced naturally in your body. The largest amount of hyaluronic acid can be found in your skin, connective tissues and eyes. It has the ability to store moisture, which is undoubtedly crucial to keep your skin plump and gives you that glowy, fresh-looking skin.


Bio-stimulant dermal fillers are able to trigger or initiate the production of collagen. Such fillers provide long lasting regeneration effect and thus are able to last up to two years as it continuously stimulates the body to produce collagen.

Muscle relaxants

Factors in facial wrinkles include aging, smoking, muscle contractions and sun damage.
Muscle relaxant injections are used to reduce muscle contractions in the treatment area. By reducing these contractions, your skin will be smoother, tighter and wrinkle-free since wrinkles are primarily caused by habitual facial expressions such as smiling, frowning and squinting. Over time, these expressions coupled with gravity contribute to the formation of wrinkles.

Efficiency of dermal fillers

As each dermal filler available in the market is uniquely formulated to achieve different results, seek a trusted and reliable medical aesthetic doctor who is experienced in various dermal injections to understand their safety on your body.

Some fillers are effective to plump up thinning lips, while others enhance fill in shallow areas on the face, decrease or remove shadows and wrinkles. A few are particularly powerful for softening recessed scars, or post acne scars.

In general, dermal filler treatments are beneficial and effective in improving skin texture, reducing the appearance of aging lines and wrinkles besides helping to fill loss of facial volume. All these make it possible for anyone to regain their youthful looks.

How long does the treatment last?

A Hyaluronic acid (HA) dermal filler treatment usually last between four to nine months but it is possible for the effect to stretch up to nine months or even a year. The results are temporary because the body will gradually and naturally absorbs the particles over time.
On the other hand, the more popular fillers under the bio-stimulant category (Radiesse, Ellanse, Sculptra) provides the longevity twice of the standard HA filler due to its collagen-stimulating properties.
However, the longevity of fillers is highly dependent on individual lifestyle. Quality skincare, avoidance of the sun, a balanced diet and sufficient sleep go a way to help maintain the youthful look and great skin that the filler treatment achieved.

Post laser management and care

Your doctor would have advised the necessary Do’s and Don’ts (what to avoid) but in general, while fillers/skin rejuvenation treatments usually leave the skin with little to no irritation afterward, that doesn’t mean skincare is not required. Most individuals get away with no side effects, but some have experienced slight redness, swelling, or stinging similar to sunburn.

If your condition worsen or if you detect any unusual pain and swelling, do contact your doctor immediately.
After all, dermal fillers are great for eliminating imperfections and reversing the signs of aging, but these treatments won’t last long if proper post-treatment care is neglected.

Healing time

The healing time of swelling, bruising and redness are hugely influenced by the type of filler you received. Typically, these symptoms should dissipate within seven to ten days. There is minimal healing time for filler treatments and most fillers promised “No Downtime” as there should be little to no recovery period needed.
Still, as we are all different, recovery is understandably different for everyone.

Suitability for different age groups and medical conditions

Fillers are suitable for those 35 years old and more but it is not a surprising to have patients as young as 25 years old. Some prefer to take preventive measures at such a young age for they believe that to prevent is better than to correct.

Conclusion/Final Thoughts

The current advancement in medical aesthetics is leaning towards (1) longer acting filling agents and (2) site specific fillers.
There is definitely a trend toward longer acting fillers. Due to time constrains and for economic reasons, individuals would like to minimize the number of filler treatments that are necessary while still maintaining the fillers’ effects.
While most physicians feel that an intermediate-acting filler with duration of twelve to eighteen months is optimal as this allows for longevity greater than older generation collagens and traditional hyaluronic acid derivatives; the end-user (the patient) are more concerned about cost and safety.

Another major trend in fillers is specific capabilities. This means that the fillers possess clinical and physical characteristics that are uniquely beneficial for a given body part. Examples of such site-specific areas are the lips and tear troughs, where lighter fillers with certain characteristics would be more beneficial.

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