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Injectable Fillers - An Overview

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Injectable fillers help regain the skin's lost volume and restore a youthful appearance. Read the article to know about injectable fillers.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Ekansh Shekhar

Published At January 17, 2023
Reviewed AtOctober 5, 2023


The signs of aging are due to the loss of skin volume, which can be restored with injectable fillers. These injectable fillers are gel-like substances injected into the skin to enhance the facial contours.

How Do Injectable Fillers Work?

Skin is held tight by collagen, hyaluronic acid, and elastin meshwork. As age progresses, this meshwork loses strength. The fillers injected will fill the areas thinned out due to the loss of meshwork. These fillers plump up the tissue underneath the skin to make the skin firm and young-looking.

How Can Injectable Fillers Help Enhance Skin Appearance?

  • They help smooth the fine lines around the nose, mouth, and cheeks.

  • They help in restoring the volume of sunken skin.

  • They help eliminate vertical lines on the lips.

  • They help to plump the lips.

  • They improve facial features by improving facial symmetry.

  • They help in increasing the fullness of the feet.

  • They help in increasing the size of breasts and buttocks.

What Are the Substances Injected as Fillers?

Various substances approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) are used as fillers.

They are as follows:

  • Hyaluronic Acid: These fillers improve acne scars, crow’s feet, cheek depressions, frown lines, deep smile lines, and smoker’s lines.
  • Calcium Hydroxylapatite: It is a mineral-like compound that is commonly found in human bones and teeth. It is used to treat frown lines and nasolabial folds. It also helps in restoring the fullness of the cheeks.
  • Polylactic Acid: These synthetic fillers treat deep nasolabial folds and plump thin lips.
  • Polymethylmethacrylate: This is a semi-permanent filler used to treat deep wrinkles, folds, and nasolabial folds. It is also used to augment thin lips and fill pitted scars.
  • Polyalkylimide: These are semi-permanent fillers used to treat deep wrinkles, enhance the jawline, and restore facial volume.
  • Autologous Fat Injections: This is the only injectable filler that requires surgery. The fat deposits are removed by liposuction and injected into the skin to restore the volume of the cheeks and lower eyelids. This type of injectable filler injection can be administered only by trained specialists.

These dermal injectable fillers are used by cosmetic surgeons only after the substances are checked for safety and quality.

What Happens Before the Procedure?

  • A dermatologist should be consulted before the procedure.

  • The dermatologist may physically examine the skin type and thickness.

  • The dermatologist will take a complete medical history to prevent serious complications after the procedure.

  • The assessment of medical history would include allergies, a history of bleeding, skin conditions, and neurological problems.

What Happens During the Procedure?

Injectable filler injection is an in-office procedure. The cosmetic surgeon will clean the skin and apply a local anesthetic cream to numb the area. The substance in the injection is injected into the skin slowly using a thin needle.

What Happens After the Procedure?

After the injection, the area will be cleansed by the cosmetic surgeon. An ice pack can be placed over the area to reduce pain and swelling. The side effects are mild and will resolve in a few days. In some individuals, the results can be visible immediately after the injections. However, the time taken to visualize the results can vary depending on the area treated and the severity of the skin condition.

How Long Will the Results Last?

  • The long-lasting effects of the fillers depend on the type of substance injected, the area of injection, and the individual being injected.

  • Hyaluronic acid fillers will last for about 6 to 18 months. The injections injected into the lips are less effective than in other areas.

  • Synthetic fillers are found to last for several years as the body does not absorb them. However, they can be injected only by a trained specialist.

  • In the case of fat injection, the cosmetic surgeon overfills the area to be treated, which appears full initially but will gradually settle to provide a natural appearance.

What Are the Advantages of Using Injectable Fillers?

  • Results are visible immediately in certain individuals.

  • The time taken for the procedure is less than an hour.

  • The procedure can be performed in-office.

  • The recovery time is minimal as it is not a surgical procedure.

  • These procedures are less expensive than other surgical procedures.

  • The results may last several months to years, depending on the type of filler used.

What Are the Risks of Using Injectable Fillers?

  • Unintentional injection into a blood vessel obstructs blood flow to the tissues leading to necrosis.

  • Bruising.

  • Redness.

  • Swelling.

  • Pain.

  • Itching.

  • Rashes.

  • Nodules or granulomas at the site of injection.

  • Infections.

  • A sore at the injection site.

  • Draining or open wounds.

  • Severe allergic reactions.

  • Leakage of the filler material at the injection site.

Can Injectable Fillers Be Removed?

Due to its serious side effects, if you wish to remove the fillers, the options are to undergo surgery or injections. However, these procedures have their risks. So you must be aware that the process of filler removal is too hard to perform, especially the permanent fillers, which get absorbed by the body.


Although most women fear needles, they choose injectable fillers to enhance their skin appearance. To get the best results after injecting a filler substance, finding an experienced and qualified cosmetic surgeon is important. This gives the individual more confidence about the procedure. The physician getting to know about the individual’s medical condition and expectations, and the individual getting to know more about the procedure from the physician, would also help to prevent further complications.

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Dr. Ekansh Shekhar



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