If you’re new to the world of dermal fillers, you may be feeling overwhelmed and confused by the type of fillers available. While your surgeon can make recommendations, it’s important to understand what types of fillers are available, what they’re used for and how they work.
Here are four of the most common types of injectable fillers.
1. Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is the new darling of skincare, so there’s a good chance that you’re already familiar with this ingredient. It’s found naturally in your body, particularly in your connective tissues and the fluids near your eyes. HA is commonly used in anti-aging produces because of its ability to keep skin hydrated.
HA has become one of the most popular options for face fillers, and it’s associated with many brand names, including Juvederm, Captique, Prevelle and Restylane.
HA fillers can help correct skin depressions caused by injury, scars or lines. They can also be used for contouring, such as jawline fillers or liquid nose job. Some of the most common uses for hyaluronic acid fillers include:
- Acne scars
- Facial scars, including those from burns and injuries
- Crow’s feet
- Lip contouring
- Frown lines
Hyaluronic acid injectables are temporary and last about 6-12 months. The body naturally absorbs the HA over time, so future treatments will be necessary to maintain your results.
2. Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA)
PMMA is a semi-permanent filler that comes in the form of microsphere. It stays under the skin to provide support, but multiple injections are usually required to achieve the desired volume.
One advantage of PMMA is that it’s been around for many years, but because it’s a more permanent solution, surgeons typically underfill during the first treatment and add more as necessary.
It can take up to three months to see the full effects of PMMA injections. These types of fillers also contain collagen to further enhance the structure and firmness of your skin.
PMMA fillers are typically used to treat deeper wrinkles and lines, but they may also be used to enhance lips and fill scars. Many people choose PMMA fillers over HA and collagen replacement therapies.
3. Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA)
Like hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite is also found naturally in the body, primarily in the bones. Because it’s biosynthetically produced (i.e. no animal products are used to create it), the risk of an allergic reaction is greatly reduced.
One of the biggest advantages of CaHA is that it creates very natural results. Side effects are rare, and this filler has a history of being safe.
In injectable form, the microscopic calcium particles are suspended in a gel. These fillers are thicker than HA fillers, but they also last longer. For most patients, CaHA injections last 12 months. This substance is also believed to help stimulate collagen production, so it can benefit patients in multiple ways.
4. Poly-L-lactic Acid
Poly-L-lactic acid is a filler used to stimulate collagen production. Although it’s synthetic, this filler is biocompatible, which means that it’s safe to use in the body. Poly-L-lactic acid has been used in medicine for more than 4 decades as suture material, so it has a long safety record.
This type of filler is injected into the face and is especially useful for working on the lower half of the face. It can be used to:
- Create fuller lips
- Fill laugh lines
- Treat deep laugh lines
With poly-L-lactic acid injections, the results aren’t immediate. This type of filler works as a stimulator (it stimulates your body’s own collagen production), so results will come on gradually over the course of a few months.
Most patients need at least three months to see their desired results.
Dermal fillers are a great alternative to surgery and require minimal – if any – downtime. Choosing the right type of filler is important because each has its own benefits and drawbacks. Now that you better understand your options, you can choose a filler that will help you reach your goals.