What Are Cosmetic Fillers?

Fillers are materials that are placed into deeper lines and wrinkles, restoring a smoother appearance and a more youthful look. Most of these wrinkle fillers are temporary because they are eventually absorbed by the body. Some people may need more than one injection to achieve the wrinkle-smoothing effect. The effect lasts for about six months or longer. Successful results depend on health of the skin, skill of the health care provider, type of filler used. Acne, chicken pox and other depressed scars can also be improved.

What Are The Available Cosmetic Fillers?

Over the years a variety of filler agents have been successfully used. Each filler is a different material and the duration of filling may vary between the different substances.

The newer filler agents are those containing hyaluronic acid. This sugar like material is highly popular all over the world now. Recent FDA studies have led to the availability of different hyaluronic acids most popular are Restylane® and Hylaform®. Generally skin tests are not required. Results typically last 3-18 months depending on the type of filler, heat exposure, hydration and habits of the patient.

What Kind Of Reactions Can Occur After Cosmetic Filler Injections?

Reactions to filler agents are rare and generally resolve with time. Some common injection-related reactions might occur, such as swelling, redness, pain, itching, discoloration and tenderness at the implant site. They typically resolve spontaneously within several days after injection into the skin. Other types of reactions are very rare, but occasional patients do experience localized reactions thought to be of a hypersensitivity nature. These have usually consisted of swelling at the implant site, sometimes affecting the surrounding tissues. Redness, tenderness and rarely acne-like formations can be seen.


Filler agents are ideally combined with BOTOX® injections that are used for wrinkles caused by too much muscle tone. Wrinkles such as frown lines, crow's feet, marionette lines and vertical lip lines are better treated with BOTOX® than a filler agent.


Risks of an improperly performed dermal filler procedure commonly include bruising, redness, pain or itching. Less commonly, there may be infections or allergic reactions, which may cause scarring and lumps that may require surgical correction. More rarely, serious adverse effect such as blindness due to retrograde embolization into the ophthalmic and retinal arteries can occur. Delayed skin necrosis can also occur as a complication of embolization. Embolic and serious complications are more frequently observed with less experienced doctors who are not plastic surgeons/ Facial plastic surgeons or dermatologists.