Dermal Fillers: What to Expect

dermal fillers what to expect


We all want to look and feel like our best selves. That happens especially when we look in the mirror and we don’t recognize the young vibrant person we remember. But there are ways to improve those signs of aging, plump up that skin, and feel amazing again and it starts in your dermatologist’s office. Your dermatologist will suggest dermal fillers to restore some of your skin’s vigor and volume. Now before you panic, dermal fillers are safe, effective, and growing in popularity. Here’s everything you expect for your dermal filler appointment.

What are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers are safe injectables that seek to plump up, smoothen, and fill out any lost volume under the skin. These gel-like substances help reduce the signs of wrinkles, lip lines, and chin creases. They are particularly popular as lip fillers and are the secret behind your favorite influencer’s plump pout. Fillers have gone from a procedure done by celebrities and influencers to a popular dermatologist procedure. Studies estimate that over one million procedures happen yearly. 

Types of Dermal Fillers you should know.

Fillers are FDA-approved meaning that- in the right hands- they are generally safe for cosmetic use. The active agent is usually hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring acid found in the skin to keep it hydrated. Popular hyaluronic acid products include Juvederm, Restylane, Belotero Balance and RHA.

Calcium hydroxylapatite is a similar natural substance found in our bones. These particles make the injectable slightly thicker. Therefore it may last longer in some cases. Radiesse is a popular dermal filler with calcium hydroxylapatite. Other popular fillers, like Sculptra, contain poly-L-lactic acid. Your dermatologist will use the right product based on your needs, the area your’re treating, cost, and availability.

To the untrained eye, these fillers may all seem interchangeable. But this is far from the truth. Each filler has its own unique properties, giving them all the ability to address different problem areas in different types of patients. For example, a filler that would be ideal for the lips in a 30-year-old active woman may be virtually invisible in a 60-year-old who spent summers laying out in the sun in her teens. Furthermore, someone that is naive to fillers, and getting it done for the very first time, would likely benefit most from a less dense filler that doesn’t stick around as long. For this reason, it is important that you get your fillers done by a board-certified dermatologist with experience in cosmetic procedures and skin rejuvenation.

Are these similar to Botox?

Injectable anti-aging treatments including neuromodulators (e.g. Botox, Juveau, and Dysport) and dermal fillers (e.g. Restylane, RHA, Radiesse, Juvederm) are safe non-surgical cosmetic procedures. While the injectables like Botox reduce the movement of facial muscles that cause wrinkling, the dermal fillers target the volume loss that leads to loose sagging skin. These smooth wrinkles and folds around the cheeks, nose, mouth, or jawline, and other areas like the hands.

Your customized plan

When you visit your dermatologist, you will get a comprehensive review of your skin. Furthermore, your dermatologist will listen closely to your concerns about your problem areas. From there, your doctor will create a customized action plant to treat wrinkles, sagging skin, poor elasticity, and lack of volume. Make sure that your doctor knows your medical history, allergies, and current medications.

Treatment at your dermatologist

Dermal fillers are non-surgical and happen during a simple dermatologist visit. That’s why they’re often called lunchtime cosmetic procedures. The doctor will first clean the area, then inject a specific amount of filler near the problem area. Some contain a mild anesthetic that will further help with the pain. After the injections, your dermatologist will confirm that you are well, and that’s it! 

When will I see results?

What’s awesome about dermal fillers is that in the majority of cases, there will be immediate results, after just one treatment. As there may be some swelling, especially in areas like the lips, it can take 7-10 days for the swelling to resolve, and to appreciate the final results. Some fillers like Sculptura, work by stimulating collagen production in your skin, and so, these may continue to show improvement months after your treatment. 

How long does the filler injections take? 

Filler injections will usually take between 10-30 minutes, depending on your individual needs, like the areas being treated and the amount of filler used. When combined with other injectables, the entire process will take a little longer.

Can I get Botox and fillers on the same day?

Absolutely! While fillers can yield amazing results when performed alone, these results are further enhanced when combined with other injectable treatments, like Botox or other neuromodulators. I highly recommend this combination approach for busy people who want the best results, but don’t have lots of spare time. 

Should I stop any of my medications before my filler appointment?

Do not stop any medications without first having a detailed consultation with your doctor.

Are there times I should not get fillers?

Fillers are generally safe. However, as a precaution, you should not get dermal fillers if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Furthermore, if you’ve had recent dental work, it helps to delay your dermal filler treatment. Dental work may temporarily alter your face and reduce the effectiveness of your filler. 

What are the potential side effects of dermal fillers?

Injectable cosmetic procedures are so popular because they are both effective and safe. This is especially true when done by a board-certified dermatologist with an expert understanding of facial anatomy. Common side effects include swelling, redness, bruising, or tenderness at the injection site. These usually resolve in a few days.

Other less common but potentially severe risks exist. Your dermatologist will discuss these with you in detail.

How soon can I get a “touch-up”?

You should wait 2 weeks before considering any additional filler injections. This ensures that the initial treatment has “settled” into place. There are several factors that affect the effectiveness and duration of your injectable. Some fillers are denser than others.  

Hyaluronic acids tend to last 6-18 months. Denser, more “cross linked” fillers last longer. The body absorbs hyaluronic acid and touch-ups will help every 1-2 years. Other fillers have synthetic components that help them last longer, and may extends the time before you need a touch-up. 


Transform your skin today!

With dermal fillers, you have a safe, effective option for restoring your youthful appearance. You will discover that there’s no shame in your injectable game. In fact, you’ll even tell your friends! It’s important that you choose a board-certified dermatologist for your dermal fillers, as they know exactly what you need and how to apply it safely. The injection of fillers for the best cosmetic outcome is not only a science but an art. This is a skill that cannot simply be taught- it is groomed through time and experience. If you’re interested in learning more about dermal fillers and if they’re right for you, please call us or book online today.




Dermal Fillers Specialist Columbia MD


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