Overview of Dermal Fillers

Watch dermatologist Dr. Irwin's short video on an overview of dermal fillers
  • Hyaluronic Acids: Juvederm and Restylane are used for contouring in small areas, are reversible and last 6-9 months
  • Collagen Stimulators: Sculptra and Radiesse are good for contouring large areas, are not reversible (only for expert injectors) and last 18-36 months.

Learn more about dermal fillers from Dermatologist Dr. Irwin:

Enjoy your visit on Skintour.com!

Video Transcription: 

Dr. Brandith Irwin:
So I just want to provide you with an overview of the most commonly used fillers today. There’s a lot to know about fillers but I’m going to try to make this a little bit basic so that it’s easy to understand and I’m going to start with the ones that are most commonly used. Are hyaluronic acid fillers these are sometimes called HAs and the most used ones are Juvederm and Restylane.  There is a family of filler sin each of those so there are several different forms of Juvederm, there are several different forms of Restylane and um the nice thing about these fillers and I think they are a nice way for people to start with fillers is that they’re reversible. If you have a problem with Juvederm or Restylane for example you can dissolve it. With a little enzyme that comes in a bottle well you can’t but your doctor can. So it’s a great way to begin because if you have a problem with it again you are not stuck with it. These fillers generally last six to nine months and sometimes a little longer and sometimes even a little shorter it depends on the person. But six months is kind of a good rule of thumb for those. And they can be used in lots of different places on the face they are very versatile that way. They are very commonly used in the fold sometimes around the mouth called the nasal labial fold and sometimes what’s called the marionette lines down in the measle labial fold. And there are places that are off label uses that should only be done by expert injectors for example around the lower eyelid for volume or other places on the face that are not as common and again should only be done by expert injectors.

The next category I want to talk about it collagen stimulators. These are a little bit more complicated but they are also very useful for aging or sun damaged face in that they can provide volume. Whereas the hyaluronic acid fillers are more line fillers. They are good for contouring but only in a limited way. The two most common collagen stimulators are Sculptra and Radiesse. And they can be used to fill much larger areas to create or recreate contours of the face that you had when you were younger. And again the one that I prefer to be honest and again there are a lot of experts in dermatology who would disagree with this, some really like to use Radiesse I personally don’t. I prefer Sculptra. I like Sculptra because it has a very natural look, the face the skin moves completely normally and it doesn’t have a wooden appearance to my eye that some of the other fillers do and it can be use like I said to rebuild a cheekbone or make it higher. It can be used to fill in hollow areas of the face and it can be used to lift the jaw line area so that is almost has a facelift like effect. And the same thing can be said about Radiesse except Radiesse has a much higher well I shouldn’t say that. Radiesse has a higher rate of complication than does Sculptra and that’s because Radiesse is thick and if that gets injected into an artery that can be a real problem. Sculptra is a much thinner substance and if it gets injected into an artery it just passes through the blood stream without a problem. So there are some pros and cons again I’m more pro Sculptra because I think it’s more versatile, I think it’s a more natural look and I think it has fewer serious complications associated with it.

And then the other area that people often ask me about is fat transfer. Fat transfer is really interesting because we all love the idea of it. It’s a natural substance right? We all have it; we should be able to move it around. The problem with it is that its unpredictable in that in some people it lasts a long time say three months and in other people it can last ten years so its very difficult to predict for any individual how long exactly it will last. The other problem is it’s very hard to do it well so there are very few people around the country who in my opinion do a really great job of it. And so if it’s uneven, its lumpy you can’t remove it, it’s not like Juvederm and Restylane where you can do in and dissolve it. If the person who is doing it doesn’t get it right and it’s lumpy of uneven it’s very difficult to correct. I still think that fat transfer while it has a potential I’m hoping it will develop as time goes on I just don’t think we’re there with is yet so just no on that unless you have a great surgeon and you trust them.

I hope you enjoyed this segment and again please enjoy your time on SkinTour. We have in depth articles on the site under resources.

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

Ask me your skincare question!

Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin, and I believe that consumers need and deserve a medically trained and unbiased skincare advocate.

  • All our content is written and researched by myself and my trained staff.
  • My medical office in Seattle has experience treating thousands of patients.
  • This site is not affiliated or financially tied to any product line.
Ask Me Something
SkinTour Skincare
One of the best investments in your skin is your daily skincare. Why? Because you can prevent many problems with blotchy skin color, lack of glow, texture, some types of acne, and fine lines with good skincare products. You can also correct some of these problems with effective skincare products. Great skincare is often more expensive because quality ingredients are expensive. Some companies spend on research/development which benefits all of us and adds to the cost. Are they worth it? In general - yes!