What is Derma Fillers and Dermal Filler Treatment

What are Dermal Filler?

Dermal filler are bio-compatible gels typically made from substances that naturally occur in the body. They are injected under the skin to restore volume, enhance facial contours, and smooth out wrinkles. The popularity of dermal fillers has soared due to their ability to offer noticeable yet non-permanent aesthetic improvements without the need for surgery.

Dermal filler are versatile in their applications, ranging from plumping thin lips, enhancing shallow contours, softening facial creases, removing wrinkles, and improving the appearance of recessed scars. They can also be used in hand rejuvenation by adding volume to lessen the visibility of veins and tendons and improve skin integrity.

Commonly used materials in dermal filler include hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite, poly-L-lactic acid, and polymethylmethacrylate beads. Each of these materials has unique properties that make them suitable for specific areas of the face and desired effects. The choice of filler depends on the patient’s skin type, the area to be treated, and the desired outcome.

How do Dermal Filler Work?

Dermal filler help in rejuvenating facial skin by reducing or eliminating wrinkles, enhancing lips, defining facial contours, and improving the overall appearance of damaged skin. They primarily work by restoring lost volume under the skin, which diminishes as part of the natural aging process or due to lifestyle factors such as sun exposure and smoking.

Most fillers use hyaluronic acid, which not only fills in creases but also attracts water to the skin’s surface, keeping it looking fresh and supple. Once injected, fillers plump up the skin and smooth out lines and wrinkles. The process also encourages the body’s natural collagen production, improving skin elasticity and texture over time.

Are there Different Types of Dermal Filler?

Dermal filler

Dermal filler are categorized based on their composition, longevity, and the specific issues they are best used for. The most commonly used types include:

  1. Hyaluronic Acid (HA): The most popular type, known for its safety and effectiveness, HA is naturally found in the skin, which makes it less prone to causing allergic reactions. It is used for moderate to severe creasing, lip enhancement, and contouring.

  2. Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA): Heavier than HA, this type of filler is typically used for deeper lines and wrinkles, facial sculpting, and enhancing bone structure. It’s also reported to help stimulate natural collagen production.

  3. Poly-L-lactic Acid: This biodegradable synthetic substance is used to stimulate collagen production, offering gradual results that can last for over two years. It is particularly effective for treating deep lines and volume loss.

  4. Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA): As a semi-permanent filler, PMMA is used for deep wrinkles, folds, and furrows, plus it can also be used for lip augmentation and to treat pitted scars. It contains collagen and tiny balls that stay in place permanently, providing support for the skin.

Each type of filler is designed to address specific problems and areas of the face, making it crucial to consult with a qualified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon to choose the most suitable type of dermal filler for your needs.

How is Dermal Filler Treatment Performed?

Dermal filler treatment is a minimally invasive procedure typically performed in a clinic setting. The process begins with a consultation where the practitioner discusses the patient’s aesthetic goals, reviews their medical history, and decides on the type of filler and the amount needed.

Before the procedure, the area to be treated is cleaned and disinfected. A topical numbing cream may be applied to minimize discomfort, although many dermal fillers already contain lidocaine, a local anesthetic. The filler is then injected into the targeted areas using a fine needle or cannula, a technique that reduces bruising and swelling.

The practitioner strategically places the filler in specific areas to contour the face and achieve natural-looking results. The amount of filler used depends on the individual’s facial structure and the extent of correction desired.

Post-injection, the practitioner may gently massage the area to evenly distribute the filler and ensure smooth results. The entire procedure usually takes between 15 to 60 minutes, depending on the areas treated. Patients can typically return to their daily activities immediately after the treatment, making it a popular “lunchtime procedure.”

What Areas Can be Treated with Dermal Filler?

Dermal filler

Dermal filler can treat various facial areas to enhance appearance and reverse the signs of aging. Popular treatment areas include:

  • Lips: Adding volume to thinning lips and defining the lip borders.
  • Cheeks: Restoring lost volume and creating a more youthful contour.
  • Nasolabial Folds: Softening the lines that run from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth.
  • Marionette Lines: Reducing the creases that run downward from the corners of the mouth.
  • Under Eyes: Filling hollows and reducing dark circles and under-eye bags.
  • Jawline and Chin: Enhancing the shape and definition.
  • Hands: Restoring volume to aging hands, making veins and tendons less noticeable.

Each area requires specific types of fillers and injection techniques to achieve the best results and maintain a natural appearance.

What are the Benefits of Dermal Filler?

Dermal filler offer numerous benefits, making them a popular choice for facial rejuvenation. Benefits include:

  • Immediate Results: The effects of fillers are visible almost immediately, giving a quick boost to facial appearance.
  • Minimal Downtime: Most patients can resume normal activities right after the procedure.
  • Customizability: Treatments can be tailored to meet individual aesthetic goals.
  • Reversibility: Most fillers are temporary, and effects can be reversed if desired.
  • Collagen Stimulation: Some fillers stimulate the body’s natural collagen production, improving skin quality over time.
  • Non-Surgical: Fillers provide a non-surgical alternative to facelifts, with less risk and lower cost.

These benefits make dermal filler an attractive option for those looking to enhance their appearance without invasive surgery.

Is there a Difference Between Botox and Dermal Filler?

Botox and dermal filler are both injectables used in cosmetic treatments, but they serve different purposes and work differently. Botox is a purified form of botulinum toxin that temporarily paralyzes muscles, which can prevent the formation of wrinkles caused by facial expressions. It is most commonly used on forehead lines, crow’s feet (lines around the eye), and frown lines.

Conversely, dermal filler do not affect muscle movement but instead add volume to facial tissues. They are used to plump up areas that have lost volume and smoothness with aging, such as the cheeks, lips, and folds around the mouth.

How Long do Dermal Fillers Last?

Dermal filler

The longevity of dermal filler varies depending on the type of filler used, the area treated, and the individual’s metabolism. Typically, the duration of the effect can range from six months to two years. Hyaluronic acid fillers, one of the most common types, usually last between six months to one year. Some bio-stimulatory fillers, such as Poly-L-lactic acid or calcium hydroxylapatite, may last up to two years or longer because they help the body generate its own collagen.

Environmental factors, lifestyle choices such as smoking or sun exposure, and the dynamic nature of the areas where fillers are applied (like the lips) can also affect the duration of the results. Regular maintenance sessions are recommended to preserve the desired effect, as the body naturally breaks down and absorbs the filler over time.

Can Bad Dermal Filler be Resolved?

Yes, complications from dermal filler, while uncommon, can often be resolved. The most versatile type of filler, hyaluronic acid, can be dissolved almost immediately with an enzyme called hyaluronidase, allowing practitioners to correct overfilling or misplacement. This makes HA fillers a popular choice for those new to fillers due to their reversibility.

For non-hyaluronic acid fillers, options to address issues include waiting for the body to naturally metabolize the filler, or in some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary. It’s crucial to choose a qualified and experienced practitioner for filler injections to minimize risks and ensure proper techniques are used.

Do Dermal Filler Hurt?

The discomfort associated with dermal filler is generally minimal. Many dermal fillers are formulated with lidocaine, a local anesthetic, to help numb the treatment area and reduce pain. Additionally, practitioners may apply a topical numbing cream before the procedure to further ease any discomfort.

The injection itself can cause a brief stinging sensation, and there might be some sensitivity following the procedure. However, most patients find the process quite tolerable, and any discomfort usually subsides within a few hours after the treatment.

Are Dermal Filler Permanent?

Most dermal filler are not permanent. The majority of fillers used today are absorbable, meaning the body gradually breaks them down and absorbs them. The duration of the results depends on the type of filler used, the area treated, and the patient’s metabolism.

Permanent fillers are available; however, they are used less frequently due to the higher risk of complications such as infections or adverse reactions over time. Because of this, most practitioners and patients prefer non-permanent options that offer flexibility and a lower risk profile.

Who are Dermal Filler Not Suitable For?

Dermal filler are not suitable for everyone. Individuals with certain allergies (especially to filler components), those with autoimmune diseases, or those with infections or inflammation in the treatment area should avoid fillers. Pregnant or breastfeeding women are generally advised against undergoing filler treatments due to the lack of research on the effects.

It’s also important for patients to have realistic expectations and understand that dermal fillers are for cosmetic enhancement, not major reconstructive surgery. A thorough consultation with a healthcare provider can determine whether dermal fillers are appropriate for someone’s specific situation.

Do Dermal Filler Have Side Effects?

Like any cosmetic treatment, dermal filler can have side effects. The most common are bruising, redness, swelling, and tenderness at the injection site. These side effects are usually mild and resolve within a few days.

More serious but rare complications can include allergic reactions, infection, and vascular complications like blood vessel occlusion. It’s crucial to have fillers administered by a qualified healthcare professional in a sterile environment to minimize these risks.

Final Thoughts

Dermal filler are a highly effective, minimally invasive solution for enhancing facial aesthetics and reversing the signs of aging. With various types available, they can be tailored to meet individual needs and preferences. While generally safe, it’s important to have realistic expectations and to select an experienced practitioner to minimize risks and achieve the best possible results. Regular follow-up treatments can help maintain the youthful appearance that dermal fillers provide.


The cost of dermal fillers in Pakistan can vary widely based on the type of filler used, the volume of filler required, and the clinic’s location and reputation. Typically, prices can range from PKR 25,000 to PKR 80,000 per syringe. It’s important to consult with a qualified clinic to get an accurate estimate based on your specific needs.
Possible complications with dermal fillers include bruising, swelling, and redness at the injection site, which are generally temporary. More serious but rare issues can include allergic reactions, infection, lumps and irregularities, and in very rare cases, vascular occlusion (blockage of a blood vessel). Choosing a qualified practitioner and following aftercare instructions can help minimize risks.
Dermal fillers can be a good idea for individuals looking to address signs of aging without surgical intervention. They are effective for adding volume, smoothing lines, and enhancing facial contours. However, they are not suitable for everyone, and potential risks should be considered. It’s essential to have a consultation with a skilled practitioner to determine if fillers are appropriate for your goals and health status.
Dermal fillers can look better over time as the filler settles and integrates with the facial tissue. Initial swelling and bruising may make the filler appear less natural, but this usually resolves within a few days to weeks. In some cases, fillers stimulate natural collagen production, improving skin texture and firmness over time.
To look 10 years younger with fillers, focus on key areas that show aging, such as the cheeks, under eyes, lips, and nasolabial folds. A skilled practitioner can strategically place fillers to restore lost volume, smooth out wrinkles, and enhance facial contours, providing a rejuvenated appearance. Combining fillers with other treatments like Botox and good skincare can enhance the youthful effect.
Fillers that can last up to 5 years include those made from Polycaprolactone (e.g., Ellansé) and Poly-L-lactic acid (e.g., Sculptra), which are known as “collagen stimulators.” These fillers not only add volume but also stimulate the body’s natural collagen production for long-lasting results. However, their longevity can vary based on the treatment area and individual factors like metabolism and lifestyle.