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Facial Fillers
Facial Fillers


Facial fillers are substances

used to fill in lines, creases, and wrinkles to facilitate younger-looking skin. By adding statistics provided by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), it was determined that there were 1,891,158 facial filler treatments administered in the United States in 2011.

Types of Facial Fillers

The breakdown of types of facial fillers, along with the number of each one performed in the U.S. in 2010*, is as follows:

Hyaluronic Acid

"Hyaluronic acid is

a naturally occurring substance in the human body."

Marketed as Juvederm Ultra®, Juvederm Ultra Plus®, Perlane®, Restylane® or Prevelle Silk®, hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the human body. It is re-created in a laboratory setting for cosmetic use (some brands, like Restylane, are non-animal based and therefore an allergy test would not be needed). Results typically last for six to 12 months, and can be maintained with repeat treatments. In 2011, there were 1,303,656 hyaluronic acid facial filler treatments administered in the U.S.

Calcium Hydroxylapatite

"Calcium Hydroxylapatite is

a normal constituent of bone that is biosynthetically produced for cosmetic use."

Marketed as Radiesse®, calcium hydroxylapatite is a normal constituent of bone that is biosynthetically produced for cosmetic use. No animals or animal products are used in their manufacture. It does not require allergy skin testing, as the risk of allergic reaction is minimized because it is not an animal bi-product. The results of Radiesse can reportedly last from five to 10 years, and can be maintained with repeat treatments. In 2011, there were 286,179 Radiesse treatments administered as facial fillers in the U.S.

Collagen Injections

Marketed as Cosmoderm®, Cosmoplast®, Cymetra® (human-based), Evolence®, Zyderm®, Zyplast® (animal-based), collagen injections reproduce the effect of replenishing the skin's natural collagen.

"Collagen Injections

reproduce the effect of replenishing the skin's natural collagen."

For facial fillers that are bioengineered human collagen products, an allergy skin test is not required. The results of collagen injections last approximately four to six months, and can be maintained with repeat treatments. In 2011, there were approximately 72,300 collagen injections administered as facial fillers in the U.S.

Polylactic Acid

"Polylactic Acid is

the first facial injectable that provides gradual results over time."

Marketed as Sculptra®, polylactic acid is the first facial injectable that provides gradual results over time. It works by replacing lost collagen over a series of three treatment sessions. It is designed exclusively for nasolabial folds and wrinkles near those folds. The results of polylactic acid may last up to two years, and can be maintained with repeat treatments. In 2011, there were 143,777 polylactic acid injections administered as facial fillers in the U.S.

Polymethyl-Methacrylate Microspheres

"Polymethyl-Methacrylate microspheres are

soft tissue fillers that work with the skin to produce collagen."

Marketed as Artefill®, polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres are soft tissue fillers that work with the skin to produce collagen. Because the microspheres are not absorbed by your body, they are known to be longer lasting. Injections can bring about results that last for months or years, and some doctors even claim permanent results. In 2011, there were 16,836 Artefill® injections administered as facial fillers in the U.S.

Fat Injections

"Injections of fat can be

administered as facial fillers."

Injections of fat can be administered as facial fillers. Many doctors do not yet offer this treatment, but those who do are specially trained in autologous fat transfer, a technique that involves harvesting from the patient’s own body, purifying it, then injecting it in the target area (in this case, the lines or wrinkles on the face). Benefits of using fat injections as facial fillers include the elimination of allergy risks and permanent results (although new wrinkles may still form later). In 2011, there were 68,410 injections administered as facial fillers in the U.S.

*Source: ASPS
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Cost of Facial Fillers

A breakdown of the average cost of facial fillers in 2010* is as follows:

1 - Calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse®): $650
2 - Collagen, porcine/bovine-based (Evolence®, Zyderm®, Zyplast®): $468
3 - Collagen, human-based (Cosmoderm®, Cosmoplast®, Cymetra®): $475
4 - Fat injections: $1,700
5 - Hyaluronic acid (Juvederm Ultra®, Juvederm Ultra Plus®, Perlane®
6 - Restylane®, Prevelle Silk®): $547
7 - Polylactic acid (Sculptra®): $940
8 - Polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (Artefill®): $1,099

*Source: ASPS
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Find a Facial Fillers Provider

While the information contained in this website will provide you with a good introduction to facial fillers, it cannot replace medical advice. When considering this treatment, please consult a qualified provider. (To assist your search, use the physician locator.)


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Risks of Facial Fillers

The vast majority of patients are happy with the results of their facial fillers. But as with any cosmetic treatment, some risks may be present. For certain facial fillers, risks may include the development of lumps on the skin (if this takes place, contact your provider so that a counteractive injection can be administered immediately).

"Allergic reactions,

such as minor swelling and redness, are among the most common risks."

Allergic reactions, such as minor swelling and redness, are among the most common risks. However, more serious complications, including facial, lip, and eye paralysis, disfigurement, vision complications, and severe allergic reactions like difficulty breathing can occur. For this reason, an allergy test is administered for many types of facial fillers.


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Ideal Candidates for Facial Fillers

Good candidates for facial fillers are women and men between the ages of 30 to 60 who wish to reduce the appearance of visible aging signs, such as unwanted lines, creases, and wrinkles on the skin. They should be in good physical health and have realistic expectations for treatment, including information regarding the duration of their treatment results. They should undergo an allergy skin test if they plan to obtain an animal-based facial filler product.


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