How long a dermal filler lasts depends on its composition and the area being treated. The denser or thicker the product, the longer the effects will last. Because synthetic fillers are not easily broken down by the body, their results last longer than those of dermal fillers made of natural materials such as hyaluronic acid. Frequent movement also breaks down the dermal filler faster. This is why fillers injected in the lips and mouth area last for the shortest amount of time.

What are the different types of dermal fillers and their duration?

Natural dermal fillers contain biocompatible and biodegradable ingredients that can easily be broken down by the body. Synthetic dermal fillers are made of polymers or other human-made materials. Synthetic dermal fillers take longer to be absorbed by the body, so their effects last longer than those of natural dermal fillers.

  1. Collagen-based: Bioengineered and purified collagen is often used for contouring the lips and reducing fine lines. Collagen-based fillers provide immediate results with virtually no downtime. Results last for only 3 months, making collagen-based fillers the shortest lasting injectables on the market. Brands include Cosmoderm, Evolence, and Zyplast.
  2. Calcium hydroxylapatite: These dermal fillers contain a type of mineral found in human teeth and bones. Synthetic calcium hydroxylapatite microspheres are biocompatible and entirely biodegradable. The effects of these fillers have been known to last for more than 12 months. This moldable dermal filler is used to enhance volume in the cheeks and nasolabial folds. The brand Radiesse is a calcium hydroxylapatite dermal filler.
  3. Hyaluronic acid: This type of filler contains the polysaccharide hyaluronic acid (HA), which is a substance commonly found in skin and cartilage. The HA used in dermal fillers can be non-animal derived or sourced from animals and often chemically modified (cross-linked) to resist degradation. HA-based dermal fillers are commonly used for filling wrinkles and replacing volume loss. Results are immediate and last for 6 to 18 months. Brands include Juvederm, Restylane, and Perlane.
  4. Poly-L-lactic acid: These dermal fillers contain a biodegradable, biocompatible synthetic polymer. Poly-L-lactic acid is a human-made material, and it is often used in absorbable stitches and bone screws. When injected into the face, it fills nasolabial folds and enhances volume in the cheeks and temples. This semi-permanent filler can last between 18 and 24 months. Several injections may be required to achieve the full effect of the filler, and results are gradual compared to other available dermal fillers. Brands include Sculptra.
  5. Polymethylmethacrylate microspheres (PMMA): These dermal fillers contain biocompatible, non-biodegradable synthetic PMMA beads surrounded by collagen. PMMA dermal fillers are FDA approved for treating nasolabial folds and deep wrinkles. Because the body cannot degrade these synthetic polymers, the effects from these fillers are permanent. Skin testing is required prior to treatment because of the bovine collagen component present in PMMA dermal fillers. Brands include Artefill.

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