How long do dermal filler results last? That’s probably the most common question I hear at my San Francisco practice. The answer may be a bit more complicated than patients expect, because, as I explain to my patients, maintenance treatments can extend the results indefinitely.
Several factors influence a filler’s longevity, including the filler material, its consistency, the area of the face where it’s injected, and the speed at which each patient’s body metabolizes fillers. Patients may ask about getting semi-permanent fillers, such as silicone, Bellafill®, or autologous fat injections (using the patient’s own fat). But we tend to avoid using permanent fillers because they don’t provide the types of results that patients want, and because they aren’t reversible. Instead, we prefer long-lasting fillers that I can reverse if needed.
Filler Longevity Based on Treatment Area
How long do fillers last around the eyes?
Results using a hyaluronic acid-based filler can last 12 months or even longer when treating the tear trough area under the eyes. Restylane is a common choice for under the eyes because it’s firm enough to support the thinner skin in that area.
How long do fillers last around the cheeks?
Using a hyaluronic acid filler such as JUVÉDERM VOLUMA® creates results that can last 24 months. A touch-up treatment at 12 months helps maintain and prolong the results. VOLUMA and RADIESSE® are thicker gels that provide the lift that cheeks need to look more youthful. RADIESSE lasts approximately 15 months, with a touch-up treatment at 7 months.
How long do fillers last around the nose?
Nonsurgical rhinoplasty using a hyaluronic acid filler such as Restylane can last up to 2 years with maintenance treatments at 6 months and follow-up appointments scheduled at approximately 9 to 12 months. Restylane is a firm, thinner gel that enables the injector to sculpt and shape nasal skin more effectively than thicker fillers.
How long do fillers last in the lips?
Lip augmentation using fillers can last up to 12 months or more with multiple treatments. It can typically take 3 treatments to get the desired outcome because filler used in the first couple of treatments may get compressed. Restylane, Restylane Silk, and JUVÉDERM are popular fillers for lip enhancement. These are softer gels.
How long do fillers last at the corners of the mouth?
Hyaluronic acid fillers can produce results that last a total of 1 year, with a touch-up treatment at 6 months. Most fillers can get good results in this area, but hyaluronic acid fillers can be dissolved if they are accidentally injected into a blood vessel (a rare complication).
How long do fillers last in the chin?
Chin augmentation using fillers, such as JUVÉDERM VOLUMA, RADIESSE, or a combination of them, can produce results that last between 15 and 24 months with touch-up treatments. Chin enhancement creates a well-defined profile that both men and women desire.
How Long Do Different Fillers Last?
When the FDA approves a filler, it indicates how long the results can be expected to last. While actual longevity may vary from the FDA’s guidelines, they provide a good benchmark for expert injectors when they create treatment plans for patients. Multiple filler materials exist, including fat, and they behave differently after being injected.
Filler Material Options
Hyaluronic acid (HA): A substance that is naturally found in the skin, hyaluronic acid is the most popular filler material. It’s used in JUVÉDERM® and Restylane® products, and BELOTERO BALANCE®. It hydrates the skin and smooths wrinkles and creases. The gel-like material typically lasts anywhere from 6 to 18 months, or longer. The material gradually breaks down and the body naturally absorbs the particles.
Calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA): This substance naturally occurs in the body–primarily in the bones. RADIESSE is an FDA-approved filler formulated with CaHA. The microscopic particles are suspended in a smooth, thick gel that typically lasts about 12 months. The filler also triggers the body to produce collagen.
Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA): This synthetic filler is made using a biodegradable substance that biocompatible (it’s safe to use in the body). PLLA was commonly used in medical devices before the FDA approved its use as an anti-wrinkle treatment. PLLA is usually injected deeper than other fillers and works by stimulating collagen production. The gel in which the PLLA is carried dissipates after only a couple of days, but the results can last more than 2 years.
Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA): This is also a biocompatible material with a long track record of being used safely in medical implants and other devices. Bellafill® is a collagen-based filler with PMMA microspheres that provides structural support and produces smoother skin. Results can last more than 5 years when used to correct nasolabial folds because the microspheres remain in place even as the body reabsorbs the collagen gel.
Fat injections: Facial fat grafting provides long-lasting results, but typically involves liposuction to harvest fat from another area of the body. Purified fat can be used in multiple areas of the face. Fat grafting is considered a permanent procedure, but not all of the transferred fat survives the process.
Extending the Life of Your Fillers
During the initial few months after being injected, fillers begin gradually degrading. But the visible results remain the same because fillers absorb water. But at about the midpoint of the expected duration of the fillers, you’ll start to notice the filler’s decreased volume.
So, how can you extend the duration of fillers? The key is a phased approach that anticipates this decreasing volume. I create a personal treatment plan for each of my facial rejuvenation patients that includes an Active Phase and Maintenance Phase. This is part of my Illumination 360 approach to producing long-lasting results. By monitoring a patient’s appearance and performing touch-up treatments 1 or 2 times a year, I need only 1 or 2 syringes to maintain the results. This keeps the results appearing fresh.
A Final Word
It’s important to remember that our faces continue to lose volume as we age, so maintaining the optimal results involves adding additional volume. By not waiting until the filler is completely absorbed, less filler is needed for maintenance.