Overview of Dermal Fillers

BotoxFacial fillers have been increasing in popularity over the past several years and are now one of the most popular treatments for facial aging. As a highly customizable procedure, facial filler injections can be used to replace volume loss associated with the aging process, enhance various features, and achieve facial balance in patients with natural asymmetries.

But how exactly do they work? Our skilled and experienced providers at Dermatology Associates of Atlanta have been performing facial filler treatments for decades. To help you better understand this procedure, we’re digging into facial fillers, how they work, and what you can expect.

How Do Facial Filler Injections Work?

As we get older, our skin loses some of its youthful volume and elasticity. First, our bodies’ fat cells tend to shift, resulting in a loss of volume in desirable areas such as the cheeks and an increase in volume in undesirable areas such as the jowls. In addition, our skin contains a protein called collagen which promotes skin elasticity and fullness. Our bodies produce less and less collagen as we age, resulting in fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. We lose even more collagen from lifestyle factors like sun exposure, pollution, and smoking. The loss of both collagen and facial fat can lead to wrinkles and facial hollowing.

Facial fillers are designed to rejuvenate and recontour your face by replacing lost volume. A knowledgeable and experienced provider like our board-certified dermatologists and physician assistants will inject filler in precise areas to target specific concerns. We can also use fillers to target certain issues that are not age-related, such as naturally thin lips or natural facial hollows from genetics or weight loss.

Types of Facial Fillers

The science behind fillers and the way they work varies. There are two main categories of dermal fillers that work in different ways.


  1. Volume Replacement Fillers

The most common type of facial fillers on the market are volume replacement fillers. These fillers use a material, usually a synthetic version of a natural material called hyaluronic acid, to instantly restore volume loss, improve lines, and provide youthful structure.

Restylane® products, Juvéderm®products, and Belotero Balance® are all hyaluronic acid fillers that improve appearance by replacing volume. Because hyaluronic acid is naturally metabolized by the body slowly over time, the results are temporary, generally lasting between six and 18 months depending on the specific filler used and the area injected.

  1. Collagen Stimulation Fillers

Certain fillers, such as Sculptra® and Radiesse®, work to combat signs of aging by stimulating your body’s natural collagen production. These fillers contain specialized ingredients that promote collagen production over time, to help improve the appearance of wrinkles, tighten sagging skin, and restore natural-looking volume.

Because these products work by increasing your body’s innate collagen, results appear gradually over the course of weeks to months. For that reason, some collagen stimulation fillers also contain a “placeholder” material so that patients can enjoy immediate results while also generating new collagen.

Although it may take longer to see improvements from collagen stimulation, they do produce longer-lasting results than hyaluronic acid fillers. Patients can expect their results to last about two years. After this period of time, the newly formed collagen has had enough time to break down as the natural aging process continues.

Experiencing Facial Filler Injections for Yourself

Learning about a procedure is a wonderful way to make an informed decision about the treatments you want. If you believe facial fillers may be the right choice for you, whether you want to reduce wrinkles, restore youthful facial volume, or enhance the size and contour of your lips, call Dermatology Associates of Atlanta today to schedule a consultation. For more skin care tips and special offers including our monthly Cosmetic Days, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.