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What is dermal filler?

What is Dermal Filler?

Dermal fillers are sometimes referred to as soft tissue fillers and are substances designed to be injected beneath the surface of the skin to add volume and fullness. As we age, the natural collagen and elastin in the skin lessens, and the cells lose their ability to naturally produce more of these substances. This can result in severe resting lines and volume loss. There are several different types and consistencies of filler and each one is designed to address a particular concern in the face.

How does dermal filler work?

As mentioned in a previous blog, Botulinum Toxin can take some time to work through the muscle to have the desired effect, whereas with dermal filler there is an instant result. Dermal filler contains a substance called hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is actually a natural substance found in our bodies. The hyaluronic acid in filler is man-made but is very similar, so your body will recognise the substance as your own.

Another difference between Botox and dermal filler is that dermal filler comes in different thicknesses and lifting capacities.

We’ll go into more detail about these different types and methods below.

What is dermal filler commonly used for?

Dermal filler is commonly used in the lower face but can be used across the whole face depending on the result you would like to achieve.

Direct approach

The direct approach to dermal fillers is simply treating directly into that line you can see. This is the traditional approach to filler and is ideal for clients looking for an instant result.

Indirect approach

The indirect approach to using dermal fillers can be equally, if not more, effective when conducted by someone with extensive anatomical knowledge.

In addition to these areas, dermal filler can also be used to fill lips that have either become thinner or less plump due to ageing or if a client feels they would like to enhance the fullness and shape of their lips for aesthetic purposes. It can also be used to build the chin back up to its original shape after teeth removal or gum recession.

More recently, dermal fillers have also been used as a skin booster. The clinician injects a watery filler in droplets under the surface of the skin in a grid pattern. This improves the texture of the skin and increases hydration and plumpness. We can carry out this treatment on the hands, cheeks and around the eyes.

One of the most underrated uses of dermal filler is to reduce the appearance of scarring due to injury.

What are dermal filler side effects?

Dermal fillers are considered safe, but there are more things to consider than with Botox. This is because of where the filler is being injected. There are blood vessels and nerves in the areas being treated, and it is very important to know where these are and how best to avoid them. It is so important to be in the best hands with this treatment, and someone who knows their anatomy is crucial as any complications must be managed carefully.

One difference between dermal fillers and Botox is that dermal fillers last longer. Therefore, it’s essential that the person treating you is fully-qualified , otherwise you could be left with a problem, or results you are not happy with. However, dermal fillers can be dissolved with an enzyme, so corrective treatments can be made if necessary.

Minor side-effects include redness, bruising or some swelling but these symptoms will settle after a while.

Is getting dermal filler painful?

Dermal fillers can be slightly more uncomfortable than Botox, This is because the needle is larger than a Botox needle, there is more volume being injected into the face and the treatment takes longer.


To summarise, the key differences between Botox and dermal fillers are that Botox relaxes the muscles to stop creases and wrinkles caused by active muscles in the face. Typically, we find these muscles in the upper face, such as the forehead and around the eyes. Dermal fillers use hyaluronic acid to fill in or plump areas that have lost volume or smoothness. This can include wrinkles around the mouth, lips and cheeks. Botox is a prescription-only medicinal treatment, and dermal fillers are purely cosmetic.

When experienced clinicians perform the treatments, Botox and dermal fillers are minimally invasive solutions and are safe. Side effects are mainly minor and rarely occur in most clients. Although they are minimally invasive, both can carry some risks you need to be aware of.

In addition, we do not recommend Botox and fillers for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. People who have certain health conditions or who take any medications should discuss with a clinician or doctor whether the treatments are safe for them.


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