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Dermal Fillers: Pros and Cons of Different Types

Black female receiving dermal filler injection

Now that you have decided that dermal fillers are right for you, your next step is to understand your options. Let's take a look at some of your choices when it comes to the types of dermal fillers available:


Hyaluronic Acid (HA)

Injectable HA is temporary, where the result's longevity greatly depends on the specific composition, location of injection, and the individual. While effective, the trade-off is each patient will need maintenance treatments to achieve the absolute best results. 

Common side effects include swelling, bruising, bleeding, redness, and bumps. Overall, HA dermal fillers have specific use cases that are most effective and not recommended for others. 

Injectable Hyaluronic acid is best for:

Brand names of HA's include Belotero Balance, Juvederm Ultra, Juvederm Ultra Plus, Restylane, Restylane Silk, Restylane Lyft, and Voluma. 


Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA)

As a substance that already exists within our bodies, CaHA dermal fillers have an obvious advantage. Treatments in which their application is used are remarkably risk-free, and patients aren't required to undergo skin testing before the procedure. Additionally, allergic reactions and adverse effects are incredibly rare.

The most significant downsides are the cost— typically, HA dermal fillers are expensive compared to other types, and it's not the best choice for areas of the face where the skin is thin or highly mobile. 

Common uses for CaHA based dermal fillers:

Brand names of CaHA dermal fillers include Radiesse and Radiesse Plus.


Polylactic Acid (PLA)

Often referred to as "liquid facelift" by clinicians, PLA dermal fillers are suitable for patients looking to add volume under their skin. Requiring separate injection sessions before a noticeable result is achieved, polylactic acid fillers aren't ideal for patients looking for an instant anti-wrinkle solution. 

PLA dermal fillers excel in improving these issues:

Sculptra is the brand name of a PLA dermal filler. 


Polymethyl-Methacrylate Microspheres (PMMA)

Having an advantage over PLA based injectable dermal fillers, PMMA fillers provide the skin with both volume and collagen. PMMA fillers result in a more significant anti-aging effect, with the trade-off of varying between individuals due to that collagen boost isn't naturally stimulated. 

The inclusion of microspheres within the gel makes PMMA dermal fillers incredibly resilient and dependable. 

As a newer treatment option, there are limited FDA approved brands of PMMA injectable fillers, and as a solution to specific concerns, a PMMA filler is a less versatile choice. 

PMMA dermal fillers are an obvious choice for treatments offering:

Patents report one of PMMA dermal filler's major disadvantages being the potential for overfilling, because of this, having a fully qualified cosmetic surgeon to perform such a procedure is paramount. 

The provider will use special injection techniques, treatments will be performed in multiple sessions to avoid overdone results, and those results will take months to appear. 

Bellefill is the brand name of PMMA dermal fillers.


This article is only the tip of the iceberg. More information on dermal fillers is on its way. Call our office at 704-228-8287 to schedule, ask questions or schedule an appointment with our providers.

Dilworth Dermatology and Laser

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