Types of dermal fillers, costs, pros and cons

Aging is a natural process of the human body and also one of the greatest concerns for all of us. With the increasing amount of pollution in the environment along with the stress filled lifestyle signs of skin aging are now becoming apparent even at an earlier age. One of the most prominent signs of skin aging is skin wrinkling, which can be light, to moderate or even deep set. Usually, the skin wrinkles appear as fine lines, and if not taken care of, they graduate to deep set ones, that are much difficult to remove. However, the modern cosmetic science has made remarkable progress in treating the skin wrinkles and the dermal fillers are considered as one of the best known ways to get rid of the wrinkles and other signs of skin aging.

What is dermal filler or wrinkle filler?

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Dermal fillers are substances that fill in the creases on the skin when injected into the subcutaneous layer of the skin of the problem area. Dermal fillers when used in the right way can actually make even your deep set wrinkles disappear like magic. The other best thing about these fillers is that they can give you the same effect for as long as 4 months or even a year or more depending on several other factors.

Dermal fillers are effective not only for filling in wrinkles but they can also work efficiently as a “volumizer”. These fillers are often used for pluming up different features of the face like the lips or for lifting the jawlines, cheeks or temples. Dermal fillers are also effective for plumping the sagging skin and hence they can be considered as a complete aesthetic solution not only to fight aging but also to get the facial features of your choice.

The different types of dermal fillers

Dermal filler is a very broad term which includes many types, and each of these types has a number of different varieties. Every type of dermal filler is not designed for serving all the purposes.  Depending on the type of the wrinkle and also the problem area the effectiveness of a filler to serve the purpose can always vary. The best results can only be achieved when the right type of the filler is used in the most efficient way for treating a particular problem. Hence, the final outcome of the treatment majorly depends on the knowledge and experience of the surgeon providing the treatment.

Depending on their basic ingredients dermal fillers can be divided into 4 categories: Hyaluronic acid based wrinkle fillers, Synthetic wrinkle fillers, Collagen based wrinkle fillers, and the Autologous wrinkle fillers. Each of these types of dermal fillers differs in their working process as well as outcomes and side effects. There are also a range of fillers from different brands available under each of the categories that differ from each other in formulations but use the same basic constituent to serve the purpose.

The cost, pros and cons

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The cost, pros as well as side effects of the dermal fillers vary extensively depending on the particular base used in formulating the dermal filler. The difference in price and side effects is also evident amongst the fillers from different brands. As a general rule, the effectiveness of a filler as well as side effects greatly depends on the proper application of the filler for the proper purpose. Normally, the fillers that provide more long term actions have greater risks of side effects. At the same time, the risks of side effects reduce as you continue using a product in the long term.

Here we will discuss the cost, pros and cons of the most popular types of dermal fillers under each of the categories. A highlight about their particular working process will also help you to understand why these different fillers offer different effects.

Hyaluronic acid based dermal fillers

The hyaluronic acid based dermal fillers are one of the most popular types of dermal fillers available in the market. Hyaluronic acid based fillers often make the first choice of the dermatologists and the patients, particularly because of their compatibility with the human body. Hyaluronic acid is a natural constituent of the human body and hence it has lesser risk of side effects.

How it works: When a hyaluronic acid based filler is injected within the skin it fills in the space of the lost tissue adding volume under the skin. Addition of volume under the skin naturally provides better support to the facial structures and increases the elasticity of the skin. Hyaluronic acid forms bond with water and thus brings in hydration to the skin making it more soft and supple.

Each of the type of fillers that come under this category slightly differs in their working process and outcomes. Some of the most common Hyaluronic acid based wrinkle fillers include,

Belotero balance

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This FDA approved Hyaluronic acid based skin filler can be used for filling and smoothing wrinkles as well as for skin rehydration. It is also used in lip augmentation and restoration of facial volume. Dermatologists are also suggesting the use of this filler for filling up the acne scars.


Being hyaluronic acid based the filler has lesser risk of side effects. It is cohesive in nature and integrates easily with the normal facial skin tissue giving a more natural look and feel. The formulation is also available with lidocaine which ensures a pain free treatment.


According to the studies, in most of the cases, a minimum of 3 sittings are required to get any satisfactory results. The follow up time for Belotero Balance is also quite less. Most of the patients need to repeat the treatment 2-3 times every year to have a continued effect, which adds up to the overall cost of maintenance.


A single syringe of Belotero Balance costs around $500 and hence if you multiply it with 3, which is often the minimum number of syringes needed by the patients, you reach a figure close to $1500. You also need to add the charge of your dermatologist and the facility with it to get a clear idea about the total cost that you will incur for the treatment. Also do not forget to take into account the maintenance expenses.


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Juvederm is a family of hyaluronic acid based dermal fillers that can effectively treat facial wrinkles and folds of moderate to severe level. The most popular members of the juvederm family include,Juvederm 24HV, Juvederm 30, Juvederm 30HV, Juvederm Ultra, Juvederm Ultra Plus and JuvedermVoluma XC.  These injectable fillers are used in different types of dermal filling, volumizing and face lifting treatments for different areas.


One of the basic pros of the Juvederm family of dermal fillers is that being hyaluronic acid based, they have less risk of side effects compared to many other fillers. Being available in so many different forms, different Juvederm formulationscan be used for treating a wide range of purposes. The process of Juvederm treatment consumes minimum time.


Like all the other dermal fillers Juvederm treatment is also not permeant. Patients typically need to opt for a touch up between 9 and 12 months. However, usually for the repeat procedureslesser amount of the injection is needed. The side effects of Juvederm treatment can last for as long as a week.


Depending on the particular type of Juvederm treatment you are opting for the cost can vary between $450 and $600 for each of the syringe. Cost of the surgeon and the facility are extra.


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The Restylane family of hyaluronic acid based dermal fillers include Restylane, RestylaneL, Restylane Silk as well as the Perlane varieties. These fillers can be effectively used for adding volume under the skin and can also remove moderate to severe level of facial wrinkles and folds. The Restylane range of drugs is widely used for lip enhancements and the Restylane –L variety can be ideal for treating the fine lines on the lips.


Restylane is a trusted dermal filler. This filler has been in the market for last 21 years and can actually provide the effects it claims when used in the right way and for the right purpose. The Restylane treatment needs less than an hour to complete and the typical recovery time is not more than 2-3 days.


Apart from the general side effects of the treatment like swelling, bruising and reddening that might take as long as 10 days to subside the filler also has a lesser longevity. Typically the patients need a re-treatment within six months of the first application. However, the good thing here is that, each treatment with Restylane, lasts longer than the previous one.


Per syringe of Restylane treatment can cost you anything between $400 and $800 depending on the type of the product used, the fees of the doctor and the medical facility charges.


Perlane belongs from the Restylane family of hyaluronic acid based dermal fillers but they differ in the average molecular size from Restylane. This white gel like formulation has much smaller molecular size that makes it possible to inject the filler at a much deeper level of the skin, helping the effects to be more natural and long lasting. Parlene is best suited for more deep set wrinkles. The types of Perlane include, Perlane, Perlane-L and Perlane Silk.


One of the biggest plus points of Perlane is that this dermal filler gives a more natural looking effect that lasts longer. Perlane treatment can be effective even to get rid of the sever wrinkles of the skin. It belongs from the Restylane family which is a highly trusted filler worldwide. For using Perlane allergy pre-testing is not needed. This filler reportedly has minimum and mild side effects that subside within 7 days. Another plus point of Parlene is that the effects of this treatment often last longer.


As Parlene injections are given at a depth of the skin, often it takes some time, may be months, to show the full result of the treatment.  A single parlene treatment can last between six to 12 months depending on where it has been injected. The duration is also affected by the injection technique.


The cost of per syringe of Perlane treatment can vary from $500 to $900 depending on the place where you are taking the treatment.

Synthetic wrinkle fillers

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Synthetic wrinkle fillers do not have many types like the hyaluronic acid based ones. These wrinkle fillers are strictly lab-made and they do not contain any ingredient that resembles the natural human skin. One of the best things about synthetic wrinkle fillers is that they provide a much longer solution from wrinkles.

How it works: The synthetic dermal fillers work much in the same way as the hyaluronic acid based dermal fillers in the respect that they fill in the lost tissue on the face giving the face a more rejuvenated and younger look. To put it simply, they add volume under the skin. Some of the synthetic fillers also boost the natural collagen synthesis process of the skin, helping in providing long lasting effects.

The fillers of this category differ from each other depending on their particular formulations. The common types of synthetic wrinkle fillers include,


Radiesse has become a preferred choice of cosmetic treatment in many countries across the world in the last 10 years. This filler is often considered as the dermal filler of the next generation. According to the published data by Merz, the well-known manufacturer of Radiesse, recently the company has reached the level of shipping 3 million syringes across the world.


Radiesse produces immediate and effective results and can be one of the best available non-surgical treatments for restoring face volume and also to control the process of natural skin aging. Radiesse is highly recommended for treating naso-labial folds. This calcium hydroxylapatite based dermal filler not only fills in the lost volume under the skin but also stimulates the natural collagen synthesis process and hence often the effects of a single radiesse treatment can last as long as 18 months.


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Just like all the other dermal fillers Radiesse also has side effects and being more long lasting than other fillers, the side effects can also last for longer.  Radiesse treatment is more expensive compared to other fillers and in average a single Radiesse treatment can be twice more expensive than a Restylane treatment.


While the charge of Radiesse treatment can vary from one city to another, normally the per injection radiesse treatment cost is around $1,000. However, you need to consider the charge for the facility separately.


This popular anti-aging facial injection includes poly-L-lactic acid as a base and is approved by FDA for use as dermal filler. The drug is manufactured by Dermik Laboratories. This filler is injected directly into the areas from where the fat has been lost. The PLLA is able to initiate collagen neo-synthesis in the skin which results into thickening of the skin improving the appearance of the folds and hiding the fat loss.


Sculptra is an effective “volume filler” that is widely used for giving cheeks a more voluminous look. Sculptra boosts the natural collagen synthesis of the skin and thus corrects the imperfections; hence the results are more natural looking and long lasting. The injection also has a reduced risk of allergic reactions. A proper treatment with Sculptra can last as long as 18 months.


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Sculptra has lesser side effects compared to many other dermal filler but side effects are there. Most of the side effects of this treatment are related to injection. However, post-treatment nodules can be formed in case of improper placement of the injection. Sculptra treatment is actually expensive.


Each treatment of Sculptra can cost anything between $1000 and $2000. To get the best effects of the treatment patients typically need to go through 2-3 treatment processes depending on the age and the extent of correction needed and hence for filling up bigger area, the treatment can be highly expensive.


Silicone based skin fillers are quickly becoming a popular choice amongst the celebrities as well as common people. Silicone oil injections are also becoming common with time. Just like every other types of dermal fillers these synthetic fillers also have their pros and cons but the risk factors of these fillers are often higher.


The primary pros of the silicone fillers are that they offer more or less permanent effects. The effects are also quite prominent and can be ideal to achieve any particular aesthetic goals.


Silicone fillers are completely synthetic in nature and the process places a foreign body within your skin which has high chance of causing allergy. In addition to that, being permanent in nature, if you are not comfortable with your treatment you might actually need to go through a surgical process to take the filler out.


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The cost of the treatment can vary depending on the particular type of silicone filler you are using as well as the targeted results. For silicone filler injections, the cost can vary between $800 and $1200 per injection.

Collagen wrinkle fillers

Collagen based wrinkle fillers are not often the first choice of the doctors or patients particularly because of their short term longevity. These fillers are made from animal collagen and are directly injected into the skin to fill in the lost collagen, giving a rejuvenated look. Collagen based wrinkle fillers are primarily made in laboratory from purified collagen collected from cows. Some of the common types of collagen injections include, ArteFill, Zyplast, Fibrel, Evolence, Cosmoderm and others.


The collagen based wrinkle fillers can fill in the lost collagen tissue effectively, giving the skin a rejuvenated look. The effects of collagen based fillers are usually very natural. These fillers can provide quick results and being short lasting you have less to worry about.


One of the primary cons of the collagen based natural fillers is that as these are made from animal sources there is always the risk of producing severe allergic reaction. Before using collagen fillers, allergy testing is compulsory and even after that the final treatment might end up providing more severe side effects than the outcome itself. The effects of the collagen fillers are also very short lasting and often break down within 1 month of the treatment.


The cost of the collagen based injections varies within $450, which might be added with the charge of the dermatologist and the facility.

Autologous wrinkle fillers

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The Autologous wrinkle fillers vary considerably from the above categories in their basic concept. In case of the above types of dermal fillers, a product that is not made within the body of the patient is used as filler but in case of autologous wrinkle fillers the filler is produced directly from the body of the person taking the treatment. Fat and blood both can be used as autologous wrinkle fillers.

Fat based

Fat is one of the most commonly used substances in autologous fillers. In this case excess fat, from the thighs, or stomach or buttocks of the patient is removed through surgical procedure and it is then purified to make an injection. This purified fat is injected at the affected places to fill in the lost fat. This process is also commonly known as fat grafting or fat injection.


One of the best things about this process is that it gives semi-permanent results and the risk of side effects is lower.


On the negative side, the treatment process includes two different procedures that might or might not be completed in a single day. Often the process of fat purification can be time consuming as well.

Blood based

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In this case blood is drawn from the arm of the patient and it is then treated to make a platelet rich plasma injection. It is injected into the affected area of the face to get effective filling and wrinkle erasing effects.


This treatment can last for around 12 to 18 months and the process has comparatively less chance of side effects.


Dermal fillers, in any form are always associated with risks. As in this case the filler is produced directly from the body of the patient, hence no FDA approval is required.