What are fillers?

In aesthetic medicine, fillers are materials that are used to augment or ‘fill out’ different age-related changes to the skin.

These materials are used to fill wrinkles or collapsed cheeks, for example, and are called fillers because of their filling effects.

Fillers are some of the minimally invasive methods used to treat the signs of ageing of the skin. There are different fillers available to treat wrinkles, loss of volume or scars. In principle, fillers can be differentiated into absorbable (can be broken down) and non-absorbable fillers.

Filler types

Duration of effect

Absorption/persistence

Quality

Autologous fat

Permanent
(assimilates into the natural subcutaneous fatty tissue)

Subject to the natural variations of fatty tissue in the body

Natural, patient’s own tissue with no additional treatment

Hyaluronic acid

Temporary

Absorbable
(after 6–12 months)

Synthetic
(present in the body as a natural material, is synthetically manufactured)

Collagens

Temporary

Absorbable 

Synthetic
(purified bovine and human collagen)

Calcium hydroxylapatite

Temporary

Absorbable 

Synthetic
(biocompatible bone material)

Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA)

Temporary

Absorbable 

Synthetic
(synthetic polymer)

Polymethylmethacrylate pearls
(PMMA microspheres)

Permanent

Not absorbable 

Synthetic
(small round spheres)