Dermal Fillers

Dermal Fillers, sometimes known as Facial Filllers or Wrinkle Fillers are a popular and instant anti-angeing treatment.  They are used to enhance facial features by subtly smoothing and plumping the skin, to create youthful contours.

dermal fillers
procedure time

Procedure Time

Less than 1 Hr

recovery time

Recovery Time

None, occasional bruising.


Onset of Results




£250 - 1,500

author Dr. Maria Knöbel, MBBS BSc (hons) ARCS
Dr. Maria Knöbel
Aesthetic Practitioner
The information on this page has been reviewed for medical accuracy by Dr. Maria Knöbel, MBBS BSc(hons) ARCS​

What are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers are made from Hyaluronic Acid, a naturally occuring substance in our bodies.  This is medically developed to be injected under the skin with a fine needle to enhance facial features and plump the skin while restoring hydration. This effect can be used to fill lines and sunken areas that have formed due to natural ageing and thinning of the skin.

A number of skin concerns can be sucessfully treated with dermal fillers including lines between the nose and mouth, marionette lines, perioral lip lines, hollow cheeks, thinning lips, chin, jawline, neck, and hands.

Dermal fillers can last up to 12 months and are an effective way to treat shallow to deep folds, and enhance facial contours with instant results.

What can be treated with Dermal Fillers?

Areas that can be successfully and instantly treated with dermal fillers include:

  • Nasolabial folds (Nose to mouth lines)
  • Marionette Lines (Mouth to chin lines)
  • Smoker’s Lines (Lip lines)
  • Hollow Cheeks
  • Thin Lips
  • Chin & Jaw line (contour and define)
  • Frown Lines & Forehead Lines
  • Acne Pits & Deep scars
  • Hand Rejuvenation
  • Tear troughs (sunken eyes)
  • Downturned Mouth corners
  • Nose (non-surgical Rhinoplasty)

Find the Top Clinics for Dermal Fillers Near You

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How do Dermal Fillers work?

Dermal fillers makes use the of water-absorbing nature of hyaluronic acid to draw water into the injected area to hydrate and volumise. Hyaluronic acid naturally absorbs and holds up to 1000x it’s mass in water.

The body loses natural volumisers and moisturisers such as hyaluronic acid (HA) with age. These can be replaced to produce a filling effect.

Depending on the depth and location of where dermal fillers are injected, they can have either a smoothing and hydrating effect, or even lift the entire face. Dermal fillers can be used creatively to address a wide range of ageing and volumising concerns.


What are the benefits of Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers are able to instantly restore lost volume in the face and hands, while smoothing out and hydrating the skin surface.

With fillers, the results are usually natural-looking and subtle, despite having a huge effect on your overall appearance. Normal facial expression will be entirely unaffected.

Unlike surgical procedures such as implants and face lifts, dermal fillers are non-invasive and do not require any cuts, stitches, or general anaesthesia. Fillers are administered with a fine needle, with minimal discomfort.

Dermal fillers are not permanent and naturally break down over time. They can also easily be reversed using a solution that dissolves the filler, leaving no lasting effects.

How long do Dermal Fillers last?

Depending on treatment area, amount and product used, results generally last between 6 – 12 months. Over time, the product is slowly and naturally biodegraded and re-absorbed by the body.

Hyaluronic acid fillers can be adapted to degrade at different speeds depending on the concentration of hyaluronic acid and amount of cross linking.

How much do Dermal Fillers cost?

In the UK dermal fillers tend to cost between £250 – £1,500 depending on location, amount injected, and expertise of practitioner.

Many clinics charge by price per syringe, with syringes volumes starting at 0.5ml. 

When comparing cost of dermal fillers per syringe, take into consideration the type of filler and volume of syringe.

Are Dermal Fillers right for me?

The best way to determine if dermal fillers are suitable for you, is with a face-to-face consultation.

Most clinics offer free no-obligation consultations.

How long does a dermal filler treatment take?

If you have already had a consultation with your practitioner, then a brief recap consultation should only take a few minutes.

Numbing cream is applied and left for half an hour to take effect. Many dermal fillers contain an anaesthetic called Lidocaine, and these do not require further numbing cream.

Dermal filler is injected to the desired area with a thin needle. Depending on the amount and area, the procedure itself often only takes 20-30 minutes.

You can go straight back to your daily activities after the treatment. It is common to have some redness and swelling after the treatment.

The results can be seen instantly.

beautiful woman

What's the difference between Botox and Dermal Filler?

Botox is a registered brand name for Botulinum Toxin, a substance used to relax facial muscles causing wrinkles. The treatment is administered in a simialr way, but takes 2-3 weeks to take effect, and lasts 3-6 months.

Dermal fillers act in a different way, by plumping the skin and tissues from below, creating a smoothing and sculpted effect. Results are immediate and last 6-12 months.

The two treatments can be used effectively in conjunction to complement one another.

Are there different types of dermal fillers?

Yes, there are several types of fillers.

The most commonly used fillers in the UK are hyaluronic acid fillers. Even amongst hylauronic fillers there are different types of density and softness.

Popular brands of hyaluronic acid fillers include Juvéderm® and Restylane®.

Another popular type of filler is known as a collagen stimulator, such as Polylactic acid. These stimulate your own body’s natural production of collagen to produce a filling effect. Results will appear over a number of months and is considered semi-permanent. 

Popular brands of collagen stimulating fillers include  Sculptra™ and Ellanse.

relaxed beautiful girl

Where should you get dermal fillers?

It is very important to choose a reputable clinic or practitioner to perform your facial filler treatment.

Getting a dermal filler treatment at a spa or hair salon by a non-medical professional is highly dangerous, but not yet illegalised in the UK. 

We urge you to only consider using registered and qualified clinics, such as those listed on Aesthetic Advisor.

Who can administer dermal fillers?

You should only receive dermal or facial filler treatments from doctors, dentists, and registered nurses.

If you are unsure of an injectors qualifications, do not be afraid to ask for clarification or evidence. Registered medical professionals will never be offended.


popular treatment focus:

Non-Surgical Facelift

nasolabial line filler

Non-surgical facelifts are an increasingly popular treatment as an alternative to nip-and-tuck surgery.

Advanced dermal filler techniques are used in multiple areas of the face, to create a ‘lifting’ effect.

 The minimally-invasive procedure can contribute to an instantly more youthful appearance.

The procedure offers many advantages over a surgical facelift. In comparison, non-surgical facelifts are:

  • Cheaper
  • Less invasive
  • No associated downtime
  • Natural and subtle result
  • Last up to 18 months
non surgical facelift

What to expect during and after Dermal Fillers

During the treatment, there is usually mild discomfort. You may have some local anaesthetic cream applied to help make the procedure more comfortable. 

After the treatment there may be some redness, tenderness, and swelling to the site. This is common and will usually subside quickly.

Occasional bruising can occur; it is usually mild and up to a week. Auriderm XO cream can be used to reduce the bruising. Drinking alcohol can worsen bruising.

Post-Treatment: Dermal Filler Aftercare

Your practitioner will advise you on specific things to watch out for after the treatment. But as a general guide, the following is advised after receiving anti-ageing injections:

  • Avoid rubbing or massaging the treated area.
  • Avoid applying make-up to treated area for 4 hours
  • Avoid strenuous exercise for 6 hours after treatment
  • Do not drink alcohol for 6 hours after treatment
  • Avoid lying down for 4 hours after treatment
  • Do not take any long haul flights for 24 hours
  • Avoid extreme temperatures such as saunas, and direct sun.

Possible Dermal Filler Side Effects:
What can go wrong?

The most common side effect to expect is some swelling and bruising. It is also common to bleed temporarily from injection sites. More serious side effects may include:

  • Infection
  • Severe or prolonged bruising where a larger blood vessel has been injured,
  • Asymmetry or irregularity of the lips
  • Injection of filler into a blood vessel, causing occlusion and tissue loss
  • Ulceration and scarring
  • Allergic reaction

Do Dermal Fillers Hurt?

Dermal fillers are a non-surgical treatment, meaning no cuts or incisions need to be made. 

This means, only a thin needle is injected into the treatment area and the filler deposited. There may be some discomfort or stinging, but should not cause significant pain.

Apart from light tenderness over injection area, there should be no lasting pain after the procedure.

Note: If you have an concerns about your treatment, please contact your practitioner. If you’re concerned about a serious reaction, or have any breathing difficulty, seek medical help right away.

Cheap Dermal Fillers

When it comes to health and medical cosmetics, shopping treatments for the cheapest price can be dangerous. Cheap facial fillers are no exception. In 2018, Save Face received 616 formal dermal filler related complaints, of which 83% were performed by unqualified beauticians and hairdressers.

Important questions to ask when considering cheap lip fillers include:

Why are they so cheap compared to other clinics?

Are they taking shortcuts in the safe treatment process that allow them to undercut their competition? Compare all aspects of the treatment you will receive.

Will there be aftercare or a follow-up appointment?

Some clinics do not routinely book follow-up appointments.

Some may offer reviews only when something goes wrong. This is one way to save on clinic time and appointment cost.

What dermal filler product is used? Is it an approved brand?

Always ask about the specific product that will be used. Check that the brand is reputable and approved for use in the UK. Not all fillers are equal. Unlicensed cheap fillers sometimes illegally make their way into the UK. These are associated with dangerous side-effects and are responsible for a number of hospitalisations.

There have been concerning reports of practitioners using the same vial of filler product on different clients. These are attempts to save opening new packs or wasting unused filler. This is a highly dangerous practice, violating all guidelines.

Is the clinic or practitioner insured?

Malpractice insurance can be very expensive, ranging from £500 per year to several tens of thousands. These costs are usually incorporated into each treatment cost, and avoiding insurance fees may be a dangerous way to keep treatments cheap.

Who can perform dermal filler treatments?

Registered doctors, dentists, nurses, and pharmacists are currently licensed to administer dermal fillers. Always ask who will be performing your procedure. Do not be afraid to clarify qualifications. A registered clinic or practitioner will never be offended.

Who will be performing the treatment?

Unqualified injectors will have far fewer costs than registered and licensed practitioners. Unregistered practitioners nearly always offer the cheapest facial filler treatments. Aesthetic Advisor only lists clinics with fully qualified and registered practitioners. We urge strongly against receiving treatments by beauticians, hairdressers, and other unqualified injectors.

Dermal Fillers in Numbers

Procedures carried out last year
Average treatment cost
Increase in popularity this year

Understanding Different Types of Fillers

A great variety of fillers are available in the UK. For beginners, it can be difficult to understand the difference, and to decide which filler is best to use.

Here’s a guide to types of dermal fillers that takes you from beginner to pro:

botox vial injection syringe
syringe injection
Hyaluronic Acid Fillers

Juvederm® , Restylane®  , Belotero®, Princess®

When hyaluronic acid fillers came on the market – they revolutionised the industry because they didn’t require a skin prick test in advance. This type of filler is able to improve skin appearance and hydration by drawing water into the extracellular matrix of our skin. Non-animal produced hyaluronic acid is available.

Stability and durability of hyaluronic acid is obtained by crosslinking with other substances. This degree of crosslinking accounts for the difference in brands and preparations:

Juvederm Voluma:  used to restore volume loss in the midface, cheeks, and chin to create smooth contours. With care can last up to 2 years.

Juvederm Vollure and Ultra:  used to fill facial wrinkles and folds, such as nose to mouth lines, and mouth to chin lines. Can also be used in the lips for a fuller structure.

Juvederm Volbella:  used in the lip body and border (also known as vermillion) for lip augmentation. Can also be used on softer lines and wrinkles, with results lasting up to 15 months.

Restylane Fyness and Refyne:  used to fill lines and wrinkles to create a smoother skin surface.

Restylane and Volyme:  used to fill lines and folds while providing more volume and support to facial contours.

syringe injection
Polylactic Acid Fillers


Polylactic acid (PLA) fillers are a sythetic and biodegradable type of filler. When injected under the skin it stimulates our own body to produce collagen. This process takes several weeks, and treatments tend to be spaced 6-8 weeks apart. 

Results after a 3 treatment session can last up to 2 years. Therefore polylactic acid fillers are differ to hyaluronic acid fillers in that the results are not immediately seen.

Sculptra:  used to fill wrinkles and folds such as smile lines, and mouth to chin lines. Results last up to 2 years.

syringe injection
Calcium Hydroxyapatite Fillers


Calcium hydroxylapatite (CHP) is a sythetic substance that when injected provides immediate volume and lift, while also slowly stimulating further collagen production.

Compared to other filler types, calcium hydroxylapatite fillers are more prone to allergic reactions, and can be seen on X-ray. Results can last over a year.

Radiesse:  used to correct deeper folds and wrinkles, such as nose to mouth lines, and can also be used in the hands to restore lost volume.

Before and After Dermal FIllers

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