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The Differences Between Dermal Fillers 

August 7, 2018

What Is the Chemical of the Most Popular Dermal Fillers?

Hyaluronic Acid Fillers, aka HA Fillers, are the most popular dermal fillers. Hyaluronic Acid is a naturally occurring chemical in human joints, and it can be used to fill in deep wrinkles of the face and body.  

The 2 most common HA Fillers in the USA are Juvederm, a brand name of Allergan, and Restylane, a brand name of Galderma. There are several types of HA fillers, based on the crosslinking, thickness, and what areas of the face and body they are designed for.

HA Fillers are most commonly used in the face for areas such as the lips, nasolabial folds, marionette lines and under eyes. Depending on where the HA filler is injected, and which formula it is, it can last anywhere from 6 to 24 months. Areas that have more movement, such as the lips, will break down the filler faster than under the eyes or the cheeks for example. To learn about using a needle versus a cannula for your dermal filler injections, head here.

Since HA is a naturally occurring substance in humans, there is no allergy testing needed for HA fillers.  


What are Other Dermal Fillers Made Of?

Radiesse is a brand name of Merz, and is made out of calcium hydroxyapatite. Radiesse lasts about 12 months, and varies depending on where in the body it is injected. It is approved to be injected in similar areas as the HA filler: nasolabial folds, marionette lines, chin.

Sculptra, a Galderma product, is made out of Poly-L-lactic acid, a substance that is also used to make absorbable sutures. It is a bio-stimulating filler which induces collagen growth in the area of Sculptra injection. Sculptra lasts for 24 months and is injected into the nasolabial folds, marionette lines and chin.

Bellafill is a brand name of Suneva Medical and is made out of PMMA microspheres and collagen. This product does require allergy testing before I can give you the actual injectable product.

Bellafill has collagen which temporarily fills in a wrinkle, and the PMMA microspheres induce your own body’s collagen to grow in the area of injection. The collagen that is in the syringe only lasts about 3-6 months, but this is enough time for the PMMA microspheres to work their magic. Overall, Bellafill will last 60 months after injection and is used in the nasolabial folds.


Which Ones Induce Collagen Growth?

Radiesse, Sculptra, and Bellafill all induce collagen growth. Radiesse and Bellafill have the advantage of being able to “see” an immediate result after injection, whereas Sculptra takes a couple of months to see the collagen induction and stimulation.

HA fillers do induce collagen growth, but in very small amounts, compared to the non HA fillers.  


Why Are HA Fillers So Popular?

HA fillers do not require allergy testing, which means patients have one less step to rejuvenation.

I think the marketing is superior for the HA fillers, with these companies having larger budgets.  


Are These Fillers Dissolvable?

HA fillers are dissolvable, in case there is an emergency or you simply do not want them anymore. Sometimes you may want fat grafting as a more permanent filler, and I can melt your HA filler before I replace it with fat. This is not possible with Radiesse, Sculptra, or Bellafill.  


How Do I Make a Consultation?

Call my office at (415) 362-1846 or email, and my Patient Care Coordinator will get you started!

If you are uncertain if you are a candidate for dermal filler, ask for my Patient Care Coordinator at and send in photos of your areas that you are concerned about. I can look at your photos and help you determine if you are a good candidate before coming to my office. There is no charge for this service.


Are You on Social Media?

Of course!  You can see before and after photos, videos, and get a glimpse into my life as a Plastic Surgeon.





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