- Dermal filler treatments are a safe outpatient procedure.
- Most dermal fillers cost between $600 and $1,000 per syringe.
- The amount of filler used depends on the treatment area and your personal goals.
- Maintenance treatments can add to the total cost.
Dermal filler treatments are very popular due to their ability to rejuvenate the skin, restore lost volume, and treat some signs of aging. The cost of filler treatments can vary widely depending on factors such as the type of dermal filler, your personal goals, and the provider.
What Are Dermal Fillers?
Dermal fillers are a type of cosmetic injectable treatments. They can correct skin wrinkles and fine lines such as smile lines and marionette lines, add volume to thin lips and cheeks, treat depressed scars, enhance shallow areas of the skin, and define facial contours like the cheekbones and the jaw.
Filler injection is an office procedure with little to no downtime. Results can be visible immediately and typically last for several months to two years.
Are dermal fillers safe?
In the hands of a trained plastic surgeon or dermatologist, filler injections are safe. Common side effects are typically mild and require no treatment. These include:
- Discomfort that can be reduced with a topical or injected anesthetic such as lidocaine
- Redness, swelling, or bruising
- Minor bleeding from the injection site
Rarely, more serious side effects or complications can occur. These include:
- Skin injury or tissue damage
- Injection into a blood vessel potentially causing blindness
- Allergic reactions with some types of fillers such as collagen-containing fillers
- Formation of lumps or nodules under the skin
- Asymmetry or otherwise poor aesthetic outcome
- Filler migration away from the treatment area
Dermal Filler Cost by Type
Dermal fillers come in a variety of types that contain different materials ranging from natural substances (e.g., hyaluronic acid) to synthetics (e.g., polymethyl-methacrylate).
Hyaluronic acid fillers
Juvederm (Voluma, Volbella, Vollure, and Ultra), Restylane (Silk, Lyft, Refyne, and Defyne), and Belotero are the leading brands of HA fillers. The cost per vial of HA filler typically ranges between $600 and $1,000.
The treatment area and your personal needs and goals dictate how many syringes of filler you require. For example, the average lip injection treatment costs $800-$1,600 (one to two syringes) while a cheek augmentation typically costs around $2,000 (two to four syringes).
Calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA) is a biocompatible compound that can stimulate skin cells to produce new collagen.
Radiesse is the only calcium hydroxylapatite filler currently available in the united states. Radiesse is available in two syringe sizes: 0.8 cc and 1.5 cc. The larger size syringe is more widely available and costs between $650 and $1,000.
A typical Radiesse facial treatment session uses two to three syringes and costs about $1,500.
Sculptra (poly-L-Lactic acid) can also stimulate collagen synthesis by cells in the skin. It works in two phases by producing immediate results after the injection and delayed results after a few weeks when new collagen begins to build up.
Sculptra is relatively expensive at an average of $900-$1,000 per syringe. Improvements can be achieved with as little as two vials but many cosmetic surgeons recommend up to four to six vials spread over two to three treatment sessions for the best results.
Bellafill is a filler that contains polymethyl-methacrylate (PMMA) microspheres suspended in a matrix of cow-derived collagen. Bellafill can produce long-lasting results for up to five years.
Bellafill costs an average of around $1,000 per syringe. For minor corrections, two syringes can produce good results. People who need more extensive corrections may require eight or more syringes.
While the upfront cost of Bellafill can be significantly higher than other fillers, the longevity of the results can compensate for it.
Unlike traditional dermal filler procedures, fat grafting or fat transfer uses liposuction to harvest fat cells from the patient’s body then injects it into the treatment area. Results are long-lasting but the procedure is more invasive and somewhat less predictable.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the average cost for a facial fat graft procedure in 2018 was $2,126.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) has a number of cosmetic uses including the treatment of hair loss and acne. It is also gaining recognition as an effective wrinkle filler for facial wrinkles and folds.
In this procedure, blood is withdrawn from the patient, spun in a centrifuge machine, then injected into the treatment area.
ASPS reports that the average cost of PRP soft tissue filler in 2018 was $683.
Collagen used to be a popular soft tissue filler; however, with the emergence of safer and more effective fillers such as hyaluronic acid, collagen fillers have disappeared into obscurity.
Cost of Dermal Fillers Over Time
Dermal fillers are not permanent treatments as the body eventually absorbs the injected material. Most fillers typically last between 12 and 18 months. Lip injections often last only between six and nine months. Fat transfer and Bellafill, which is considered a semi-permanent filler, can last up to five years.
If you wish to maintain the results, you will need to repeat the treatment at regular intervals, typically every 6 to 12 months. The cost of the repeat treatments is similar to the initial cost, although some providers may offer discounts to repeat customers.
Taking this into consideration, to consistently maintain your results, you should expect to pay around 1.5x to 2x the cost of the treatment yearly.
Other Cost Variables
As with many cosmetic procedures, the cost of dermal fillers can vary widely with geographic location. If you live in a high cost-of-living area, the treatment may be pricier than in other areas of the country.
Although some med spas and beauty salons offer dermal filler treatments and often charge less than physicians, it is advisable that you get your dermal filler done by a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon. The experience of your provider may also factor in how much they charge.
Insurance does not cover the cost of dermal fillers. Many practices offer discounts and payment plans so be sure to ask about those.
Cost of Dermal Fillers vs. Botox
Although there is some overlap in the uses of Botox (or Dysport) and facial fillers, such as the treatment of wrinkles, they are different in the way they work.
Botox is a neurotoxin that, when used in small amounts, can locally weaken muscle contractions. This is useful in the treatment of dynamic wrinkles which are caused by repetitive muscle movements. Fillers, on the other hand, simply fill in the areas in which they are injected and are better for static wrinkles that are caused by decreasing skin elasticity with aging.
Botox is typically sold per unit. Each unit costs between $10 and $20; a typical treatment session requires 20 to 40 units and costs around $300 to $600. Smaller treatment areas such as the glabella (between the eyebrows) may only require about five units.
The effects of Botox last between three and six months.
The cost of dermal filler treatments can vary from around $600 to over $2,000 per treatment. The type and the amount of filler used are the main determinants of the cost of the treatment session.
Dermal fillers are not permanent; you should factor in the cost of repeat treatments if you wish to maintain the results. Your location and the credentials and experience of your provider can also influence the cost of treatment.
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