Top of the page
Filler injections are a cosmetic treatment used to smooth wrinkles or pitted scars in the skin, usually on the face. They are also used to make the lips fuller. When injected under the skin, a filler raises or puffs up that area. This usually goes away over time. There are many kinds of injectable fillers, including:
Some doctors use fillers that are not approved by Health Canada. Check with your doctor when deciding which treatment is right for you.
For some fillers, your skin is first numbed with a local anesthetic. Then a cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist uses a needle to inject the filler under the skin. A treatment session takes about 15 minutes. Some fillers are done in repeat sessions a couple of weeks apart.
After a filler injection, expect some pain, redness, swelling, and possibly itching. Swelling may last up to 36 hours. If symptoms start to get worse 1 to 3 days after the treatment, call your doctor. You may be getting an infection.
Filler injections are used to smooth scarred, wrinkled, or furrowed skin on the face. Some fillers are also used to add fullness to the lips.
Depending on the area being treated, the filler, and your body's reaction to the filler, you might have one or more repeat injections.
Different fillers last different lengths of time. Slowly, your body absorbs the filler. This makes the skin go back to its normal state.
As with all cosmetic procedures, the results may or may not be quite what you hoped for.
Filler injection can lead to problems. Possible complications include:
There are rare reports of serious or life-threatening complications after filler injection, including anaphylactic shock, sepsis, blood clot in the retinal artery leading to blindness, skin breakdown (necrosis), and abscess needing drainage.
CitationsCohen SR, et al. (2007). Five-year safety and efficacy of a novel polymethylmethacrylate aesthetic soft tissue filler for the correction of nasolabial folds. Dermatologic Surgery, 33(s2): S222–S230.
Current as of: April 13, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Keith A. Denkler MD - Plastic Surgery
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2023 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.