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Semi-permanent, not-so-permanent? Filler timelines, explained.

Are Dermal Fillers Reversible?


July 7, 2016

With so many amazing, qualified, talented cosmetic dermatologists out there, it’s amazing we still see overfilled celebrities—it’s enough to scare off an injectable virgin.

For the woman considering her first time with injectable fillers, knowing which products are reversible and which come with more permanent results is very important knowledge. To clear up our questions about the injectables timeline, we spoke with Charlotte’s Book Premier Provider Dr. Debra Wattenberg of Upper East Clinic NY Skin Rx.

What’s In Your Filler?

The contents of your filler are an important place to start any research: most injections that use hyaluronic acid are reversible. Dr. Wattenberg explains, “Hyaluronic acid is a sugar found naturally in the skin. It’s found in joint spaces and makes the skin and joints slippery. Many of the dermal filler manufacturers have created an injectable gel form of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid absorbs water, so when you inject it, it acts like a sponge: it absorbs water and expands.”

Hyaluronic Acid: Generally Reversible

Which dermal fillers are made with hyaluronic acid? Belotero, Juvederm Ultra, Juvederm Ultra Plus, Restylane, Perlane, and Juvederm Voluma XC. Says Dr. Wattenberg, “The beauty of the hyaluronic acid dermal fillers is that there’s a product called Vitrase, which is an enzyme that can quickly be injected to immediately reverse any negative effects.”

Radiesse & Sculptra: More Permanent

Fillers made with poly-L-lactic acid (Sculptra) or calcium-based microspheres (Radiesse) aren’t life-long permanent, and they are not immediately reversible.

Radiesse, says Dr. Debra Wattenberg, is “a filler-like substance that is injected deep into the skin to volumize deep wrinkles and other areas that have lost significant volume.” The key word here is significant; to counteract signifiant loss of volume, a more permanent filler is used. The calcium-based microspheres in Radiesse are injected using a gel formula, and once injected, there is no counteracting antidote. The volumizing effects of the product could last for a year or more, which is a great option for those seeking a treatment that needs little upkeep, but an unfortunate aspect if you’re unhappy with the results.

The Poly-L-lactic acid in Sculptra is a synthetic gel made with lactic acid, which is naturally found in the body, but, unlike hyaluronic acid, it does not have an effect-reversing antidote. The results of Sculptra reveal themselves over time as the collagen stimulating properties begin to volumize the treated areas. However, Sculptra is not fully permanent and, without follow-up treatments, the product can be absorbed by the body within six months, fading its effects.

Find A Qualified Cosmetic Doctor!

Regardless of the long-lasting or reversible properties of a dermal filler, it’s important you go to a qualified cosmetic doctor who can safely and expertly inject dermal fillers and create natural-looking, born-this way results. You also want a cosmetic dermatologist who can quickly diagnose any adverse reactions, prevent risks of infection and fine tune the nuances of placement and size. Browse The Book for the best cosmetic doctors in your city.


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