Dermal fillers are a group of non-toxic substances that are injected under the skin at various depths to smooth out fine lines, deep wrinkles, nasolabial folds, and acne scars, volumize and define lips, contour the chin and nose, or plump up sunken cheeks or temples for a full, lifted appearance.

    Radiesse (Merz Aesthetic) is a volumizing dermal filler that is used to fill out deep wrinkles and lines around the nose and mouth, and add contours to areas of the face that have lost their shape, such as the cheeks and jaw line. “It’s a filler-like substance that is injected deep into the skin to volumize deep wrinkles and other areas that have lost significant volume,” explains Dr. Debra Wattenberg, who specializes in cosmetic dermatology in her New York City boutique clinic, SkincareRX, and is an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital.

    Radiesse is made of synthetic calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHa), which is similar to the calcium found in your teeth and bones, suspended in a gel. Upon injection, Radiesse immediately fills up targeted areas, for instant results, then as the gel is absorbed by your body, it leaves behind microspheres of CaHA, which act as a scaffold to support your skin’s weakened structure and promote the growth of new collagen. Over a span of 2 to 3 years, the CaHA particles completely metabolize while new collagen grows in its place.

    With multiple comparative fillers on the market, Radiesse is used more as a facial volumizer, than a wrinkle-filler, such as Belotero, Restalyne, Juvederm Ultra, and Juvederm Ultra Plus. The other popular volumizing dermal fillers are Sculptra and Juvederm Voluma XC. Radiesse has been around the longest, so many cosmetic doctors are very experienced in using it, but know that this is an irreversible treatment. If you don’t like the results, you have to wait for your body to metabolize the CaHA, which can take over a year. That said, when administered properly, results can be stunning.


    Radiesse treatments show results on all skin types and skin colors, but are ideal for those seeking to add significant volume, smooth deeper lines and folds, and plump areas with moderate to deep skin depression or fat loss. It is also used as a hand rejuvenation treatment.

    Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use dermal fillers. Anyone who has recently used blood thinners or has a bleeding disorder should also avoid dermal fillers. You should be cautious if you’ve had previous bad allergic reactions that have required in-hospital treatment.


    Radiesse treatments are fast and relatively painless. Typically, a local or topical anesthetic is first applied to eliminate any discomfort. Once that takes effect, the filler, a thin gel-like substance, is injected into the target area using a tiny, fine needle.


    15 to 40 minutes


    Radiesse treatments include temporary redness, tenderness, swelling, and bruising at the injection site. Makeup may be applied immediately to cover up any redness, but it takes 3 to 7 days for effects to completely resolve.

    In rare cases, small bumps may appear under the skin at the injection site. If they don’t dissipate within a week, check back in with your doctor.



    Everyone can experience different results. A dose in one woman can result in a dramatic change, while it may have a very minimal impact on someone else. The effects of a Radiesse injection can be seen immediately, with continuous correction as new collagen regenerates.  The area of injection appears smoother and fuller, with more volume and definition than before receiving the treatments.


    One injection of Radiesse lasts about 1 year. A follow-up treatment every 1 to 1.5 years should maintenance results.


    You should only visit an actively board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Dermatologists should be certified by the American Board of Dermatology (ABD). Plastic Surgeons should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Both of those boards are part of the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), a non-profit organization that is considered the gold standard of physician certification. Consult the Charlotte’s Book Premier Provider directory to find a doctor who meets these standards and specializes in this treatment. For more information about how we choose our providers, please read Credentials We Abide By.


    $850 and up. Prices will vary depending on how many injections you need.


    Scared you’ll want to go back to the old, old you if you don’t like your results? Cautious types should seek a hyaluronic acid based filler, like Juvederm Voluma XC, which can be instantly dissolved with an enzyme injection called hyaluronidase. Radiesse has no similar antidote.

    Even the strongest dermal filler can’t fix loose sagging skin around your neck, so thoughtfully referred to as a turkey gobbler. Be cautious to avoid over-filling your face in an effort to lift up excessive sagging skin, or else you’ll distort your natural, beautiful features.



    Disclaimer: As always, this information is provided to you for educational and/or informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an endorsement of any particular product, treatment, or procedure. This information is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment by a doctor or other qualified health care professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about any procedure or treatment, users should always consult their doctor or other qualified health care professional. Please visit our Terms of Service to view our full disclaimers.

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