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Face and lip fillers (dermal fillers)

Face and lip fillers (dermal fillers) are substances injected into your face. They fill lines and wrinkles and add volume to areas such as your lips or cheeks.

Fillers are not permanent. How long they last depends on things like the type of filler and where it's injected. They usually last between 6 and 18 months.

Most dermal fillers used in the UK contain a natural substance called hyaluronic acid.

If you have fillers, the rest of your face will continue to age as normal.

How much face and lip fillers cost

The cost of dermal fillers can range from £200 to several hundred pounds, depending on things like the type of product and number of syringes used, and the complexity of the area being treated.

What to think about before you have face and lip fillers

If you're thinking about having dermal fillers, be clear about why you want them.

Read more about whether a cosmetic procedure is right for you.

Having dermal fillers is usually safe if it's done by an experienced and suitably qualified practitioner.

Check the person doing your dermal fillers is on a register to show they meet set standards in training, skill and insurance.

Registers include:

Avoid practitioners who have only completed a short training course.

Read more about choosing who will do your cosmetic procedure.

Book a consultation before you have the procedure.

Ask about:

  • the practitioner's experience and qualifications
  • the name of the product and how and where it's made
  • any risks or possible side effects
  • what will happen if things go wrong
  • what insurance cover they have

What happens when you have face and lip fillers

An anaesthetic cream might be used first to numb your skin. Injections are given around the area of your face being treated, which is then massaged.

It might feel uncomfortable but should not be painful.

The treatment usually takes between 20 and 30 minutes, depending on the area being treated.

Afterwards

The affected area may be a bit red, sore and swollen. Any swelling or bruising should settle down in a few days.

You should be advised about what to do to help reduce the risk of side effects.

This includes not wearing make-up immediately after the procedure and avoiding alcohol, coffee and the sun.

Risks

The risks of dermal fillers depend on whether the procedure was done correctly and the type of filler used. Speak to your practitioner about the risks.

Serious problems are rare but can include:

  • infection
  • a lumpy appearance under the skin, which might need to be treated with surgery or medicine
  • the filler moving away from the intended treatment area, which may need to be removed using surgery
  • scarring
  • blocked blood vessels in the face, which can cause tissue death and permanent blindness

What to do if you have problems

If you've had dermal fillers and you're not happy with the results, talk to your practitioner at the clinic where you were treated.

If you have problems, such as lumpiness, follow any aftercare advice you were given by your practitioner, or contact them for advice about what to do.

See your GP if you have complications that need medical attention, or go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) if you have an urgent medical issue.

You can report side effects of dermal fillers through the Yellow Card Scheme website. By reporting side effects, you're providing valuable information about the safety of the product used.

Page last reviewed: 16 July 2019
Next review due: 16 July 2022