How Long Do Temporary Fillers Really Last?
Posted: 3:56 p.m. Friday, Mar. 29, 2019
By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I really want Bellafill, the 5-year filler, but I understand that with the kind of fine lips lines I have, I have to go with a temporary filler. I’m familiar with Juvéderm and Restylane which are the options recommended to me. How long will these fillers really last in the lip wrinkles around my mouth?
Answer: Temporary fillers can typically last anywhere from a few months to up to 2 years, depending on the choice of filler. It’s important to note that terminology like “up to” means that a filler could last one year or less, depending on the patient, as there is no way to guarantee or predict how a particular filler will behave in a particular patient’s tissues.
Other factors may also need to be considered. When it comes to lip wrinkles, not all lines are the same. If you have extremely fine lines, such that they are more of a skin texture problem, a filler may not necessarily work and you may need a laser treatment such as Infini RF.
If your lines are somewhat deeper, beyond just a skin texture issue, you may need a Restylane or Botox or a combination of both. In more significant cases, Infini RF may need to be added to this rejuvenation regimen.
When the lip lines are exacerbated with facial activity such as speaking, eating and facial expressions, many patients require Botox treatments in combination with fillers such as Restylane Silk. Using filler alone without Botox, in such cases, may result in the filler only lasting a few months.
In other cases where the lip lines remain the same regardless of any lower facial motions, injectable filler alone may be sufficient.
It’s also important to understand that when a temporary filler is described as lasting ” up to one year”, even if it lasts that full year, this does not mean that 100% of the filler is present in your tissues at the 12 month mark. More likely, half of the filler may be gone 7 months after injection. If combination treatments are recommended for optimal improvement of your lip lines, failure to maintain the full treatment combination, including Botox and laser, may result in the lip wrinkles returning much sooner than expected.
There is also a smaller subset of patients who absorb hyaluronic acid fillers very quickly. This is not a phenomenon that can typically be predicted in advance. The optimal solution for management in such cases would be to use a different filler in the future in this type of patient.
Careful consultation with a Board-Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon is the first step in determining your optimal rejuvenation needs. One must have realistic expectations. Medicine is not an exact science and results can vary.