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Synthetic Versus Natural Dermal Fillers

Toronto is a hub for leading edge, cosmetic treatments, and dermal fillers are not only popular but the types available are diverse. Primarily, dermal fillers are either made from a naturally-derived or synthetic material. Cosmetic dermal fillers are injected into the facial skin and tissues in order to restore volume and fill lines or irregular contours. Depending on the type injected, results may last anywhere from six months to two years. Some semi-permanent or permanent fillers can last up to five years.

Dermal fillers made from hyaluronic acid are the most common. HA is a naturally occurring sugar found in the body which can hold 1,000 times its weight in water. You will see HA listed as a valuable hydrating ingredient in facial cosmetic creams. As hyaluronic is a natural substance found in the body, allergic reactions are rare and side effects when administered properly are also relatively uncommon. Among the HA fillers are Juvederm, Restylane, Voluma, and Total, among others.

There are slight differences between these in how the particles are crosslinked together so that some are softer, “thinner” and better suited to superficial areas like the tear troughs or fine, smoker’s lines. Others are thick, cohesive, firmer gels designed to be injected deep into areas such as the cheeks – giving them a lift. Your Toronto dermal filler injector will be able to suggest the most appropriate types to suit your needs.

Results from HA fillers will be seen immediately and last between 6-18 months, depending on the type and your body’s metabolism of the product. One of the benefits to HA fillers is that they can be dissolved and reversed if a patient is not happy with their results. Hyaluronidase is an antidote to hyaluronic acid and can be quickly injected in the office to reverse filler results within about 24 hours.


Synthetic fillers are considered semi-permanent but many last indefinitely and the material does not completely dissipate from the tissue over time. Synthetic fillers such as Sculptra contain micro polymer agents which, when injected act as an irritant and actually stimulate the body to make more collagen in the area – creating a filled effect. The polymer used is considered to have a good medical track record for safety and carries a very low risk of allergic reaction because it is synthetic.

Sculptra must be massaged consistently into the tissue after the treatment to ensure proper dispersal of the product and in rare cases, lumps or ridged lines can appear on the face which may take weeks or months to disappear. The product cannot be removed. The results from Sculptra can last 2 years or more. Radiesse is another semi-permanent filler which contains calcium hydroxyapatite. This is a substance found in bones and it acts much the same way that Sculptra does to stimulate the body’s collagen production in areas treated.

It will also last up to 2 years and eventually be broken down and reabsorbed by the body. If injected too close to the skin’s surface, Radiesse can cause a pale, unnatural appearance. As well, injected into the lips, the product tends to clump and cause lumpy results. Skilled injectors know about the pros and cons of these various filler options and can help you select the one which best meets your needs.

Any dermal filler product, whether synthetic or natural, can cause issues if injected incorrectly, however, the advantage HA fillers have in that regard is that they are much more temporary and reversible if desired.

It is recommended that you select a well-trained, qualified Toronto dermal filler injector who has plenty of experience, and book a consultation to learn about your options. They will have seen various fillers used in various ways and know what works well in different applications. They will thoroughly explain the risks and considerations for each option, as well as the benefits for your specific cosmetic goals. If ever there is an issue to be corrected, an experienced injector will be better equipped to help you.

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Before undergoing any Plastic Surgery Canada procedure, consult an experienced and reputable Plastic Surgeon. Book your consultation at our plastic surgery clinic in Toronto by calling (416) 256-4194 or by clicking here.

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    Before undergoing any Plastic Surgery procedure, consult an experienced and reputable Plastic Surgeon.
    Book your consultation at our plastic surgery clinic in Toronto by calling (416) 256-5614 or by filling in this quick form.

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