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Cheek Filler: Side Effects, Results & More

As we age, our cheeks tend to lose volume. Cheekbones lose definition, facial skin begins to sag, and that telltale “tired” look creeps in. 

The good news is that cheek filler injections can counteract this common age-related cosmetic complaint. Results last anywhere from a few months to several years, depending on the type of filler.

If you’re looking to turn back the clock, at least temporarily, cheek fillers could be right for you. Read on to learn how they work and how to decide if you’re a good candidate for cheek fillers.

Cheek Fillers: What Are They?

Cheek fillers are dermal fillers that add volume to the cheek area and restore facial definition. Many facial filler injections that reduce volume loss and signs of aging elsewhere on the face can also be used on the cheeks.

Types of Cheek Fillers

There are several FDA-approved cheek fillers on the market. 

Most contain hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance that temporarily adds volume under the skin and helps stimulate the body’s collagen production. Others contain poly-L-lactic acid, a longer-lasting collagen stimulator.

The top dermal filler brands approved for use in the cheeks include:

Cheek Filler Procedure: What to Expect

A cheek filler procedure is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that can be performed in a plastic surgeon’s office or other clinical setting. A single treatment typically takes 30 to 60 minutes, though patients may require multiple treatments to achieve the desired results.

During the procedure, the provider or an assistant prepares the injection site and administers a local anesthetic to reduce pain. The provider then injects a gel-like substance under the patient’s skin per the treatment plan.

The recovery period is quick and usually uncomplicated. Patients should avoid heavy exertion for a day or two afterward but can otherwise resume normal activity.

Benefits of Cheek Fillers

Why get cheek fillers? Benefits include:

  • Quick in-office procedure
  • Fast recovery time
  • No surgery required
  • No permanent implants or alterations
  • Variable dosing for better customization of results

Cheek Filler Side Effects and Risks

Like any medical procedure, cheek fillers do have some side effects and risks. Most are mild and temporary, resolving in a few days:

  • Mild swelling at the injection site
  • Soreness or tenderness at the injection site
  • Bleeding or bruising near the injection site

More serious adverse events are rare. They include allergic reaction, sustained bleeding, and blood clots. Working with an experienced provider who has completed advanced Botox® and fillers training helps reduce these risks.

Choosing the right filler is important as well. The FDA warns patients against using unapproved fillers or fillers sold directly to consumers. While “off-label” uses are common for certain FDA-approved products, it’s best to avoid using them in the cheeks.

Cheek Filler Results: How Long They Last

The effects of hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm appear within a few days and typically last 6 to 12 months, depending on the patient, dosing, and precise injection location. Follow-up injections are required to maintain results.

Poly-L-lactic acid filler effects last longer than hyaluronic acid fillers — up to two years. But they’re also temporary, and follow-up treatments are necessary to maintain a consistent appearance.