Cheek filler enhances the appearance of your natural cheekbones to create more facial harmony.
If you’ve been curious about cheek filler, we’ve got answers! Here’s everything you need to know about cheek filler, including what it is, how it works and how we use it to help you achieve the look you want.
What is cheek filler?
First of all, what is cheek filler?
Cheek filler is a dermal filler, a type of injectable cosmetic that's been around for years. In fact, people started using injectable cosmetics way back in the 1800s (although they’ve come a long way since then). However, dermal filler as we know it is a relatively newer treatment — one that's been consistently growing in popularity.
While Botox smooths skin and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by relaxing movement in the underlying muscles, dermal fillers are designed to add volume.
Many people use cheek fillers to replace lost volume or give the appearance of high cheekbones, but dermal fillers are incredibly multi-faceted. If you’re unsure which is right for you, check out this advice from our skin care professionals.
Cheek fillers are made from a variety of ingredients, including hyaluronic acid and calcium hydroxyapatite. The vast majority of them are absorbable, meaning they wear off over time. You'll want to schedule an appointment to refresh your cheek filler every six to 12 months to maintain your results.
Cheek filler is injected just under the skin, directly into the areas that need enhancement. During your skin consult, we'll talk through your desired results and go from there!
But cheek filler isn’t just about your cheeks. With the right placement, these injections can also enhance the contour of the rest of your face as well. For example, injecting filler into the cheek area can also minimize the appearance of nasolabial folds, under-eye circles, midface wrinkles and smile lines.
What types of cheek fillers are out there?
At Skin Pharm, we offer multiple types of filler treatments, including FDA-approved Juvederm and Restylane products. Each type of filler offers slightly different benefits, so your skin care provider will talk to you about your goals and help guide you toward the best solution for you. Choosing the right option can make all the difference in getting the results you want.
Can anyone get cheek filler injections?
Cheek filler is relatively low-risk, so it's safe for nearly everyone — with a few exceptions. We don't perform filler injections on those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have an active rash or cold sore breakout on your face, you’ll likely be asked to reschedule your appointment. Those with a history of cold sores may also be prescribed a prophylactic antiviral to take beforehand to reduce the risk of a flare-up.
Can you combine cheek filler with other treatments?
If you’re looking for more than just cheek volume, consider combining these injections with other treatment options meant to contour the face. Cheek filler can be stacked with treatments like Botox and other dermal fillers — including lip, jawline, chin and nasolabial injections — to balance the contour of your face. Talk to your provider about your options!
Do I need to do anything before my appointment?
Once you’ve met with your provider and decided on a treatment plan, there are a few considerations you should keep in mind before your appointment. Minimizing the potential for side effects and optimizing your results isn’t just about aftercare — what you do before your cheek filler injection can make a big difference, too!
For example, many medications and supplements that people take on a regular basis can also impact how much bleeding or bruising they have after they get their cheek filler injections.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs, including aspirin and ibuprofen)
Vitamins A and E
St. John’s Wort
If you currently take any of these medications or supplements, you may want to check with your primary care physician about getting cheek fillers — if they approve, we recommend stopping the medications at least three days to a week before your appointment.
But it isn’t just medicine that can alter the healing and recovery process. Other things you put in your body can also make a difference. Drinking alcohol or caffeine and eating spicy foods or foods high in sodium, sugar or carbs can also increase the likelihood of swelling or bruising at your injection sites.
Do cheek filler injections hurt?
People get nervous about the thought of injectable cosmetics, no matter how impressive the results can be. We understand that needles can be intimidating, so our skin care providers apply numbing cream and other topical anesthetics to the treatment area to help ease some of that anxiety.
In addition, multiple cheek fillers, like Juvederm and Restylane, already contain lidocaine to further minimize discomfort. Make sure to tell your provider ahead of time if you’re anxious about your procedure — we want to help make you feel as comfortable and safe as possible.
How much downtime should I expect afterward?
As excited as you’ll be to see the immediate results of your cheek filler, you should also be aware that there is some downtime associated with the cosmetic procedure. The good news is that, as far as cosmetic treatments go, most people experience only minimal side effects after their cheek filler injections.
These temporary side effects generally include bruising, redness, soreness and swelling. Tylenol can minimize soreness (check with your doctor first if you’re not sure you can safely take this medication).
We do recommend that you schedule your appointment (especially your initial cheek filler injections) two weeks or so before any significant events. While you’ll likely not need a full two weeks to completely heal, this gives you more wiggle room to let any potential swelling, redness and bruising go down.
How quickly will you see results?
Most people see results immediately after their appointment once the initial swelling from the injections goes down. However, we keep your leftover filler for up to eight weeks if you need a touch-up. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you want to discuss your results. We want you to feel confident in your skin!
What to do (and what not to do) after getting cheek filler
Aftercare is crucial. Reducing your potential for side effects can not only make the recovery process easier, but it can also help you see the best possible results! With that in mind, here’s what to do (and what not to do) after your cheek filler appointment.
Don’t wear makeup for at least 12 hours. We know it's tempting to cover up any redness or bruising, but makeup can also clog the pores and increase the risk of infection.
Wait at least two weeks after treatment to have any dental procedures. Dental procedures increase the risk of bacteria in the bloodstream, which can lead to an infection at the injection sites.
Sleep with your face up and slightly elevated on a pillow. This helps keep post-injection swelling to a minimum. It can also help keep the cheek filler from moving into other areas of the face.
Avoid working out for at least 24 hours after your injections. Exercise, and the sweating that comes with it, can also increase your risk of infection, as it can spread bacteria to your injection sites.
Stay out of direct sunlight or excessive heat for 72 hours post-injection. In addition to the risks of sweat, your skin is also more vulnerable to things like UV radiation from the sun.
No facial treatments for two weeks. Your skin needs recovery time after your injections, which means that you’ll want to focus on supporting it and not treating it further. Use only essential skin care products, avoid treatments like facials and microdermabrasion and products with super abrasive ingredients.
The bottom line…
Whether you want to see more volume or make those cheekbones pop, cheek fillers can help you achieve the balance you’re looking for. This quick and relatively painless cosmetic treatment comes with only a few side effects and can give you immediate results, which is why it continues to be such a popular option.
Other questions about cheek filler? Want to find out if they’re a good option for you? Schedule an appointment with one of our advanced practice providers!