If you’re thinking of having dermal fillers then you may find this article useful in understanding how long it takes for the filler to actually settle into your dermal tissue. We all know that once fillers are injected, we usually see the results instantaneously. However, you may not be aware that it does take time for it to absorb fully into your natural dermal tissue layers. Depending on each individual, the typical timeframe it takes for the settling of dermal fillers, ranges from two to four weeks. We go into more detail below.

What We’re Going To Cover

  • Although the injection of dermal fillers provides instant results in the form of volume, true absorption into the skin layers can take up to four weeks. In between the administration and full absorption effects, you may experience normal bruising and swelling in the site of injection. This side effect is common and nothing to worry about. True integration into the skin can depend on many factors, including the site of treatment and the type of dermal filler being injected.
  • As you may already know, there are many types of fillers available today, including calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHa) present in Radiesse, Polycaprolactone (PCL – a collagen stimulator) in Ellanse M and the most common hyaluronic acid (HA). All these fillers present unique properties and settling times within the dermal skin tissue.
  • Settling time can be determined by other factors too. For example, carrying out optimum post-treatment care such as not applying to much pressure on the area of injection, increasing intake of water and staying hydrated, as well as protecting your skin from sun exposure and maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle (not smoking); all these factors can help your skin to absorb the filler more quickly.

Settling Process of Dermal Fillers

The journey of dermal fillers from the moment of injection is a fascinating one. It involves a series of events before full integration can take place. Instant treatment of fine to deep wrinkles, swelling and bruising are the most commonly noticeable steps that occur in between injection and integration. This journey, known as the settling period is determined by a multitude of external factors.

Immediate Effects

Let’s talk about the instant results we see following treatment. You will notice a noticeably transformed appearance, with ironed out and smoother skin. The facial complexion appears brighter and more youthful, with enhanced volume. Although it may appear that the complete results have been delivered, your skin is in fact just at the beginning stage of absorbing the filler. It still has some work to do.

One of the immediate effects you will notice is swelling. This is your body’s natural way of responding to the injection. Bruising on the other hand is caused by the needle causing minor trauma to the blood vessels at the treatment site. The reassuring fact we can take away from this is that swelling and bruising are both normal, temporary and nothing to worry about.

Settling Period

The settling period for the integration of filler is a patient process. The average timeframe for most patients is two weeks, although it can be up to four weeks for full optimum results to really manifest deep down inside your skin’s layers.

As mentioned earlier, the type of dermal filler formulation (HA, PCL and CaHa) and site of injection can impact on the settling period. Cheek fillers can take nearly two weeks to settle fully.

Factors Affecting Settling Time

Your body’s natural healing process and individual lifestyle factors also determine how quickly the settling period takes place. The site of treatment dictates the length of time for the settling process. For example, the skin around your eyes and lips is much more thinner than other skin areas and can therefore take up to a month for full integration of the filler.

Types of Dermal Fillers and Their Settling Times

In addition to the above factors that determine settling periods, the type of filler used also determines how quickly it settles into your skin. With so many types of dermal fillers available today, let’s take a look at the difference in settling times for each.

Hyaluronic Acid Fillers

Hyaluronic acid fillers are the most popular choice in cosmetic treatments that smooth out fine line and wrinkles and take approximately two to four weeks to settle, giving fullness to face and lips. Their biocompatibility with the human body is a well known characteristic that contribute to its integration.

What makes hyaluronic acid so popular is their ability to quickly add volume, contour, hydrate, and rejuvenate the treatment area, resulting in instant improvements to the facial contours.

Collagen Stimulators

Collagen stimulators are another type of dermal filler that improve and reverse the effect of sagging skin. Collagen stimulators work cleverly by stimulating the body’s own collagen production to provide a natural, youthful look. The settling period for collagen stimulators is usually around 12 weeks, whilst the skin tightening process continues for 6-12 months. Collagen stimulators including PLLA (Poly-L-Lactic Acid) such as Sculptra and Ellanse M are known to give more longer lasting results.

Calcium Hydroxylapatite Fillers

Calcium hydroxylapatite fillers also stimulate collagen production by providing structural support, similar to scaffolding, to the skin. CaHa fillers such as Radiesse typically take 2-3 weeks to settle, post-treatment and also provide long-lasting results.

The settling process of these fillers also involves biodegradation, where the CaHa is broken down naturally into calcium and phosphate ions over time. Despite it taking longer for CaHa to settle, patients know it is definitely worth the wait based on the result they achieve.

Treatment Areas and Settling Times

We mentioned how the treatment area also contributes to settling time. From lip fillers to cheek fillers and under-eye fillers, each area can take a varying amount of week to settle.

Lip Fillers

Lip fillers typically take approximately 7 days based on the reduction of swelling, however it can take 2 weeks for proper placement of the filler. The final result can be completely noticeable around the 4-week mark.

Typical temporary side effects associated with the administration of lip fillers include:

  • Swelling
  • Sensitivity
  • Bruising
  • Inflammation
  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Redness
  • Rash

Cheek Fillers

Cheek fillers can take two weeks to settle after the treatment. We advise to avoid rubbing or applying pressure to the cheek area, allowing for optimum integration with the surrounding tissues.

Temporary side effects can include:

  • swelling
  • tenderness
  • minor bruising
  • bleeding
  • acne-like bumps
  • hives
  • itchiness
  • redness
  • nodules
  • pain

The above mentioned side effects may be experienced after receiving cheek filler injections using naturally occurring substance such as Hyaluronic Acid, however all side effects are temporary and naturally subside during the settling period.

Under-Eye Fillers

Under-eye fillers, on the other hand, may take a bit longer to settle. This is attributed to the temporary swelling at the injection site, which can diminish over a period of four weeks. Typically, the settling process unfolds over a span of one to two weeks, and most patients observe the final results within a week to ten days after the treatment.

The typical fillers used to treat fine lines, especially for under-eye treatment, are hyaluronic acid, Restylane, Juvederm, and Belotero. These fillers are known for their effective results in this delicate area.

Tips for Faster Settling and Optimal Results

Achieving optimal results with dermal fillers requires some effort on your part too! Post-treatment care, healthy lifestyle choices, and regular follow-up appointments can significantly improve the settling time and the overall results of your treatment.

Let’s delve deeper into these tips.

Post-Treatment Care

Post-treatment care is absolute key to achieving the best results and supporting your body’s natural healing process. Here are some key procedures to follow:

  • Avoid disturbing the treated area
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid intense exercise
  • Use a mild cleanser for washing the area

Following these steps will help ensure optimal results.

Moreover, it’s highly recommended to avoid sun exposure for at least one week after treatment to facilitate proper healing. Avoid touching the treated area as it can disrupt the settling of the filler and potentially compromise the desired results.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Your lifestyle choices can have a significant impact on the settling time of dermal fillers. Maintaining adequate hydration can expedite the healing process and improve the integration of the filler. Increasing water intake facilitates more effective filler integration into the dermis, resulting in improved outcomes and accelerated filler settlement.

It’s also advisable to refrain from smoking and limit your alcohol consumption after dermal filler treatments. These substances can heighten the likelihood of bruising, swelling, and can extend the healing period.

Follow-Up Appointments

Follow-up appointments following dermal filler treatment are essential for optimizing results. They allow your provider to evaluate the results, address any concerns, and make necessary adjustments. These appointments play a critical role in strategizing for future treatments to uphold the achieved results.

Scheduling the first follow-up appointment 1-2 weeks post dermal filler treatment is recommended to allow ample healing time. Subsequent follow-up appointments are generally scheduled approximately 2 months following the first follow-up appointment.

Potential Risks and Complications

Potential risks of dermal filler treatment

As with any cosmetic procedure, dermal fillers come with potential risks and complications. While infections after dermal filler treatments are infrequent, they do occur in approximately 1 in 500 to 1 in 2500 individuals.

Some potential complications that may arise from overfilling with dermal fillers include facial distortion and age-related tissue ptosis. However, these risks are greatly minimized when the procedure is performed by a competent and experienced provider.

Ideal Candidates for Dermal Fillers

Ideal candidates for dermal fillers are individuals over 21 who are in good health and have realistic expectations from the procedure. The selection of an appropriate facial filler is influenced by skin type, taking into account characteristics like color, sensitivity, and texture, which can impact how the skin interacts with the filler and the duration of the outcomes.

Selecting the Right Provider

When it comes to dermal fillers, ensuring you have the right professional to administer the treatment is as important as the treatment itself. A competent dermal filler aesthetician should have successfully completed a dermal filler course from a reputable, accredited institution. Prioritizing a provider with extensive training and experience in the field is essential.

Assessing the provider’s credentials and experience is of paramount importance. Their understanding of facial anatomy, ability to select the appropriate filler, and skill in achieving natural-looking results are essential factors. It’s always a good idea to review before and after photographs of their patients to evaluate the quality of their work.

Real Patient Experiences

Nothing speaks louder than the experiences of real patients. Those who have undergone the procedure commonly observe an immediate enhancement in their deep lines. Although there may be occurrences of bruising, swelling, and temporary redness in the vicinity of the injection sites, the majority of responses reflect a positive sentiment towards the immediate outcomes.

Most patients report a settling period of roughly 2 weeks, while some mention that it can take up to four weeks to fully appreciate the desired results of the dermal fillers. They have reported elevated levels of satisfaction with a range of dermal fillers, commonly employed for addressing:

  • wrinkles
  • nasal depressions
  • flat areas
  • augmenting lips


In conclusion, dermal fillers are an effective non-surgical solution for those seeking to enhance their natural beauty and achieve a more youthful appearance. Understanding the settling process, the types of fillers, and their respective settling times can help you make an informed decision. Always remember to choose a competent aesthetician, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and adhere to post-treatment care for optimal results. Dermal fillers have the power to transform, and the journey to your aesthetic goals might just be a filler away!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do fillers look better over time?

Dermal fillers reach their peak and look their most natural and well-integrated at a ‘sweet spot’, but they don’t continuously improve over time.

How long does it take for fillers to look good?

It typically takes 2 to 3 weeks for dermal fillers to settle in and show a visible improvement in appearance.

How long does it take for dermal fillers to stop hurting?

It takes around 7-14 days for the discomfort from dermal fillers to subside after the treatment.

How long do you have to stay up after fillers?

After getting fillers, it’s important to sleep with your head elevated to reduce swelling and stay upright for 40-50 minutes after the treatment to allow the fillers to settle in place. Date.

What are the immediate effects of dermal fillers?

The immediate effects of dermal fillers include enhancement in the treated area, along with possible minor swelling and bruising. It is normal and should subside within a few days or weeks.

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