Think of the cheeks as the structural beam keeping the skin taught in the mid-face. If this beam shrinks, it has a knock on effect on all the other areas beneath it. Similar to the effect on a tent if you were to cut the height of the main structural pole, the fabric would begin to sag.
Over time, fat pads underneath our skin begin to resorb along with moisture and volume. The overlying skin now has less support and thus accentuating the signs of ageing by adding weight to lines formed below the cheeks. This is the principle reason why adding volume to your cheeks gives rise to possibly the most dramatic enhancement.
By injecting dermal filler into the cheeks, the skin in the lower face is pulled upwards. In doing so, marionette lines and nasolabial folds around the mouth soften. And so with one treatment, you could see the benefits of three.
Hyaluronic acid based fillers are the go-to for this area of the face. Results typically last 12-18 months, after which your body naturally resorbs the filler. Tweakments using hyaluronic acid based dermal fillers are temporary and can be reversed using a special enzyme known as Hyauronidase if you want to part ways or if any adverse events arise.
Pain can be managed well using topical numbing cream or local anaesthetic.
What are dermal fillers?
There are different types of dermal fillers on the market specially designed for different areas of the face. For cheeks, a hyaluronic acid based filler is required.
Hyaluronic acid is a sugar based protein which is present in our skin which gives it its youthful volume. As it is being injected beneath the skin, it acts like a sponge to draw water molecules to it – adding volume to the area.
For cheeks, any where from 0.5ml to 3ml of dermal filler can be used per cheek. You may get more or less than this depending on your own personal preference and aesthetic needs. This filler is usually divided over 10-injection points (five for each cheek). It is important to note, a cannula (blunt needle) is not suitable for this area of the face.
What does the procedure involve?
After applying some optional topical numbing cream, your practitioner will mark out specific points on either side of the cheeks. They will then carefully inject some dermal filler in the areas which overly the body of the maxilla bone (fancy term for cheek bones*). For cheeks, filler is deposited below the overlying muscle and above the bone. The practitioner will then gently massage the area to even out the distribution of the filler.
The procedure is usually complete in 15-20 minutes and results are instant.
Which type of filler is used?
Apart from volumising the cheeks, one of the key principles of treating this area is to add support to hold the skin up in position. Because of this, a more thicker filler is typically used.
How long do the effects last?
The visual effects from injecting filler into cheeks lasts 12-18 months. The duration is typically longer because the type of filler is thicker in consistency and so it takes your body slightly longer to resorb.
Recovery after your treatment is immediate. You can genuinely go back to work the same day. What you tell your boss is up to you.
You might experience the following, and if present, here are some great tips in managing them.
- Bruising – This can sometimes happen, especially if you are on blood thinning medication like Warfarin. To help, you can apply some Arnica cream.
- Mild pain – Not common but if experienced, Paracetamol is your go to. Do not go over the recommended dose. If Paracetamol is not helping, get in touch with your practitioner for a review as there might be another cause for the pain that needs addressing.
- Swelling – After any application of dermal filler, some swelling is expected. An ice pack can help but take care in the first 24 hours where it is recommended you do not touch the site of injection.
Most of these symptoms resolve after 3-5 days following treatment. If they last any longer, we recommend you contact your practitioner.
Please note, if you develop any blue/grey discolouring of your skin, severe pain/swelling, any skin changes or changes in vision in the minutes/hours after treatment, contact your practitioner urgently to seek some medical advice.
We created some great aftercare literature for you, so if you want to know more, simply create an account and we will email you the details.
The serious stuff
Following your treatment, it is important to be aware of certain signs and symptoms which may need urgent medical attention. These rarely occur but we want you to be well informed. If these arise, it is vital you contact your medically qualified practitioner for advice.
- Infection – If you develop a fever, redness of the skin, warmth of the skin or any itchiness around the area injected – it could mean you have an infection. This is easily treated with a course of oral antibiotics. If you have a history of cold sores, injectable treatment might cause a outbreak. As a preventative measure, your practitioner will prescribe you a course of oral anti-viral medication before your treatment.
- Allergic Reaction – In the minutes/hours following treatment, if you develop severe swelling, itchiness, puffiness around the eyes, any difficulty in breathing – this could indicate a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. If these symptoms occur, it is important to seek urgent medical attention through A&E. You will also need your dermal filler to be dissolved using Hyaluronidase.
- Vascular Occlusion – This occurs if dermal filler accidentally enters a blood vessel. Although rare, symptoms include grey/blue discolouration of the skin and severe pain, If present, urgently contact your practitioner as the only way to treat this is by dissolving the filler. In even rarer circumstances, the occlusion can affect your vision. If you notice any changes, it is vital you go to your nearest eye hospital and also contact your practitioner to meet you there.
- Active skin infection on the face/planned injection area eg Cellulitis
- Known allergy/hypersensitivity to hyaluronic acid based dermal filler
- Known allergy/hypersensitivity to lidocaine (local anaesthetic agent)
- Currently pregnant
- Previous history of glabellar skin necrosis (previous vascular occlusion around the forehead following dermal filler injection)
Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for any queries regarding contraindications to treatment.
How much are we talking?
The price for getting cheek fillers typically start from around £300 upwards. It is best to assess your results in the weeks following treatment before you decide if you need more.
Let me fvce some professionals
We only on-board medically qualified aesthetic practitioners who have been vetted by us. Simply click the link below to find a practitioner in your area and book online. After booking, you can communicate with them through e-consultations on the platform to address any concerns you might have.