Dermal fillers are injectable solutions that are used to fill in sunken areas on the face, or to plump up problem areas. For example, you can use dermal fillers to plump up wrinkles or expression lines, to increase the volume of the lips, and to increase the volume of checks that have become sunken as we age.

There are several different types of dermal fillers, all designed to meet a specific need. Here's a round-up of some of the most commonly used dermal fillers:

Body Fat
Body fat, also known as analogous fat, uses fat from your body. It is taken from somewhere you do not need it, and placed in a spot where you do need it. This is an excellent option for patients who may be allergic to other substances- you will not have an allergic reaction to analogous fat. Surgeons must over-fill an area because the body will re-absorb a great deal of the fat once it's injured, but it will settle.

Hyaluronic Acid
HA is a natural substance found in the human body, and is the main ingredient in popular fillers like Restylane and Juvederm. The substance is found in soft connective tissues and in fluid in the eye and joints. It is a substance that typically provides volume to an area.

Collagen is also a natural substance. It is found in cartilage, teeth, bones, and can come from human sources or from cows (then it's known as bovine collagen). It is a popular substance for plumping up thin lips.

Polylactic Acid
This is actually a synthetic substance that stimulates collagen production when injected into the desired site. So you do not have immediate results, but the area slowly fills in over a few months as the collagen grows. This is popular for use on thin lips and laugh lines, as well as folds from the nose to the lips.

Calcium hydroxylapatite
This is the effective ingredient in Radiesse and Radiance products. It is a natural substance found in human bones. It's a heavy substance, effective for filling in deep creases like marionette lines and nasolabial folds, and for increasing volume in the cheeks.

Always use a board certified plastic surgeon to help you select a dermal filler and to do the procedure itself. They are more trained in safety techniques and the most up to date products and procedures. Using a non-certified surgeon increases your risk of developing side effects.