Dermal Fillers

How Do Cheek Fillers Work

Cheek fillers restore the volume and enhance one structure. This article discusses how cheek fillers work, including; benefits, cheek filler treatment, and results after treatment.

Age, lifestyle, medical conditions, and weight can cause loss of facial volume. Most face areas lose structure, and fat distribution around the face is affected. The eyes, temple, cheeks, forehead, and mouth change in looks. The cheeks become saggy and flatter, causing hollowness under the eyes. The change in overall look makes patients appear older and thinner. Cheek augmentation treatment or cheek fillers provide volume and restore the cheekbone structure. How do cheek fillers work, and what is the procedure? Use this article to learn more about cheek fillers.

What Are Cheek Fillers

Cheek filler is a dermal treatment that uses injections to restore volume to the cheeks. The treatment is done to the midface to give plump and defined cheekbones. Cosmetic doctors use cheek filler treatment to shape a face and achieve the desired goal. Different dermal fillers exist. The most common type used for cheeks is hyaluronic acid-based (HA) fillers. This can be used for the cheeks and under-eye area.

Benefits of Cheek Fillers

Sharad (2012) suggested that cheek fillers bring back lost and sunken volume. They make the cheeks more pronounced and plump. Lipko-Godlewska et al. (2021) showed that cheek fillers smooth out wrinkle lines that may be under the eyes, on the nose, and around the mouth. Full cheeks make a face look symmetrical. Cheek filler treatment is a good option for patients who want to improve their facial structure without surgery. Goel & Rai (2022) claimed that cheek fillers structure the cheekbones and lift the midface, enhancing the front and side profile. The procedure is fast, and the results can be seen immediately.

Cheek Filler Treatment

A consultation is done before the treatment to assess the cheeks’ structure and shape. Instructions to avoid blood thinners and alcohol are given before the treatment. A cosmetic doctor checks if a patient is suitable for the treatment and what they hope to achieve. Medical and health history is also assessed to ensure the treatment poses no risk. The procedure begins when checked, and the patient is satisfied. Numbing cream is used to minimize pain to make the procedure easy.

The filler is injected under the skin tissues of the cheeks. An experienced cosmetic doctor should do this procedure to avoid adverse effects. One opening minimizes swelling and bruising and reduces the risk of vascular complications. A cosmetic doctor massages the injection site to ensure evenly distributed filler. The effect of the filler is seen after the treatment. Cheeks become plump, and contours are seen.

Cheek Filler Recovery

Bruising and swelling can occur after the cheek filler treatment. This will go down after two days to a week as the filler settles into the skin. A cosmetic doctor advises on post-treatment rules to ensure a smooth recovery. To avoid further bruising and to mess up with the filler settling, a patient should avoid sleeping face down or on the cheeks. Marsh et al. (2020) revealed that exercises or vigorous activities should be avoided for at least two days after cheek filler treatment. Patients are advised to avoid washing their faces with hot water. Hayashi et al. (2019) suggested that patients avoid make-up 24-48 hours after lip filler treatment.

Cheek Filler Results

Convery et al. (2021) stated that the filler takes about two weeks to settle. A patient can see the final results of the filler and changes to their cheeks. The cheeks appear plump, full and contours appear. Hyaluronic Acid -based filler treatment can be reversed if a patient is unsatisfied with the results. Jung (2020) explained that Hyaluronidase is used to dissolve the filler. They can also be modified by adding more to adjust the look. Cheek fillers are not permanent and are an excellent short-term solution. A patient can go for a touch-up treatment to maintain the look. A cosmetic doctor advises when a patient should go for the treatment again, depending on the type of filler used. Dillon & Patel (2020)  showed that cheek fillers could last six months to a year. However, body metabolism and the amount used can also affect the filler’s longevity.

Risks and Side Effects

Dermal fillers are safe to use and, when done by an experienced cosmetic doctor, pose no adverse risks. Lin & Christen (2020) suggested that cheek fillers have side effects; swelling and bruising. However, overstimulation is a risk of cheek fillers. There can be adverse reactions when the skin is overfilled to expand and accommodate the filler. When not controlled, the cheeks might look like round, overinflated balls. Hyaluronidase is used to reduce the amount of filler in the cheeks. Wollina et al. (2020)explained that nerve injury, lumps, skin necrosis, erythema, and malar edema are some side effects of cheek fillers. Patients need to seek treatment from an experienced aesthetic practitioner with extensive knowledge to avoid complications.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cheek Fillers

What Should I Avoid After Treatment

A patient  allows fillers to settle after treatment. Most cosmetic doctors advise against strenuous activities and exposure to excessive heat, including the sun and sauna. They also advise patients to avoid massaging or putting pressure on the treated area.

Does Taking a Lot of Water Help?

According to La Gatta et al. (2021), plenty of water helps the skin stay dehydrated, enhancing the effect of cheek fillers.

Are Cheek Fillers Safe?

Although cosmetic procedures can come with side effects and complications, dermal fillers are safe to use when done by the right professional. Seek treatment from a certified and experienced cosmetic doctor to have a safe treatment and obtain the desired results.

Take Away

It is normal for a face to lose volume due to different reasons. A patient should not feel discouraged about having loose and saggy cheeks. Dermal fillers come in handy and provide extensive benefits. Cheek fillers add volume and make cheeks plump without surgery. Fillers are injected into the cheeks, and results can be seen immediately. The final results are seen two weeks after the filler is settled. The procedure takes less time than surgeries, and side effects include swelling and bruising. Cheek fillers are temporary and offer an option of discontinuing the procedure or going for a touch-up if they need to maintain the results. Patients should seek treatment from a certified dermatologist to get the best treatment.


Convery, C., Davies, E., Murray, G., & Walker, L. (2021). Delayed-Onset Nodules (Dons) And Considering Their Treatment Following Use Of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Fillers. The Journal Of Clinical And Aesthetic Dermatology, 14(7), E59.

Dhillon, B., & Patel, T. (2020). A Retrospective Analysis Of Full-Face Dermal Filler Treatments: Product Choice, Volume Use, And Treatment Locations. The Journal Of Clinical And Aesthetic Dermatology, 13(9), 33.

Goel, A., & Rai, K. (2022). Midface Rejuvenation Using Juvederm Fillers In Male Patients. Journal Of Cutaneous And Aesthetic Surgery, 15(3), 209.

Jung, H. (2020). Hyaluronidase: An Overview Of Its Properties, Applications, And Side Effects. Archives Of Plastic Surgery, 47(04), 297-300.

Lin, S. L., & Christen, M. O. (2020). Polycaprolactone‐Based Dermal Filler Complications: A Retrospective Study Of 1111 Treatments. Journal Of Cosmetic Dermatology, 19(8), 1907-1914.

Marsh, C. E., Thomas, H. J., Naylor, L. H., Scurrah, K. J., & Green, D. J. (2020). Exploring Human Trainability: Design And Rationale: Studies Of Twin Responses To Understand Exercise As A Therapy (STRUETH) Study. Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications, 19, 100584.

Munavalli, G. G., Guthridge, R., Knutsen-Larson, S., Brodsky, A., Matthew, E., & Landau, M. (2021). COVID-19/SARS-Cov-2 Virus Spike Protein-Related Delayed Inflammatory Reaction To Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Fillers: A Challenging Clinical Conundrum In Diagnosis And Treatment. Archives Of Dermatological Research, 1-15.

Ogawa, R., Akita, S., Akaishi, S., Aramaki-Hattori, N., Dohi, T., Hayashi, T., … & Kuribayashi, S. (2019). Diagnosis And Treatment Of Keloids And Hypertrophic Scars—Japan Scar Workshop Consensus Document 2018. Burns & Trauma, 7.

Wollina, U., Katsambas, E. A., Lotti, T., Jafferany, M., Navarini, A. A., Berg, R. V., … &Mdl, M. G. (2020). Complication Of Soft Tissue Fillers: Prevention And Management Review. Journal Of Drugs In Dermatology, 19(9), 829-832.

Ksenia Sobchak
Latest posts by Ksenia Sobchak (see all)