The Complete Guide To Cheek Fillers

Do you want to give your cheekbones a prominent look? The idea of going under the knife to achieve this can be scary. The good news is you don’t have to. Cheek fillers are a non-surgical procedure that can increase the volume around your cheekbones, giving them a more defined look and reshaping as well as contouring your face. Cheek fillers can also be used to restore lost volume in the face which helps give a more lifted and youthful appearance. This City Skin Clinic guide will discuss the procedure in its entirety, detailing how they work and the benefits. 

What Are Cheek Fillers?

Cheek fillers, also known as dermal fillers, are a type of non-invasive cosmetic injection used to lift cheekbones to provide shape as well as definition and add volume to the face. The contents of cheek fillers can vary regarding what chemicals are used. This will depend on your provider and requirements. However, at City Skin Clinic we exclusively use hyaluronic acid dermal fillers for cheek enhancement because they are dissolvable with hyaluronidase and hence safest to use on the face. Many patients also choose cheek fillers as they successfully smooth fine lines and wrinkles, which can help you achieve a more youthful complexion.  

How Do Cheek Fillers Work?

Loss of facial volume is a natural sign of ageing. Luckily, specialised dermal fillers can restore these areas, amending sagging that results from fat loss. Most dermal fillers contain hyaluronic acid – a natural substance found in our bodies. Once injected into the skin, it helps stimulate collagen production in that area, which allows the skin and contour to achieve a youthful look. Cheek fillers are administered using either a needle or microcannula or both via injections on each side of the face. 

Depending on the placement of filler the end result can be to increase volume, contour, reshape and/or lift the mid-face. Cheek filler can also soften the nose-to-mouth lines (nasolabial folds). It is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure which means the recovery time is quicker and the results are generally immediate but aren’t permanent. 

What Does The Cheek Filler Procedure Involve?

Before the procedure, you will attend a consultation with your doctor, who will decide whether you are a suitable candidate for the treatment. You may receive pre-procedure advice such as avoiding alcohol and may be asked to stop blood thinners like Aspirin and Ibuprofen before the treatment. During the procedure, a numbing cream will be applied to the treatment area to minimise discomfort. The filler is then injected beneath the skin and gently massaged to distribute the contents evenly. The number and depth of the injections, how much filler is used at each site and whether a needle or microcannula are used will depend on your facial anatomy and the goals of the treatment.

The type of filler used is also dependent on the aims of the treatment as well as your facial structure. At City Skin Clinic we use Juvederm ultra 4, Voluma or Volift for most of our cheek filler treatments. Juvederm Voluma and Volift provide greater volume, more structure and last longer than Juvederm ultra 4. We also sometimes use Belotero intense which is another leading brand of hyaluronic acid dermal fillers. 

The amount of cheek filler you will need will depend on your current face structure, desired outcomes and the type of filler used. For example, you will likely need more filler if you have extensive face hollowing or volume loss in the cheeks. If you opt for thicker fillers like Voluma then you may need less filler than standard fillers like Juvederm ultra 4 or Belotero balance.

Whilst the result of cheek fillers is immediate, there may be some bruising and swelling. Usually, the final result is apparent once the filler settles and any swelling subsides which may take 3-4 weeks. During this time there may be some asymmetry or unevenness. Whilst this is normal, you should let your doctor know so that they can firstly reassure you and also they may be able to speed up the resolution with a firm massage in the office.

Cheek Fillers Aftercare

After your treatment, your doctor may apply an ice pack to the area to help reduce any redness or swelling. If there is any bruising they may provide you with an aftercare cream such as BruiseMD which we use at City Skin Clinic. After the procedure, there will be a few aftercare tips to follow. Avoiding intense heat such as hot yoga or saunas and strenuous activity is generally advised to reduce swelling. You may also need to avoid wearing restrictive helmets or goggles for a couple of weeks if they compress the area where the filler was placed. Your doctor may also encourage you to also continue icing the treatment area to reduce swelling. 

Cheek fillers are generally painless especially if a dermal filler with anaesthetic is used as well as a numbing cream. After your treatment, you may experience short-term discomfort due to bruising and swelling. However, this is normal – and often nothing to worry about. Swelling usually settles after a couple of days and bruising usually a week.Take a look at our aftercare dos and don’ts below: 

  • DO apply a cold compress to the treatment area to reduce swelling.
  • DON’T take ibuprofen or aspirin (unless you are normally on these for another medical condition)  after the treatment as this can increase bruising.
  • DO avoid face massages, Bikram Yoga, saunas, tanning beds, and intense heat for at least 2 weeks.
  • DON’T touch the treated area for at least 6 hours.
  • DO avoid strenuous exercise for at least 24 hours.

Please note – that your doctor will also advise you of any additional steps you may need to take based on your situation and your treatment. 

How Long Do Cheek Fillers Last?

Cheek fillers are not a permanent procedure, which makes this treatment a more viable option than surgery for many people. Patients do not have to commit to a permanent change. Depending on the type and brand of filler, they can last anywhere between six months and two years. If you want to prolong the effects of the treatment, you can regularly top up the filler rather than wait for it to dissolve and redo the whole treatment. 

This is usually dependent on how quickly your body metabolises the filler and the type of filler used. All hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are eventually broken down by your body and removed over a period of time so the effect of the filler will slowly reduce until the filler has been completely absorbed.

Benefits Of Cheek Fillers

There are many advantages of cheek fillers that patients noticeably benefit from. The top reasons people say they like cheek fillers are:

  • Immediate result and quick recovery time
  • Pain-free or minimal discomfort
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Not permanent
  • Can be modified and adapted to suit your face as it changes with time
  • Anti-ageing benefits due to overlying skin appearing smoother and fuller

Are Cheek Fillers Safe?

Cheek fillers are a safe procedure when carried out by an experienced medical professional such as an aesthetic doctor, dentist or nurse practitioner. Choose your clinic and doctor wisely, and always do your research to make sure they are qualified to carry out the procedure. Cheek fillers often use hyaluronic acid dermal, which our body naturally produces. 

These types of fillers can be broken down and reabsorbed over time. However, they are particularly safe because if the patient doesn’t like the outcome or there is a problem such as a lump, they can be immediately dissolved with hyaluronidase. The most serious complication is if the filler is injected into a  blood vessel or on top of it hence blocking the blood flow. 

Thankfully this is an extremely rare side effect in procedures performed by experienced medical professionals and the filler can be dissolved with hyaluronidase in such an emergency. Generally, when the treatment is performed by an experienced medical professional in a clinical environment, most patients have no major issues following their treatment. 

How Much Do Cheek Fillers Cost?

The general cost of cheek fillers in the UK can range from £200 to several hundred pounds or even more than a thousand depending on the complexity of the case, type and amount of filler used and the experience and skill of your practitioner. The cost will vary depending on the type of filler used and the amount used for the treatment area. 

Although cheek fillers are an investment, you get a lot for your money. Not only are you paying for the cost of the treatment, but you are also paying for an experienced doctor who will personalise your treatment after an initial consultation and provide dedicated aftercare. The price will also vary depending on the size and number of areas treated – and the type of filler used. 

Side Effects Of Cheek Fillers

Most people experience very little downtime after cheek fillers. If they do have anything it is likely to be short-term side effects (usually clear between 7 to 14 days):

  • Redness/swelling.
  • Bruising, which can cause minimal discomfort
  • Itching

Uncommon short/medium-term side effects include:

  • Infection
  • Migration of filler from one area to the other 
  • Lumps or nodules

Rare but serious side effects include:

  • Blindness
  • Tissue death

These are very rare if you are treated by an experienced practitioner at a reputable clinic who will ensure that the procedure is conducted in a clean aseptic environment and that the filler is placed with careful attention to your anatomy to reduce the risk of blocking a blood vessel which can cause tissue loss or even blindness. 

If after your fillers you experience any side effects, you must consult with your doctor immediately who will advise what the best management plan is.

Book An Appointment For An Initial Consultation

If you’re interested in cheek fillers, you can start your cheek filler journey here at City Skin Clinic. Our team of highly experienced aesthetic practitioners are here to empower you to enhance your natural beauty. We can guide you through the decision-making process, helping you find the right treatment for you. If you would like to know more about the treatments we offer, please don’t hesitate to book a consultation today. We aim to respond to your enquiries as soon as possible. 


Authored by:

Dr Amel Ibrahim
Aesthetic Doctor & Medical Director
Founder City Skin Clinic
Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Associate Member of British Association of Body Sculpting GMC Registered - 7049611

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