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Understanding the Malar Region: Why Cheek Fillers Are a Game Changer

The cheekbone area, or the malar region, is a central feature of our face. Its shape and fullness play a big role in how young, healthy, and attractive we look. As we get older, some natural shifts occur.

Our cheekbones might seem less pronounced because of the effects of age, gravity, and even our facial expressions. This change can make our eyes look tired, our face appear saggy, and cause lines to form around our nose and mouth.

Now, how our cheekbones look matters a lot. If they're not well-defined or aligned just right, our faces might seem wider or out of balance. And because everyone's face is unique, these cheekbone changes can vary from person to person.

So, why do some people get malar cheek fillers? It's simple. They want to refresh the look of their face, bring back some lost fullness, and make their cheekbones stand out in the right way. It's all about finding that balance and looking our best.

What Are Malar Cheek Fillers?

Malar cheek fillers are designed to rejuvenate and add volume to the cheekbone area. The procedure entails injecting a substance known as dermal filler around and above the cheekbones to attain a more refined and fuller appearance.

Here's a closer look at the procedure:


This is the initial stage where a healthcare provider, commonly a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, will have a detailed discussion with you. They will assess your face, understand your objectives, delve into your medical history, and suggest the most apt filler. This ensures a personalized approach tailored to individual needs.


On the day itself, the skin will be thoroughly cleaned. To ensure minimal discomfort, a numbing agent - either in the form of cream, spray, cold packs or sometimes already included in the filler - is applied to the area.

Facial Injection

A slender needle, or in some cases a cannula, is used to administer the filler under the skin. Using a cannula can be beneficial as it typically requires just one entry point, optimizing patient comfort and reducing potential complications like swelling.

Post-procedure care

Once the filler is in place, the healthcare provider will delicately shape it to ensure a harmonious and natural appearance. Post-procedure guidelines may be provided, usually suggesting a brief hiatus from intense activities and direct sun exposure.

The entire procedure, from start to finish, takes about 15 to 30 minutes.

Types of Fillers Used for Malar Cheeks

a woman receiving cheek fillers

When it comes to enhancing the malar or cheekbone region, several types of fillers are available, each with its unique properties and advantages. The filler type often depends on the patient's goals, the expected duration of the result, and the expert's recommendation.

Here are the primary types of fillers used for malar cheeks:

1. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Fillers

One of the most popular and widely used fillers, HA is a natural substance found in the skin. When used as a filler, it helps to add volume and hydration. HA fillers are known for their safety profile and can be easily dissolved if required, offering a reversible treatment option.

2. Calcium Hydroxylapatite (Radiesse)

This filler is biocompatible, meaning it's safe to use in the body. Radiesse is denser and thicker than some other fillers and is often used for deeper injections into the skin. It not only provides immediate volume but also stimulates the body to produce collagen over time.

3. Poly-L-lactic Acid (Sculptra)

Unlike other fillers that provide immediate results, Sculptra works gradually. It stimulates the body to produce new collagen, which replaces lost volume over time. This filler is often chosen for its long-lasting results and natural-looking outcome.

4. Fat Transfer

A more natural approach to fillers, fat transfer involves removing fat from one area of the patient's body, processing it, and then injecting it into the cheeks. This method offers a double benefit: reducing unwanted fat from areas like the thighs or abdomen while rejuvenating the face with the patient's natural fat.

Benefits of Malar Cheek Fillers

Malar cheek fillers, more commonly recognized as dermal fillers, provide a variety of advantages that span both aesthetic and practical dimensions.

Aesthetic Benefits

1. Enhancing Facial Structure

Through the use of malar cheek fillers, the facial architecture undergoes a transformation. The process restores volume to the cheekbones, projecting a more sculpted and youthful facade. By strategically placing filler beneath the skin's surface, the desired illusion of enhanced bone definition is achieved.

2. Counteracting Aging Signs

Aging often leads to noticeable changes in the facial region, such as saggy cheeks, pronounced nasolabial folds, and the hollowing of cheek areas. Malar cheek fillers combat these aging signs, reshaping the face to its youthful contours.

3. Tailored Treatments

The versatility of cheek fillers is remarkable. They can be customized to cater to unique individual needs, whether it's smoothing out subtle lines, correcting facial imbalances, or augmenting the cheek's shape.

Practical Benefits

1. Swift and Non-Invasive

Dermal fillers represent a non-surgical avenue to facial enhancement, often completed within a concise timeframe of about 30 minutes. This convenience factor is a significant draw for many.

2. Quick Recovery

Post-procedure recovery is notably minimal. Many patients resume their day-to-day activities immediately following the treatment, a testament to its non-disruptive nature.

3. Flexible and Reversible Outcomes

The effects of cheek fillers are not lifelong. This characteristic offers an adaptability advantage for those who might wish to reverse or tweak their appearance. Adjustments can be made post-treatment until the envisioned result manifests.

4. Economical with Lower Risks

Opting for cheek fillers is generally more wallet-friendly than undergoing major plastic surgery. Additionally, the associated risks are considerably diminished, particularly concerning severe complications or infections.

Possible Risks and Complications

Getting malar cheek fillers? Here's what you should know about the possible side effects:

  • Bruising: Sometimes, after the treatment, you might notice some blue-purple marks where the filler was injected. These are bruises, and they usually go away in about a week.
  • Swelling: The area where you got the filler might puff up a bit. It's a common reaction, and applying a cold pack can help. It usually settles down in a few days.
  • Infection: It's rare, but there's a small chance of getting an infection where the filler was put. Always keep the area clean, and if it looks or feels wrong, see a doctor right away.
  • Allergic Reaction: Some people might react to the filler. If you see redness or feel itchiness, it might be an allergy. Tell your practitioner about any known allergies before the treatment.

Remember, the best way to lower these risks? Go to a pro. Make sure your practitioner knows their stuff and always follow their advice after the procedure.

Comparing Malar Cheek Fillers with Other Procedures

Malar Fillers vs. Other Fillers

  • Malar Cheek Fillers: These are designed primarily to enhance or restore volume to the cheekbones. By elevating the malar region, it can provide a more youthful and defined facial structure.
  • Tear Trough Fillers: These target the delicate area beneath the eyes, addressing hollowness or under-eye bags that can make one appear tired. The objective is to create a smoother transition between the lower eyelid and the cheek.
  • Lip Fillers: As the name suggests, these are specifically designed to augment the volume and shape of the lips, often providing a fuller and more defined lip appearance.

Malar Fillers vs. Malar Implants

  • Malar Cheek Fillers: These are a non-surgical, minimally invasive method to add volume to the cheek region. The effects, though long-lasting, are typically temporary, allowing flexibility for changes in the future. Recovery time is also relatively short, with minimal risks when administered by professionals.
  • Malar Implants: These are a more permanent solution. They involve a surgical procedure wherein solid implants, made of silicone or other materials, are placed over the cheekbones to provide a lasting enhancement to the face's contour. The recovery time for implants is more extended than for fillers, and the procedure carries the risks associated with surgeries, such as infection or implant shifting.


Can malar cheek fillers address age-related changes in the midface region?

Absolutely! One of the primary purposes of malar cheek fillers is to combat facial aging, particularly volume loss in the malar and midface region.

Age-related changes can lead to deflation of the medial cheek fat pad or sagging due to changes in soft tissue layers. Fillers can offer soft tissue augmentation, providing natural-looking results by restoring volume and enhancing cheek contours.

What should I consider when choosing a filler type for the malar region?

The choice often depends on factors like age-related changes in your skin, desired results, skin type, and potential adverse events.

While hyaluronic acid fillers are popular, other substances like Poly-L-Lactic Acid might be recommended based on the individual's needs. Ensure you have a detailed discussion with your provider, considering factors like skin thickness measurements and cheek contours, before making a decision.

What techniques are available for malar cheek augmentation, and how do I know which one is right for me?

There are multiple techniques available, including the Malar-Lift Technique, the Multilayering Technique, and the Fat Injection Technique. The best approach often depends on the patient's facial anatomy, the desired result, and the expertise of the practitioner.

Aside from the potential risks and complications previously outlined, what other adverse events might be associated with malar cheek fillers?

Malar cheek fillers, like other dermal fillers, come with their unique set of potential adverse events. Beyond the commonly discussed issues such as bruising, swelling, or infections:

  • Vascular Complications: Incorrect placement of the filler can lead to intravascular injection, potentially blocking blood vessels. In rare instances, this can result in skin necrosis or even blindness if the filler obstructs the ophthalmic artery.
  • Nerve Injuries: The proximity of the infraorbital nerve in the malar region means there's a risk of nerve injury, leading to numbness or tingling in the area.
  • Asymmetry: Improper technique or filler placement can lead to an uneven appearance, with one cheek appearing more augmented than the other.
  • Migration of Filler: Over time, there's a possibility that the filler might move from its original placement, leading to an undesired aesthetic result.
  • Delayed Onset Nodules: In some cases, patients might develop nodules or lumps at the injection site weeks or even months after the procedure.
  • Overcorrection: If too much filler is used, it can result in an overly augmented or "puffy" appearance that might not appear natural.
  • Interactions with Previous Procedures: For individuals who have had previous facial surgeries or treatments in the area, there's a risk of interactions that might alter the expected outcome.
  • Tissue Edema: Excessive swelling of the tissue, known as malar edema, can occur post-injection and may persist longer than anticipated.

How does malar filler treatment address the nasojugal groove and tear trough deformity?

The nasojugal groove and tear trough deformity are often intertwined with the malar region. When addressing these concerns, injectors take into account the malar septum, tear trough ligament, and zygomatic bone. Proper augmentation of the malar region can lift and support the periorbital region, reducing the appearance of tear troughs and giving a rejuvenated look.

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