WHAT IS ArteFill or Bellafill?

Bellafill has been in development and under study in patients since the year 1998, finally gaining approval for use by the FDA in October of 2006. During this series of testing, Bellafill proved to be as safe as the temporary filler that was used as the control. Bellafill was created due to a high demand by patients for permanent dermal filler, and it is the first permanent injectable filler that has been approved by the FDA.

Bellafill is an American improvement on the European filler Bellafill, which has been used in over 400,000 procedures this past decade. Bellafill is used on patients to treat a person’s unwanted nasolabial folds. It can also be used in off-label treatments for acne scars, lip augmentations, and other types of wrinkles on the face.

Bellafill is composed of a grouping of millions of synthetic microspheres and suspended in a purified collagen gel. This gel also contains the localized anesthetic lidocaine in an effort to reduce injection discomfort.


When a person is to undergo an Bellafill treatment to an area, the Bellafill is injected into the skin located under the wrinkle targeted for correction. The synthetic microspheres of Bellafill are created to be non-sorbable when in the body, meaning that the body cannot metabolize or absorb them. This gives Bellafill its ability to last as filler in the body, and to last far longer than the other injectable products on the market.

The microspheres that are injected into the skin serve to stimulate the body’s natural production of collagen in an effort to encapsulate the individual microspheres. This leads to a mixture of naturally produced collagen and artificial microspheres that amounts to approximately 80/20 collagen/microsphere to fill the wrinkle. The original collagen of the Bellafill injection will be absorbed into the body and replaced by the newly produced collagen over the next few weeks. It is this gradual replacement of product by naturally replenished molecules that leads to the lasting effects of ArteFill.


The only people who cannot receive this procedure are those who are deemed allergic to it through routine testing. The ideal patient for an Bellafill procedure will be one who has already exhausted many of the other options on the market and are now ready to receive a permanent effect as opposed to repeated temporary administrations. As for who can’t receive the procedure: it cannot be administered to those with a bovine collagen allergy or to a person who has chronic infections of the skin. It is also not recommended for the thinner areas of the face, such as around the eyes or lips. A skin test is required 30 days prior to any treatment to determine if one is allergic to Bellafill (bovine collagen)/


To this day there are very few known side effects of an Bellafill treatment. The effects that are known happen rarely, but can include swelling and/or lumpiness of the area, pain and/or sensitivity of the injection site, and redness of the flesh. Some patients have reported a feeling of firmness in the area, but this usually resolves over time as the injected collagen is absorbed. Rare cases of granuloma formation have been encountered.

Ken Reed

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