Nurse Emily’s Journey with Dermal Fillers: Hyaluronic Acid vs. Calcium Hydroxylapatite


As a nurse specialising in aesthetics, I’ve had the privilege of helping numerous individuals achieve their aesthetic goals through various cosmetic treatments, including dermal fillers.

Among these fillers, two popular options frequently come up in conversations with my patients, hyaluronic acid (HA) and calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA). Both have their unique characteristics, benefits, and considerations and I want to share my personal experiences and thoughts on these two dermal fillers.

My journey with dermal fillers began several years ago when I noticed the growing interest in non-surgical facial rejuvenation. Dermal fillers, with their ability to add volume and reduce the signs of aging, quickly caught my attention. I decided to expand my skill set and offer these treatments to my patients, which ultimately led me to explore the world of dermal fillers and the differences between HA and CaHA.

There are multiple areas of the face and body that can be treated with dermal fillers.

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Dermal Fillers: The Familiar Ally

HA dermal fillers are a well known and widely used option in the world of non-invasive cosmetic treatments. The primary reason for their popularity is their remarkable ability to deliver natural looking results while being highly bespoke.

One of the aspects that I appreciate most about HA fillers is their versatility. Whether a patient wants to plump up their lips, restore lost volume in their cheeks, or soften the lines around their eyes, HA fillers can be tailored to address a variety of concerns. Their compatibility with the body’s natural HA makes them a go-to choice for many patients seeking to maintain a refreshed appearance.

From a practical perspective, HA fillers are reversible. This reversibility provides a safety net, should a client be unsatisfied with the results or experience any complications. As a healthcare provider, the option for reversal is incredibly reassuring, both for me and my patients.

My Personal Experience with HA Fillers

I’ve had the privilege of administering countless HA filler treatments, and I have witnessed first hand the positive impact they can have on a person’s self-esteem and confidence. Whether it’s restoring volume loss due to aging or enhancing certain facial features, the results achieved with HA fillers are often remarkable.

One specific case that stands out is a client who sought to address volume loss in their cheeks. We used a series of HA filler treatments to provide a subtle lift and fullness. The client was delighted with the results, and their newfound self-assurance was truly heartwarming.

Volume loss in the mid and lower facial area is one of the most common concerns presented in clinic.

The Caution Surrounding Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA) Dermal Fillers

While HA fillers have earned their place as a trusted and well regarded option, the landscape changes when it comes to CaHA fillers. CaHA is another filler that has been used to address volume loss, but there are crucial distinctions between the two.

CaHA, also known by the brand name Radiesse, is formulated using calcium-based microspheres suspended in a gel-like substance. The idea behind this filler is to stimulate the production of collagen, creating lasting volume and rejuvenation effects. The potential for longer-lasting results is an attractive feature for many patients.

However, it’s essential to highlight the caution I’ve developed through my training when it comes to CaHA fillers. Unlike HA fillers, CaHA is not reversible. This is a major concern and a significant drawback for both healthcare providers and patients.

As a nurse, I value the importance of reversibility in the event that a patient is dissatisfied with the results or experiences complications. With HA fillers, we have the option to dissolve the filler using Hyaluronidase, providing a safety net. In contrast, CaHA does not have a similar antidote. This lack of reversibility means that once CaHA is injected, there’s no turning back. If a patient is unhappy with the outcome or encounters adverse effects, the options for correction are limited.

In my practice, I’ve seen a few patients who opted for CaHA treatments elsewhere and later regretted their decision. They were left with no recourse for reversal, which can be emotionally distressing. These experiences underscore the importance of thorough research and consideration before choosing a filler, especially one with irreversible consequences.

Dr Patrick Treacy was one of the first doctors to pioneer the use of Hyaluronidase to treat complications caused by Hyaluronic Acid.

The Importance of Informed Choices

When it comes to choosing between HA and CaHA fillers, I consistently advocate for informed decisions. Both options have their merits, and each can be suitable for specific individuals and aesthetic goals.

HA fillers offer the versatility and peace of mind of reversibility. They are ideal for clients seeking subtle enhancements and temporary results. On the other hand, CaHA fillers may be appealing to those looking for longer-lasting volume restoration. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential permanence of the results and the limited options for correction.

My experiences as a nurse have led me to have a profound respect for the transformative power of dermal fillers, whether they are HA or CaHA-based. While CaHA has its unique advantages, the lack of reversibility raises important questions about its suitability for many individuals. I believe that choosing a dermal filler should be a thoughtful, well-informed decision, taking into consideration both the desired outcomes and the safety net provided by reversibility. As a healthcare provider, my commitment remains to prioritise the safety and satisfaction of my patients, which makes HA fillers a more reliable and reassuring choice in my practice.

If you’re considering dermal fillers, remember that your choice should align with your individual needs and concerns. Book a free consultation today with Nurse Emily at either Atanga’s Wimbledon or South Kensington clinic.  Then you can be guided through the process to help you make the best decision for your unique aesthetic journey.