Dermal fillers have revolutionized the world of aesthetics, allowing us to create results that nearly rival those of surgery without a single suture. However, as is the case with any cosmetic procedure, it is possible for fillers to go wrong.
In this blog post, I’ll discuss what really happens when someone “ruins” their face with filler and share tips for avoiding these pitfalls so you can maintain a natural-looking result you love.
What Are Dermal Fillers?
Dermal fillers are injectable gels that add volume just below the skin. Many formulations are available today, but one of the most popular options is hyaluronic acid (HA). This sugar is naturally found in the body, and it attracts and holds water to provide both volume and hydration. It’s the primary ingredient in the FDA-approved JUVÉDERM® and Restylane® lines of fillers I use at my practice.
Is It True Dermal Fillers Can Ruin Your Face?
“Ruin” is subjective, but there are ways fillers can compromise your aesthetic integrity and even cause unwanted side effects in the wrong hands.
One of the most notorious ways fillers can go wrong is an effect called “pillow face.” This happens when too much filler is injected over time, giving the face a puffy or pillowy look. Photos of overfilled celebrities and social media influencers have brought this unwanted effect to the spotlight, though it’s not as common as it may seem and is completely avoidable with the right approach.
Another possibility to be aware of is a side effect called vascular occlusion, which happens when filler blocks a blood vessel. In exceedingly rare situations, this can lead to tissue necrosis. However, qualified injectors are skilled in preventing this. Hyaluronic acid fillers are also dissolvable, so in the rare case you do have a complication, we can resolve it right away with an injection of an enzyme called hyaluronidase.
4 Ways To Avoid Ruining Your Face With Filler
While negative filler outcomes will always draw attention, it’s important to know these situations are very rare. You can keep your chances of any unwanted effects as low as possible by following these steps:
- Choose the right injector. This is the most important step by far. When you work with a credentialed injector, especially a board-certified plastic surgeon, you can rest assured that you are in the safest possible hands and you’ll receive a natural-looking result created with a refined technique.
- Don’t over-volumize. Resist the urge to add too much volume beyond what you need to restore or subtly enhance your features.
- Select the right filler. Using the right formulation in the right place is key. Your injector will make recommendations based on your anatomy and goals.
- Opt for surgery when it’s time. As you age, you may end up “chasing” your results with more and more filler when you really need a facelift to properly address volume loss and drooping. You can learn more about how to choose between fillers and a facelift in this blog post.