Fillers are simply wonderful. I love them. Patients love them. They’re just lovable. But they also have side effects. Today I’ll share them with you so you can decide if fillers are right for you.
I received an email yesterday from a patient who received lower face filler for the first time. She wrote, “My skin looks great and the fillers are amazing - incredible subtle difference…” When it comes to the conservative, non surgical improvement of lines, wrinkles and other facial contour defects, fillers are in the top two along with botulinum toxins. But with fillers, the results are visible immediately, which puts a very big smile on patients’ faces as soon as you show them a mirror.
Yet, all procedures have some risks associated with them, and fillers are no exception. Despite how safe they are and despite how perfect the technique of injection is, the immutable laws of statistics mandate that if you do the procedure enough times, side effects will occur. So what’s the downside to fillers?
The most common side effect of filler treatments are discomfort… OK, it’s really pain. But pain is a very personal experience. Some people need to squeeze the nurses hand and other people just say it doesn’t hurt.
The second most common problem is redness and swelling which lasts a few hours to maybe overnight.
Next is bruising, which is simply bleeding under the skin caused by the needle hitting a blood vessel under the skin that the doctor just can’t see. Bruises can last from a day or two to longer than a week depending on the bruise and the patient.
Infections from filler treatments are so rare that in 32 years of injecting fillers I have never seen one.
But the most important potential problem with fillers occurs when the filler material is accidentally injected into a blood vessel. That clogs the vessel which cuts off the blood supply to part of the skin. THAT will cause the skin to die if the filler’s not promptly removed from the vessel… which is easier said than done. Even with hyaluronic fillers for which we have hyaluronidase - which is a chemical that literally dissolves the hyaluronic acid filler - getting the hyaluronidase into the affected vessel is very difficult.
If the clog persists and the skin dies, which is called a skin infarction, you get a painful skin ulcer that takes months to heal and leaves a miserable scar.
But to put filler clogs into perspective, in 32 years of injecting, and I inject at least 10 patients a day, I have experienced three infarctions… A very low incidence, but three infarctions too many.
Despite these problems, when it comes to fillers, I still love them and so do my patients!
Now for today's skincare trivia! Answer today's question correctly and you'll be entered in a drawing to win a free skincare product! Submit your answer at DermTV Dot Com Slash Trivia, within three days of this episode's airing. Today's question is:
While you see the effects of filler injections immediately, how long does it take to see results from Botox treatments?
And don't forget. You can find the answer to this and all questions in past DermTV episodes.