The Dangers of Face Filler Side Effects

Invasive face injections can smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, plump up your lips like a movie star’s, and can even be used to shape your nose. Injectables are gaining popularity because they can give you a more youthful appearance for a small fraction of the cost of a traditional facelift. While most of these procedures are performed safely and effectively, as the popularity of face fillers has grown, so has the overall number of reported face injection side effects and complications. For people that would prefer less invasive and risky procedures, there are several options, such as laser skin rejuvenation and skin tightening, that are also incredibly effective at reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to restore more youthful radiance.

What Are Face Fillers?

Face fillers are synthetic or naturally occurring substances injected into the lines, folds, and soft tissues of the face to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and restore the youthful fullness that decreases as we age.

Most face injections will fill lines, wrinkles, and hollows in less than 30 minutes. The vast majority of dermal fillers are absorbable, which means they offer temporary results that last for a few months. However, some fillers are marketed as “permanent” and can last up to several years depending on the product and person injected.

What Are Face Fillers Used For?

As you age, volume loss in the bone, muscle, fat, and skin of your face causes many of the visible signs of aging.

Age-related bone loss leads to sagging of the jawline, drooping of the nose, and loss of high cheekbones. Facial muscles also decrease in elasticity and volume, and deflation and migration of fat further accentuate the signs of aging. Lastly, compounded by the loss of structure provided by the fat, muscle, and bone, the skin stretches and loses elasticity leading to sagging skin, wrinkles, and other familiar signs of aging.

Face injections are used to address a number of these aging concerns, such as under-eye hollowness, diminished cheekbones, thinning lips, and deep nasolabial folds (the creases that run from the side of the nose to the corners of the mouth), and more. When performed correctly, face injections help smooth lines and replenish lost volume, restoring a more youthful appearance. In addition to injectable dermal fillers, there are also non-invasive procedures with fewer side effects that can dramatically improve your skin’s tone and texture, such as laser skin rejuvenation.

What Are the Types of Face Fillers?

Not every wrinkle filler is right for every type of wrinkle. The best results and the least risks come from using the right filler correctly. That’s why fillers should only be injected by Advanced Practice Register Nurses (APRN) or Physician’s Assistants (PA) operating under the supervision of a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon with ongoing, specialized training. An ARNP or PA will choose the right dermal filler for your specific needs. If it seems as though it might be too much of an undertaking to research qualified practitioners/doctors to find the perfect fit, a less risky and invasive option such as laser skin treatments, might be a better option for you.

Hyaluronic Acid Wrinkle Fillers

The most popular category of facial fillers is hyaluronic acid. Found naturally in the body, this gel-like substance is used to plump the skin, adding volume to areas like the cheeks and smoothing out lines around the lips, eyes, and forehead. Because the body reabsorbs hyaluronic acid over time, results typically only last 6 to 12 months.

Some research shows that repeated injections of hyaluronic acid fillers may help stimulate the body’s natural collagen production to help further reduce lines and wrinkles. There is also some evidence that over time less filler is needed to achieve the same look. Some products in this category include Juvederm, Restylane, and Belotero. Each product works in a slightly different way with varying results.

Synthetic Wrinkle Fillers

This smaller category of dermal fillers includes lab-made substances that are not naturally occurring in the skin.

One of the benefits of synthetic wrinkle fillers is a longer-lasting effect. And at least one filler in this category offers a semi-permanent filling of lines and wrinkles. Keep in mind, products with longer-lasting results are more likely to cause side effects. Even more alarming, when not used correctly, synthetic wrinkle fillers may cause disfigurement. Some products in this category include Sculptra, Radiesse, and Bellafill.

Each of these two categories has its own pros and cons. Additionally, each filler has a unique texture and longevity, which means a particular product may be more suited to a specific area of the face and result desired. Choosing the right face filler requires the guidance of a board-certified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon with a deep understanding of facial anatomy and expertise with all the various fillers and their own injection techniques to ensure the best cosmetic outcome.

What are Face Injections Side Effects?

While dermal fillers are generally well-tolerated, any one of them may produce adverse side effects. Adverse side effects usually last as long as the face filler is in the skin, so while some have short-term side effects, more permanent fillers may cause life-long adverse effects.

The most common face injection side effects include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Bruising
  • Itching

Additional but less common face injection side effects include:

  • Lumps or bumps
  • Infections
  • Discoloration or changes in pigmentation

Rare but serious face injection side effects include:

  • Scarring, blurred vision, partial vision loss, or blindness if the filler is accidentally injected into a blood vessel
  • An allergic reaction that may lead to anaphylactic shock

Delayed side effects could develop months or even years after a filler is injected. Non-physician/Non-Advance Practice Registered Nurses or Physician Assistant injectors are often unaware of the side effects of the fillers they use, and they commonly neglect proper clinical procedures such as disinfection and glove-wearing.

In addition to injectable fillers, there have also been alarming reports of injectable skin lightening and bleaching products being sold to unsuspecting consumers. These products are unapproved by the FDA, pose a significant safety risk, and should not be used under any circumstances.

What Are Some Risk Factors?

While face fillers are largely considered safe, there are some things you can do to help ensure your safety.

  • Don’t let price guide you. If a wrinkle filler is offered at a cost far less than the standard, it’s likely some compromises are at hand, be it in the skill of the provider or the quality of the product. Never make a bargain when it comes to your face.
  • Face fillers should only be performed in a medical setting with sterile instruments. Treatments that are done in hotels, spas, or homes are not safe.
  • Never get injectable face fillers from anywhere other than an office supervised by a medical doctor. Know exactly what you are being injected with, be 100% sure that an FDA-approved dermal filler is being used, and ask if it was purchased directly from the maker. There have been frightening reports of everything from baby oil to industrial-grade silicone being used as face fillers. If a provider will not give you this information, don’t let them do the procedure.
  • Use sunscreen every day. This will help preserve the filler and protect against post-procedure pigment changes from the needle pricks.

Is There an Alternative Treatment to Face Injections?

While face fillers can certainly be an option to fight the signs of aging, many people would prefer to go a less invasive and risky route. Skin tightening laser treatments not only tighten your skin but also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles to restore a more youthful appearance.

The non-surgical laser skin tightening treatments at Body Details reverse the signs of aging by stimulating new collagen and elastin to take years off your face. We use the most advanced laser in the industry, the PicoWay Resolve, to address imperfections on the skin’s surface, such as fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, and damage found in the deeper layers of the skin, like age spots. As a fractional laser, the PicoWay Resolve is unrivaled. This best-in-class device creates microscopic wounds in the skin to stimulate collagen and elastin producing a healing response that significantly improves skin’s texture, tightness, and elasticity.

At Body Details, all laser skin rejuvenation, and skin-tightening procedures are performed by Master’s Degree holding Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) and Physician Assistants (PAs). These experienced medical professionals are certified by the team of Medical Directors at Body Details as well as our laser manufacturers. We only hire experienced medical professionals to administer treatment because, unlike medspas that are popping up on every corner, we are a true medical facility.

Results from laser skin rejuvenation and skin tightening at Body Details include:

  • Smoother, more even skin tone
  • Reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • More youthful, vibrant, and radiant skin
  • A reduction in skin splotchiness
  • A reduction in the appearance of age spots
  • And more

Benefits of laser skin rejuvenation and skin tightening over face filler injections:

  • Minimal or no discomfort
  • No downtime
  • Quick, easy treatments
  • Less expensive than invasive procedures
  • Safer than invasive treatments
  • No face injection side effects
  • Can be performed to any area of the body, including the face, neck, chest, arms, and stomach

Schedule Your FREE Consultation

The True Laser® experts at Body Details are ready to give you the younger look you desire. Our non-invasive and pain-free treatments will take years off of your appearance. We even offer flexible financing plans to those who qualify to make it more affordable.

If you’re unhappy with your fine lines and wrinkles, sun spots, or uneven pigmentation, call us today to schedule a FREE consultation with one of our True Laser® specialists. When you come in for your consultation, a laser specialist will examine your skin, evaluate your skin type and sensitivity, and develop a personalized treatment plan to reach your skin improvement goals.

If you’re ready to start looking and feeling your best, schedule your FREE consultation at Body Details today.


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Body Details Team
South Florida's Leading Provider of Laser Hair Removal, Tattoo Removal and Skin Rejuvenation Services. Schedule a Free Consultation Today!