Dermal filler injections are today’s modern approach to skin rejuvenation. It is among the numerous skin treatments that help you achieve that freshened-up and younger-looking skin you have always wanted and desired. Now in the palm of your hands, these results give you that confidence you need to go daily. However, like other procedures, dermal filler injections have their fair share of side effects. Today, we’ll learn more about them.
What are Dermal Filler Injections?
Dermal filler injections use synthetic or naturally occurring substances injected into unwanted lines, folds, and tissues found on the face. This procedure decreases the appearance of wrinkles, restoring facial fullness that diminishes as we get older.
These injectables are also known by other terms such as dermal fillers, wrinkle fillers, soft-tissue fillers, and injectable implants. As many words as there are in calling them, dermal filler injections have common goals of erasing smile lines, plumping up the cheeks and lips, and correcting acne scars.
Most fillers are absorbable and offer quick results that can last a few months to a couple of years based on the product used and the person’s overall condition. Some dermal filler injections are marketed as permanent, lasting up to several years.
Types of Dermal Filler Injections
Today’s cosmetic market scene is abuzz with dermal filler injections. Although many facial fillers offer immediate results, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), some require numerous treatments over weeks to months towards optimal benefits, followed by additional or occasional touch-ups.
Some of the most commonly used dermal filler injections are as follows:
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
- A natural gel-like substance found inside our bodies.
- Used to “plump up” skin and add volume to the cheeks and smooth out wrinkles, especially those around the lips, eyes, and forehead
- Popular brand names of this type include Juvéderm and Restylane.
- Gradually over time, the body reabsorbs the hyaluronic acid.
- Generally, the results only last for six (6) to twelve (12) months, as reported by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS)
- Some advances in the development of these dermal filler injections have happened over the years, and these fillers will typically last 12 months or longer.
Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA)
- Uses microscopic particle forms of calcium and adds it to gels that are then injected into the skin
- This gel is of a thicker consistency compared to HA, making it more suitable for deep wrinkles, says the ABCs
- CaHA results, especially for the brand name Radiesse, tend to last for around a year
Poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA)
- A biodegradable acid that helps stimulate collagen production of the skin instead of “filling” wrinkles.
- It gives skin the firmness it needs and helps reduce wrinkles from appearing.
- Usually marketed as Sculptra Aesthetic, this dermal filler injection is used in treating deep wrinkles and increasing the volume where fat loss has occurred.
- Works gradually but provides results for at least two (2) years
- It is considered a semi-permanent filler.
- It consists of small balls called microspheres, together with collagen in plumping up the skin.
- Known to have issues here and there, says a journal article in Plastic and Aesthetic Research.
- Although marketed under the name Bellafill and is considered permanent, the results you’ll get from this type can last for five (5) years.
- Usually not the first choice of doctors and healthcare providers, unless otherwise
- Long-acting dermal filler injections like this one have higher rates of complications. Examples of these complications include infections and nodules, according to published research in Aesthetics.
Autologous Fat Injections (Fat Grafting)
- A technique that takes fat from body parts like the buttocks and then injects it into treated areas of the face for filling
- The fat typically removed from the body is done using liposuction or vacuuming out of the fat from the body through hollow tubes inserted through incisions created in the skin.
- Requires sedation and may need a week or two (2) to recover fully
- The majority of fat grafting cases done in the past have provided long-lasting results.
Side Effects of Dermal Fillers Injections
Common Side Effects
The AAD stated that the following side effects — which tend to occur around the sites of injection — can happen immediately but typically fades away within seven (7) to fourteen (14) days:
Rare Side Effects
Although relatively uncommon, potential patients should still be aware of the following side effects:
- blindness from fillers getting injected into arteries that block the blood flow to the eyes
- blood vessel injuries
- filler leakage through the injection site
- filler movement from one area to another
- granulomas, or the inflammatory reaction to dermal filler injections
- nodules around the injection site, which may require surgery to be removed
- tissue death from blocked blood flow
While dermal filler injections are generally safe, taking the next helpful steps can ensure your utmost safety:
- Only deal with licensed, well-trained, experienced medical professionals such as experienced dermatologists or plastic surgeons to administer your injections.
- Has your procedure been done inside a medical facility like clinics and med spas, not inside someone else’s home or at mall kiosks?
- Ask the practitioner about their experiences, particularly the filler type you selected. The more experience they have using the product, the better chances of your results coming out great.
- Never buy fillers online. Only have them from legit medical providers.
- Dermal filler injections should be kept unopened with properly labeled syringes. Check and inspect everything to make sure.
- Please ensure the fillers to be used are FDA-cleared for the purpose you intend them to be.
- Be aware of potential risks and possible side effects.
- Read about filler ingredients and never inject them, especially if you have allergies to any of the components of the dermal filler injections like collagen.
- Let your doctor or healthcare provider know about all medications and supplements you are currently taking. Some may have unwanted interactions with filler ingredients or affect your blood’s clotting ability.
Avoid using dermal filler injections if you:
- Have skin that is inflamed for any reason, such as having a rash, active acne, or hives, among others
- Are you allergic to any ingredients in the filler; it is best to read the label first
- Have any bleeding disorder
- Are you expecting, pregnant, breastfeeding
- Are under 18 since safety concerns have not yet been studied in younger age brackets
- Have skin that is susceptible to scarring, like when you have keloids or overgrowth of scar tissues
Final Thoughts on Dermal Filler Injections
Dermal filler injections that are FDA-approved and are administered by well-trained professionals are typically safe. When there are noticeable symptoms of infection like fever, pus, or very hot, inflamed skin, seek immediate medical attention. Dermal filler injections rejuvenate skin, but they also have side effects that you should know before undergoing any of them.
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