The Risks of Facial Filler Injections: What You Need to Know

Facial fillers are becoming increasingly popular as a non-surgical treatment option for facial rejuvenation. Injecting dermal fillers into the face and hands can improve the appearance of facial lines and volume loss caused by age or certain medical conditions. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with these treatments. Side effects reported in clinical trials include facial weakness, drooping of the eyelid and drooping of the eyebrows.

Other side effects included localized pain, swelling, redness and bruising at the injection site. Rarely, injections have caused double vision, dry eyes, or difficulty swallowing or breathing. It is not recommended to inject botulinum toxin products for cosmetic purposes during pregnancy or lactation. According to research published in Aesthetics, long-acting dermal fillers have higher rates of complications, such as infections and nodules.

The most serious problems included 62 strokes or stroke-like events and 47 cases of blindness attributed to fillers. Strokes can occur when an injection hits a blood vessel and blocks it. Blindness can occur when an injection near the eye blocks a blood vessel. Some cases of blindness occurred after receiving injections in the cheeks and forehead. Although many facial fillers provide immediate results, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), some of them will require several treatments over the course of weeks or months for optimal benefits, followed by occasional touch-ups.

See FDA's advice for using dermal fillers safely and learn the difference between dermal fillers and botulinum toxin injectable products. Dermal filler procedures can be costly, which has led some consumers to turn to the online black market to buy DIY fillers. Adverse side effects usually last as long as the facial filler is on the skin, so although some have short-term side effects, more permanent fillers can cause lifelong adverse effects. This filler is different from other fillers because its results are gradual; volumizing occurs over several months, as it stimulates the body to produce collagen. In addition, there are rare side effects, such as infection, leakage of the filler through the injection site, nodules around the injection site, granulomas, movement of the filler under the skin, and injury to the blood vessels. The demand for dermal fillers and the variety of dermal fillers have increased dramatically over the past two decades.

As a result, there is a misconception that temporary fillers rarely cause side effects; however, the frequency is comparable to that induced by permanent and long-lasting fillers, but their duration is shorter and therefore less severe. Facial muscles also decrease in volume and elasticity, and deflation and movement of facial fat further accentuate signs of aging. The researchers also analyzed data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons on the total projected number of filler injections performed during that time, and analyzed court and litigation records related to fillers in the Westlaw Next database. It is important to be aware of all potential risks associated with facial filler injections before undergoing any treatment. Be sure to consult with a qualified healthcare professional who can provide you with more information about these treatments.

Shelly Hongach
Shelly Hongach

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