What Causes Filler Migration and How to Avoid It

Migration of facial fillers is a rare but serious issue that can occur when too much filler is injected into one area, causing it to “bleed” into other areas. It is important to be aware of the amount of filler that will be applied to the lips, as well as to inform the doctor if you already have any fillers on this part of your face. Injecting the filler too quickly can put excessive pressure on the treatment area, increasing its likelihood of migration. It is also critical that your provider has a thorough understanding of human anatomy and knows how deep to place the filler.

Different fillers must be injected at different depths into the skin, and a misplaced filler can create problems months later. The great thing about injectable fillers is that your doctor will have full control over the exact amount of filler that is applied to each area of the lips to achieve the desired look. As bleeding from the filler can occur when too much is applied to a particular area, it is vitally important that you tell your doctor if and when fillers have been previously applied to you. This will ensure that they can use the correct amount to prevent the migration from happening.

Overfilling the lips can cause pain and discomfort as a result of bruising, as well as discoloration. A good professional will always make sure that you, as a customer, know exactly how much is too much. Sometimes migration can be due to the way the body has decided to break down the filling over time. Some professionals believe that, due to the way the mouth is constantly contracting, this can lead to the migration of the filling over time.

Migration of facial filler can also occur when using the wrong filler in the wrong place. If a thin, low-cohesive filler is applied in large quantities to an area where a thicker, cohesive filling would have been a better choice, the filling may tend to settle or not stick. In this case, you can sometimes place too much padding in areas that should not be or placing the filling too deep. Achieving beautiful and natural results with facial fillers requires expert administration of injections, which is really “part art and part science”.

Overfilling when treated with dermal filler is another factor that may increase the risk of filler migration. The ability of the dermal filler to migrate is determined by the attributes that the product has, the capabilities that the injector possesses, and the amount of dermal filler used. Filler migration is defined as the process of spreading or “migrating” the dermal filler to another area beyond the injection site. Facial filler migration is extremely rare, but that hasn't stopped it from trending on social media.

In most cases of facial filler migration, it is probably due to an inexperienced or untrained provider who did not know what he was doing. With the increasing popularity of facial fillers over the past decade, there have never been more clinics offering cosmetic injectables; however, this has led to a large number of poorly trained and unprofessional professionals performing injections. The best course of action in rare cases of migration of facial fillers is to have a highly trained injector perform your procedure. This very rare type of migration, due to illness, is more likely to occur months or even years after the facial filler was injected and is located deep in the dermal layers, even close to the bone.

Shelly Hongach
Shelly Hongach

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