Depending on the area being injected, the type of filler and the pain relief method being used, clients may find this procedure relatively painless to uncomfortable. Treatments around the nose and lips are usually more painful than other areas but most clients find filler treatments bearable.
You must discuss pain management options with your practitioner and let them know if you are finding the procedure too uncomfortable.
The obvious, immediate and most common side effect is slight bleeding after the needle has been inserted into the skin. Other risks include bruising, tenderness, redness and swelling around the injection site. These signs may take 2-3 days to vanish completely, especially around the lips where there is little flesh and skin is tender.
Occasionally, a ‘bleb’ will occur. This is where the filler has been injected too superficially (close to the surface) and will need to be dissolved.
Rarely, allergic type reactions can occur after a filler treatment. These include prolonged redness, swelling, itching and/or hardness and bumps in the skin. Such signs may appear at some or all injection points. Sometimes, they can last several months or longer, but this is extremely unusual.
Another rare side effect is occlusions. This is where filler is accidentally injected into a blood vessel and creates a blockage. This presents as whitening of the skin, followed by the area turning greyish-purple. If left untreated, this can result in tissue loss in the affected area. There have been reports of this in lip and nose treatments.
One particular type of occlusion is an ocular occlusion. This is where a blood vessel supplying the eye gets blocked. This results in partial or complete blindness.
If you exhibit any symptoms of occlusion, you need to seek the advice of your practitioner and/or visit accident and emergency immediately. You will need to be prescribed emergency treatment medicines, which is why it is important that you have access to a practitioner who is able to prescribe medicine.
As with any skin treatment, injections should be avoided in areas where the skin is swollen or where infections are present - e.g. active acne.
If you have a history of cold sores, or fever blisters in the treated area, filler injections may cause a break out. In these cases, your practitioner may recommend that you take a course of anti-viral medicine before your treatment to help reduce the likelihood of an outbreak.
If you have a known allergy to hyaluronic acid fillers or any of the ingredients in the filler product, you must inform your practitioner. An alternative treatment will need to be carried out.
Dermal fillers have not been tested on pregnant women. No medically qualified practitioner would carry out a filler treatment on a pregnant woman.