Skin Deep

Unhappy with the dermal fillers you got? Here's how to fix

Dermal fillers are some of the most popular cosmetic treatments today and can be used for a variety of skin and lip concerns.

Properly placed fillers can temporarily erase lines and wrinkles from the face, as well as plump and reshape the face and lips. However, there are way too many people I've seen with bad filler injections. Too much volume, asymmetry, or volume in the wrong place can make you look older rather than younger.

Dr. Leslie Baumann.jpg
Dr. Leslie Baumann

Fillers should be imperceivable. I am not sure why we see so much of this in South Florida, so I wanted to make sure that patients know that hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers can be reversed. Here’s what you can do if you’re not happy with the way your fillers turned out.

Wait two weeks

Hyaluronic acid fillers work by pulling water into themselves, which is what creates the plumping and smoothing effect. Because this process can take up to two weeks to stabilize, you may notice some swelling and small bumps the first few weeks. Bruising is another common side effect that can occur directly after getting fillers, although there are ways you can minimize this effect, such as avoiding nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), taking arnica supplements and avoiding alcohol, exercise and excess heat for at least 24 hours after getting filler injections.

Because swelling and bruising can take some time to diminish, wait at least two weeks after getting dermal fillers to decide if you’re really unhappy with the results. If you still don’t like what you see after this amount of time, then you can move forward with the process of “reverse sculpting.”

See a dermatologist who specializes in filler correction

If you’ve decided to go ahead with dermal filler correction, the next step is to choose an experienced physician. Hyaluronidase is a naturally occurring enzyme that breaks down hyaluronic acid. It can be injected to safely remove filler. The main side effect is bruising, which can last for a few days. This “reverse sculpting” process takes even more artistic skill than injecting filler in the first place, so make sure you see a medical provider who has experience with removing unwanted filler. The cost can vary between $200 and $500. This is why you don’t want to go get cheap fillers, because the cost of correcting them is more than if you had gone to a skilled injector in the first place.

Always choose hyaluronic acid fillers

Keep in mind that hyaluronic acid is the only type of filler that can be dissolved and reversed using hyaluronidase. For this reason, I recommend choosing HA fillers whenever possible. That way, if you end up not liking your results for any reason, you can have the filler removed and return to your natural appearance almost instantly. With other types of injectables, you’ll have to wait for the product to break down on its own, which could take several months. Permanent fillers such as silicone never go away and should be avoided.

In summary

Most people see great results from dermal fillers, provided they work with an experienced professional and steer clear of fraudulent injectors. However, there are some instances when patients would prefer to have their fillers removed or corrected without having to wait for the effects to naturally fade away. If you want the peace of mind of knowing that this option will be available if you need it, ask your dermatologist for hyaluronic acid fillers.

If you’d like more information about dermal fillers, browse through Baumann Cosmetic on YouTube for a variety of informative videos, or follow @BaumannCosmetic on Instagram or Facebook.