Dermal filler injection

Dermal Filler Complications what goes wrong and how to avoid it

As with all injections, there can be complications with Dermal Fillers. Worrying about dermal filler complications or being afraid of looking unnatural can put people off, so when you make that decision, you want it to be safe and natural looking.

Dermal Filler complications

Dermal fillers made their debut in the 1970s, various animal collagens had been researched and tested enough to use on humans and implants were introduced.

Specifically, collagen derived from cows was used as a filler. The problem with this type of filler was that bovine collagen is foreign to the human body.

With many complications and allergies to it, experts in the industry knew that a better product was needed.

Collagen was used up until the early 2000’s when the FDA approved the use of hyaluronic acid fillers, which ultimately changed the game for dermal fillers.

Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Filler

Hyaluronic Acid is a natural substance that is already found in our bodies. These products last much longer than collagen fillers, which contributed to their instant fame and success. The first Hyaluronic Acid filler introduced to the market was Restylane, made by Galderma. Allergan’s Juvederm quickly followed.

Other types of Filler

There are many types of dermal fillers available today, including some semi-synthetic options. Calcium hydroxylapatite fillers, such as Radiesse and Sculptra a mix of organic and non-organic materials.

Pain Relief

A major advance in dermal fillers over the years comes with the introduction of lidocaine mixed in with the filler. Prior to this advancement, none of the dermal fillers had a numbing component and many injectors thought that lidocaine took away from the effectiveness of the product. So patients endured the slight pain associated with the procedure. Now, many dermal fillers have the lidocaine mixed in during manufacturing, and can help reduce the discomfort some patients feel.

Preventing Dermal Filler Complications with injection technique

Another big advance is not necessarily is in how they are injected. Microcannulas are an alternative to the traditional needle, and depending on the injector’s preference, can be used to insert the filler.

What are the complications with dermal fillers and why do they happen?

Adverse effects usually last as long as the filler is in the skin. This means that short-lived fillers have short-term side effects and permanent fillers may induce life-long adverse effects. The main goal is to prevent them!

Regulation of Dermal Fillers in the UK

Currently in the UK, there is no regulation on who can inject and there are many unscrupulous training companies that will give anyone a certificate to say they can set up an aesthetic clinic!

Because of this, there are many NON MEDICAL injectors all over the country who can purchase fillers over the internet that have not been medically tested. There are 100’s on the market. This can obviously cause complications with dermal fillers.

Flawless Aesthetic Clinic

At Flawless Aesthetic Clinic I ONLY use Restylane and now Kysense. Restylane became one of the first dermal fillers to be FDA approved in the states and is MHRA approved for the UK as a MEDICAL Device.

Restylane has been researched, tested and used for over 30 years. Although I have tried other brands over 15 years nothing compares to its quality, safety and longevity so therefore value for money to my patients.

Complications and risks

The risks that are out there can not only look unnatural, but could result in the following:




Filler migration (the filler moving from where it should have stayed if injected properly)

These are all risks associated with dermal filler. Furthermore, severe complications such as allergic reactions, infections, loss of nerve sensation and even vascular occlusions which in one case led to the person losing their sight!

Complications of Dermal filler nodule
Dermal filler nodule

A nodule/extrusion of dermal filler injected incorrectly

Under eye dermal filler complication

Avoiding and treating dermal filler complications

Yes thankfully now we use Hyaluronic Acid fillers, a drug called hyaluronidase can dissolve the filler. Again this is a prescription only drug and so should ONLY be done by a medical prescriber. This cannot be used for Calcium hydroxylapatite fillers.

Case Example

In my career and clinic I have thankfully been able to correct mistakes for people.

My worse case was a referral about a worrying loss of nerve sensation.

A young girl had had jaw filler. She could not feel her lower face.

The beauty therapist injected the filler incorrectly into her jawline.

The patient was unsure what the filler was.

The Beauty therapist used far too much.

Luckily she was able to get to me in time as early as she could and I was able to dissolve it.

The feeling in her jaw came back immediately.

Her and her mum still visit me for treatment today, despite the long distance they have to travel.

Other considerations before having dermal filler

Some practitioners don’t do a full facial assessment on individuals before treating with filler! To me this is the most important as everyone’s face is different in shape, texture and physiologically (see ageing triangle for more information)

I am a big fan of Friends and here is an example of an unnatural result for this lady! (sorry Courtney) 

Unnatural filler result

Dermal filler masculine

How can you ensure dermal filler complications are avoided?

The most important consideration is to have dermal fillers administered by a medically qualified practitioner, such as myself who is a Registered Nurse. With 15 years experience and a medical background, meaning I know the facial anatomy, the ageing process and dermatology of the face, not dismissing the fact that you would need a facial assessment to know what and how much you need personally.  I know exactly how to assess and inject safely and accurately.

How can you book in for dermal fillers?

To book a consultation click here

Sarah Barker

Aesthetic Nurse and Website Admin

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