Dermal Filler Injections – Less Risky Than Surgery but the Treatment Has Its Problems

By: Harry Marldon | Posted: 17th April 2012

Thousands of women choose to have dermal filler injections every year to remove the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. However, there are a number of associated risks such as bruising, allergic reactions, and lumps under the skin.

Dermal fillers have emerged as one of the beauty and cosmetic market’s most effective, and hence most popular anti-aging treatment. Dermal fillers are injected into fine lines and wrinkles, filling the depressed area of skin and smoothing it out. Fillers can also be used to treat inherited facial imperfections and other skin depressions, such as acne scars. Filler treatments are known to be one of the safest on the market, as the filler breaks down in the body over time, meaning that any adverse side effects are usually short-lived. There are however more serious possible complications associated with dermal filler treatments, and prospective patients should be aware both of the type of injectable filler to be used, and the experience and qualifications of the beauty technician or cosmetic surgeon carrying out the procedure.

There are many different types and brands of dermal filler available, and they may synthetic, clinically produced (normally with hyaluronic acid as the principle ingredient), or natural, such as those based on bovine (cow) collagen, and fat taken from different areas of the human body. These fillers work to plump out skin depressions and lines, restoring the skin’s suppleness and elasticity. While most dermal fillers used nowadays are biodegradable, with temporary effects that require top-up treatments every 6-12 months, other dermal fillers are permanent, containing synthetic materials that will not biodegrade. One of the major problems with permanent dermal fillers is that, while the natural features of the face will continue to change over time, these synthetic particles are not intended to move, and this may cause future facial irregularities. It is also possible for filler materials to migrate, moving to another area of the face, with similar disfiguring consequences.

The most common side-effect of dermal filler treatments is moderate bruising and swelling around the injection site, which will generally disappear within a few days. Rarer complications include viral and bacterial infections, contracted from non-sterilised needles or contaminated filler products. Allergic reactions are possible, most often to bovine collagen or synthetic materials, and these may cause swelling and breathing difficulties. Blisters and sores may also develop around the injection site, and will often spread to other areas. Another common symptom of an adverse reaction is when small lumps (nodules) begin to form under the skin, which can be difficult or impossible to treat, and may prove disfiguring if they appear in facial areas, such as under the eyes or around the lips.

The symptoms of allergic reactions will often be hardly noticeable, though they may also be very severe, and potentially fatal if a person suffers toxic shock. This emphasises the need for dermal filler treatment practitioners to carry out allergy tests on new patients, normally involving a small injection of the filler and monitoring of the reaction, a day or two prior to the main treatment. In legal terms, beauty technicians and cosmetic surgeons are expected to carry out dermal filler treatments in a reasonably competent manner, to the standard one would expect of a competent fellow professional. Where they negligently fail in this regard, and a patient is injured or disfigured by a dermal filler procedure, the latter should seek legal advice, as it will often be possible to claim compensation for both physical and emotional pain and suffering, as well as the cost of corrective cosmetic surgery.

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Tags: many different types, allergic reactions, elasticity, acne scars, prospective patients, cosmetic surgeon, anti aging treatment, adverse side effects, hyaluronic acid, depressions, suppleness, synthetic materials, natural features, cosmetic market