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Dermal Filler Dos and Don’ts

If you are looking for a way to instantly shave a good 5-10 years off your appearance or create a more aesthetically pleasing and balanced face, dermal fillers are an affordable, non-surgical solution. 


Whether you want to restore volume, enhance your lip size, get rid of hollow under eyes, or even reshape your nose or have a more prominent chin and jawline, with an experienced injector, dermal fillers can make it happen.


Dermal fillers are quick, relatively painless, and require very little restrictions or downtime, but if you want the best results from this popular cosmetic treatment,  there are some important things to know.


In this article, we will tell you everything you need to do and not do before and after getting dermal filler to stay safe and achieve optimal results. 


What are Dermal Fillers?


As we age, our skin loses elasticity and volume, which results in sagging and the formation of lines and wrinkles. Dermal fillers are an advanced cosmetic solution, typically composed of gel-like substances, injected beneath the skin’s surface to help plump and smooth. 


They are a very popular cosmetic treatment for counteracting the natural aging process by restoring facial volume and smoothing wrinkles, but that’s not all they are used for. Dermal fillers are also commonly used to contour and balance the face.


Want luscious lips? Supermodel cheekbones? A nose job without surgery? A more defined jawline? Dermal filler delivers.

There are many different brands of dermal fillers. Some of the most popular are Restylane, Juvederm, and Radiesse.

These fillers primarily contain one of two substances:

  • Hyaluronic Acid: A naturally occurring substance that is found in the body.
  • Poly-L-lactic Acid: A biodegradable synthetic material that stimulates collagen production.

Both types of filler work to restore youthful fullness to the skin. Which one your injector uses depends on the area you want to improve and your individual preference.


Most dermal fillers are gradually broken down and absorbed by the body over time, so they are not permanent. Periodic touch-up treatments are necessary to sustain your desired results. But they are known to last a very long time. Six to twelve months is the average, with some dermal fillers lasting up to two years.


Uses of Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are extremely versatile. Whether it’s restoring volume, erasing deep lines, or sculpting facial contours, here are some of the most common uses of dermal fillers for facial rejuvenation:


Smooth Wrinkles

Toxins such as Botox are the gold standard for smoothing out lines and wrinkles, but in some cases where lines are very deep, dermal fillers are often the better choice. An easy way to determine if filler is best for your lines is to look in the mirror. If you see lines when your face is at rest, dermal filler is likely the best option


Lips

Most people aren’t born with a pillow pout, and even those who are genetically blessed tend to lose fullness with age or if they live in a dry climate. Fillers can add volume and definition to the lips, creating a fuller and more sensual pout. Not looking for bigger lips? Lip filler doesn’t have to be dramatic. Less dermal lip filler placed in strategic areas of the lip can be used to simply create a more “hydrated” look.


Forehead

Stress and age can leave a mark with forehead lines. Dermal fillers can smooth things out. While Botox is often the go-to for wrinkle smoothing, deeper lines usually benefit more from the plumping effects of dermal filler.


Cheeks

Have you noticed that your cheeks are a little sunken with age? Maybe you’ve lost a lot of weight from taking medical weight loss drugs and noticed your face has a more hollowed appearance? Or perhaps your cheekbones just aren’t as high and profound as you want them to be? Dermal fillers can restore volume and lift to the midface, enhancing cheekbones.


Nasolabial Folds

Many people are concerned about the lines running from their nose to the corners of their mouth, also known as nasolabial folds. Dermal fillers are the only non-surgical solution to soften and smooth these lines.


Marionette Lines

If the corners of your mouth are downturned, it can look like you are sad or angry. Nobody wants to walk around with “RBF” all the time! It makes you look unapproachable and older than you really are. Fillers can lift and rejuvenate marionette lines, restoring a more cheerful expression.


Tear Troughs

It could be genetics or an ongoing lack of quality sleep, but dark circles and hollows under the eyes are a problem for many people. These circles and hollows can make you look tired and aged. Dermal fillers carefully injected into the tear troughs can brighten the eyes, reduce the appearance of shadows, and make you look more refreshed and rested.


Chin

Have you ever looked in the mirror and felt like you didn’t have much of a chin? Or do you know your face doesn’t appear balanced but can’t quite put your finger on what’s causing it to look that way? Enhancing chin projection and/or definition with dermal filler can work wonders in improving overall facial harmony, providing a more balanced and proportionate profile.


Temples

Most people have one temple that is more hollow than the other or have volume loss in both temples for one reason or another. This can cause you to look older or for your eyes to look a bit unbalanced. Fillers can be injected into the temple area to restore lost volume and rejuvenate the overall look of the face.


Jawline

A strong jawline is the cornerstone of facial structure. Your jawline is what frames your entire face. If you were born with a weak jawline, you might find your profile lacking definition, with a less pronounced chin and softer angles. With dermal fillers, you can enhance the definition and contour of your jawline to achieve a more refined and youthful look.


Dermal Filler Dos and Don’ts

Dermal filler treatments do not require much before or aftercare. You might have a little bit of swelling, bruising, and tenderness at the injection sites for a couple of days, but most patients go back to work and resume their usual activities as soon as they leave treatment. 


While there really isn’t much prep work or post-treatment restrictions, it’s important to be aware of some crucial dos and don’ts to ensure your dermal filler treatment is safe, effective, and lasts as long as possible.

Here are some dos and don’ts to be mindful of if you plan to get dermal filler:


Dos:

Find a Reputable Injector

Your face is delicate, with lots of nerves and structures. For safety and to ensure you achieve optimal results, it is crucial that you only get dermal filler from a licensed, qualified, and highly experienced injector. Don’t trust your face with just anyone. The knowledge and expertise of your injector can significantly influence the outcome of your treatment and lessen the risk of complications.


Book a Consultation

Not all areas of the face are suitable for dermal filler injections, and different filler brands and types are designed for specific purposes. If you are new to dermal fillers or want to inject a new area, we suggest booking a consultation. During your consultation, you and your injector can discuss your goals and areas of concern and determine the best products and techniques for achieving your desired results. 


Know Which Product is Being Used and Potential Risks

Another reason you might want to book a consultation before booking an appointment is so you have plenty of time to ask questions and research the products your injector recommends. It is important to have a clear understanding of the product being injected and any associated risks or side effects.


Stop Taking Certain Medications and Supplements

Some medications and supplements have a blood thinning effect and can increase your chances of bruising and swelling. In the week or two leading up to your dermal filler appointment, you should stop taking medications and supplements such as aspirin, Tylenol, omega 3/fish oil, vitamin E, garlic, and ginkgo biloba. 


Take Arnica Before Treatment

Arnica is a natural over-the-counter supplement known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It can be taken orally or applied topically in the days leading up to and after your treatment. This could decrease your chances of swelling and bruising. Arnica is not required, but if you are prone to bruising and swelling, it can reduce the risk of these things happening.


Stay Hydrated

You should drink plenty of water before and especially after your dermal filler treatment. Drinking water before your appointment can improve skin elasticity and plumpness, making it easier for your injector to achieve your desired outcome. Drinking water (and lots of it) after your treatment is even more important as it supports the body’s healing process and enhances the longevity of your results.


Use Ice Packs and OTC Pain Meds if Needed

Most people experience minimal swelling or discomfort following dermal filler injections. If you have any swelling or pain, applying ice packs to the treatment area can reduce inflammation and alleviate soreness, and taking over-the-counter pain medication can further alleviate any discomfort. 


Sleep on Your Back

If possible, you shouldn’t sleep on your side or stomach for a couple days following dermal filler, especially if you’ve had filler in the cheeks or under the eyes. Sleeping on your back minimizes pressure on the treatment area, reducing the risk of displacement or uneven distribution of filler.


If you have trouble sleeping on your back, you can purchase face pillows designed to help you stay in position comfortably. 


Be Gentle Around the Treatment Area

For the first day or two following your dermal filler injections, you should avoid rubbing or applying too much pressure to treatment areas, as this can potentially disrupt the placement of the filler and lead to migration. It’s totally fine to touch the area to wash your face and apply your usual creams and serums; just do so very gently. 


Don’ts 

Purchase Dermal Fillers Online

This should go without saying, but when you read headlines about “face filler gone wrong,” it is almost always because someone has used counterfeit, expired, or improperly stored products and/or had them injected by an unqualified injector, leading to a risk of contamination, infection, and adverse reactions. 


Lower prices may be tempting, but buying fillers from unregulated sources can have serious consequences for your health and appearance. To ensure your safety and the quality of your results, it’s essential to obtain dermal fillers from reputable medical professionals who adhere to strict safety standards.


Seek the “Cheapest” Injector

While cost is a factor to consider, prioritizing price over expertise and quality can lead to subpar outcomes and potential complications. Discounted or heavily discounted filler injections are often a red flag. When it comes to dermal filler, you should always prioritize expertise over bargain prices.


Inject Yourself or Use “Needle-Free” Pens

There are many DIY beauty trends that are popular on social media that we can stand behind, but attempting to perform filler injections without proper training and expertise is not one of them. 


Attempting to inject yourself or having a friend do it for you can have major consequences.


This includes needle-free pens marketed for at-home use. These devices lack the precision and safety measures necessary for effective and safe filler administration.


Improper injection techniques or the use of “needle-free” pens can result in lumps, asymmetry, vascular occlusion, or even permanent damage to facial structures. Only get dermal filler injections from qualified and experienced medical professionals.


Use Dermal Filler for Body Contouring

Dermal fillers are great for the face but not so much for larger areas of the body. Additionally, dermal fillers are not FDA-approved for use on the body. Attempting to use fillers for body contouring or augmentation can result in uneven distribution, lumpiness, or product migration. For body contouring goals, it’s best to explore alternative treatments specifically designed for those areas, such as liposuction or fat transfer procedures, under the guidance of a qualified plastic surgeon.


Exercise Immediately After Treatment

There aren’t many restrictions following dermal fillers. However, you should avoid vigorous physical activity for about 24 hours following treatment. Strenuous exercise or activities that involve bending or lifting heavy objects can lead to increased blood flow and elevated heart rate, which may exacerbate swelling, bruising, or discomfort at the injection site.


We suggest avoiding intense exercise for at least 24 to 48 hours following your filler treatment to ensure optimal healing and results. This will allow your body time to recover and the filler to settle. After that, you are good to get back to weight-lifting, yoga, running, or any other form of exercise you prefer. 


Rub or Pick the Treatment Area

Rubbing or picking your treatment areas can disrupt filler placement and increase the risk of infection or inflammation. To promote proper healing and preserve the integrity of your results, don’t rub or pick at the treated area. 


Get a Massage or Facial

Both massages and facials require direct and often intense pressure, which should be avoided for a week or two following dermal filler. This type of pressure can increase the risk of complications and interfere with the settling of the filler, potentially leading to uneven distribution or displacement.


Additionally, the use of harsh exfoliants or chemical peels can irritate the skin and make swelling or bruising worse. If you are going to get a massage or facial treatment, you should do it before your dermal filler appointment or wait at least one to two weeks after your filler treatment. 


Expose Yourself to Extreme Heat

Hot environments, such as saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, or even sunbathing for an extended period, can increase blood flow and dilation of blood vessels, leading to prolonged swelling or increased risk of bruising. To promote optimal healing and protect your dermal filler investment, it’s best to avoid excessive heat exposure for 3-7 days following your filler treatment.


Drink Alcohol

You might want to hold off on that evening glass of wine or night out with the girls on the day of your dermal filler appointment. Alcohol consumption can dilate blood vessels and thin the blood, leading to a higher chance of bruising. Alcohol can also dehydrate the body, and we already mentioned how important it is to stay hydrated after getting dermal filler. It is best to avoid or limit alcohol consumption for at least 24 to 48 hours following your filler treatment.


Dermal Filler FAQs

What are the long-term effects of dermal fillers?

Over time, the body gradually breaks down and absorbs the filler material; therefore, dermal fillers are not permanent. However, their effects can last a very long time. With proper treatment and maintenance, results can last from several months to over a year (sometimes even two), depending on the type of filler used.


Is dermal filler bad for you long-term?

When administered by a qualified professional, dermal fillers are generally safe for long-term use. The key is to choose an experienced injector and follow proper aftercare instructions to minimize risks and maximize benefits.


Can dermal filler move?

Dermal fillers are designed to stay in place once injected, but they can shift slightly within the tissue, especially if you don’t adhere to proper post-treatment dos and don’ts. That said, significant migration or displacement is rare when all follow-up instructions are followed and injections are performed by a skilled practitioner.


What is the needle size used for dermal filler?

It’s a pretty tiny needle! The needle size for dermal filler injections typically ranges from 25 to 30 gauge, depending on the treatment area and the consistency of the filler being used.


Do dermal fillers change the appearance of your face?

They can change your appearance if you want them to, but they can also provide discrete results. If your goal is drastically higher cheekbones or a more defined chin or jawbone, then yes, filler can change the appearance of your face. If your goal is subtle, natural-looking results, that is also possible. You just need to discuss your goals with your injector. 


Can lip filler be subtle?

Yes, lip filler can provide subtle enhancement to the lips, adding moisture and definition while maintaining a natural-looking appearance. Experienced injectors can tailor the treatment to your desired outcome, ensuring that your lips look plump and proportionate without appearing unnatural or overfilled.


How much lip filler do I need, and how much lip filler can be used at once?

The amount of lip filler needed depends on your lip anatomy, desired fullness, and your injector’s recommendations. We always suggest starting with less than what you think you want and gradually adding more filler to achieve your desired look. Most injectors prefer to err on the side of caution, using smaller amounts of filler to achieve subtle, natural results. If you want bigger and fuller, you can always come back for more. 


Where to Get Dermal Filler Near You

Due to the nerves in the face, facial anatomy, and the many different brands and types of fillers that have specific usage guidelines– expertise is required. Dermal filler should only be injected by a licensed, qualified injector with experience using dermal fillers.


At Relieve Health, we have clinics all across the United States staffed with highly sought-after, licensed, experienced injectors that specialize in dermal filler.


To find a Relive Health clinic near you, check out our clinic locator and book a consultation or appointment today!