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Should We Be Worried About Filler Migrations Now?

Should We Be Worried About Filler Migrations Now?


When it comes to cosmetic procedures like dermal fillers, there’s always anxiety around potential complications. And since dermal fillers have become an increasingly popular “lunchtime” treatment for restoring youthful volume and smoothing lines, panic sets in at the thought of mishaps and complications, such as filler migration. Yes, no one wants to be filled with shape-shifting substances. 

The good news is that filler migration is rare if the proper technique is used during dermal filling, and it’s completely correctable in most cases. In essence, there’s no need to freak out over this mishap as it almost never happens. But if it does, there are ways to fix it. But first…

What is filler migration?

Dermal fillers are made from hyaluronic acid or other biocompatible gel materials that are injected beneath the skin to augment facial features like the cheeks, lips, chin, and nasolabial folds. The goal is a smooth, youthful, and contoured look. Migration refers to when the filler product gradually shifts or moves away from the initially treated area over time. For instance, those lusciously-filled lips may start developing a bit of an uneven appearance, or that beautifully boosted cheekbone may start descending southward.

Now for the reassuring part: filler migration is uncommon when performed by an experienced, qualified injector. High-quality hyaluronic acid-based fillers are formulated to remain stable and intact within the treatment areas. However, like any medical procedure, there are some risk factors that can increase the chances of migration. Therefore, before you undergo the procedure, consult an expert who will walk you through the process of getting fillers and the important to-dos thereafter.

What causes filler to migrate?

Photo: Monstera Production/Pexels

Several factors are responsible for filler migration, including:

  • Injection technique: Injecting the filler at the incorrect depth or suboptimal location within the tissue planes can allow for more mobility and migration over time. Overly aggressive massage or manipulation of the area post-injection may also contribute to displacement.
  • Filler dilution/consistency: Some fillers have a relatively thin, less cohesive consistency that doesn’t maintain its shape as firmly over time compared to denser, more tightly cross-linked gel products. Using fillers that are overly diluted can compromise their stability.
  • Injection area: Spots with a high degree of muscle movement or animation like the lips are at higher risk for migration compared to more static regions like the cheeks. The constant puckering and movement can gradually displace lip fillers.
  • Massage/pressure: Putting excessive pressure or massage on the treated area before it’s had a chance to settle can cause the filler gel to shift from its originally injected position.

How to fix migrated filler

  • Hyaluronidase injections: By injecting an enzyme called hyaluronidase that bio-metabolizes hyaluronic acid fillers, your provider can melt away and dissolve any migrated filler product, allowing you to start fresh.
  • Manual massage/shaping: In milder cases, a skilled injector may be able to manually recontour and shape the filler back into position using specialized massage and manipulation techniques. Think of it like re-sculpting clay!

While dealing with a migrated filler is understandably frustrating, the good news is it’s a temporary issue with correction methods available. The best approach is prevention through selecting an experienced injector and following all post-care instructions. Doing your due diligence and opting for experts would save you tons of headaches. Sure, having a discount or cheaper options might sound good, but not at the expense of getting mediocre work done.

In conclusion, should you be lying awake fretting about filler migrations? Certainly not! They are uncommon side effects that can typically be managed without long-term consequences when spotted and addressed promptly. As with any cosmetic treatment, educating yourself and choosing a reputable provider is key to minimizing risks. Now relax, and let those freshly filled features shine.

Featured image: master1305/iStock

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