The so-called temporary fillers are some of the most performed procedures in beauty clinics around the world (next after Botox). But are these cosmetic injections really as good and safe as the manufacturers want us to believe they are?
Temporary fillers may have fewer complications compared to the semi-permanent and permanent fillers. But they do come with a lot of risks and side effects scaling from the more common swelling and lumps, all the way to blindness as the worst-case scenario.
Something else you need to be aware of is that fillers can stretch out your skin and accelerate aging. And, ironically, they have just been found to not be as temporary as believed. This post will tell you all you need to know about temporary dermal fillers made of Hyaluronic acid.
What are temporary fillers? And how do they work?
There are many different kinds of dermal fillers. But today, the most commonly used is the one that is made out of Hyaluronic acid. This kind of filler has been stated to last for about 6-12 months and is therefore considered to be temporary. That estimation is about to change since they’ve recently been shown to last a lot longer. But we will get back to that.
The purpose of these kinds of cosmetic injections is to either fill out wrinkles or scars or to cause more volume in certain places of the face. In other words to smooth the face or/and sculpt it by changing the form of certain areas.
Lip augmentation, as well as cheek injections, are two of the most popular filler procedures. Other common places where people get injections are the jawline, the nose, and the chin.
The largest brands when it comes to these kinds of cosmetic injections are Juvederm, Restylane, and Boletero. So these all have Hyaluronic acid as a base.
With the other kinds of dermal fillers (such as collagen, poly-L-lactic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite, and even silicon). The side effects and risks are many more. So most clinics are using them less and less already. Therefore, in this article, we will only address the temporary fillers made of Hyaluronic acid.
Is this kind of Hyaluronic acid really natural?
Now the argument you will hear from everyone advocating these kinds of filler treatments is that Hyaluronic acid is an all-natural ingredient. And that it’s a part of our skin already.
While it’s true that we do have natural hyaluronic acid in our skin, the fillers DO NOT contain the same kind of molecules that we produce within our bodies. Instead, temporary fillers contain cross-linked molecules. And these do come with complications that we will get back to.
The reason these filler molecules are cross-linked is that otherwise, they wouldn’t last longer than a few days. Instead, they can last a lot longer. Not just the claimed 6-12 months, but actually for several years.
Are temporary fillers safe? – What are the side effects?
The most common side effects of doing these kinds of cosmetic injections are bruising, pain, and swelling. And in a small percentage of patients there can also be prolonged swelling, nodules (even several months after the injection), infections, and allergic reactions.
Another side effect that is not that uncommon is called the Tyndall effect. This is when some people get a bluish hue of their skin (due to scattering of the light) after being injected with fillers of Hyaluronic acid.
Now, let’s move over to the more serious side effects and risks that can happen. We will point out that the ones I’m about to mention are not common. But they do occur, even with very experienced practitioners. And you should be aware of them as part of your evaluation regarding this cosmetic treatment.
The most serious complications are called vascular occlusions, which means blockage of a blood vessel. This situation can lead to both necrosis (tissue death) and blindness. Let’s start with blindness.
Can fillers move? – And what are the consequences?
So temporary fillers have been believed to be, temporary, and to not move in greater extent from the injection site. But this belief is about to change since it’s just been discovered that so-called temporary fillers actually do move, and they do stay in the face. For many many years.
Recently, with an MRI scan, doctors in Melbourne Australia discovered this on all of the patients examined. They could see that the filler had often moved and stayed in another area of the face. For many years.
For example when someone injects fillers into their lips. The filler is believed to stay for 6-12 months before a touch up is needed.
But with the MRI scan, these doctors could see that a lot of the fillers were still there. It had just moved, up to the area between the nose and mouth. And over time, as more touch-ups are being made, that area may start to form the shape of a duckbill.
Another problem with the fillers moving, and staying, is that fillers injected near the eye area, or cheek area, can cause under-eye bags several years later.
How long do temporary fillers last? – The real truth
As you can read in most places on the internet. The longevity of temporary fillers is claimed to be around 6-12 months. Hence the name. That will need to be revalued though, as discussed above. Because in reality, seen when using an MRI scan, these kinds of dermal fillers can last for years and years.
In the video below you can watch two doctors, Dr. Gavin Chan and Dr. Mobin Master, discuss this subject. They will also show evidence of MRI scans showing what really has happened to the Hyaluronic acid fillers.
We truly recommend you watch this video if you are doing or thinking of doing this kind of cosmetic injections.
Watch Dr. Gavin Chan and Dr. Mobin Master explain how long temporary fillers last. They will also show evidence from MRI scans, showing what really happens with injected Hyaluronic acid fillers.