Are Dermal Fillers Painful? An Expert's Perspective

Dermal fillers are a popular and effective way to rejuvenate and revitalize the skin without surgery or downtime. But many people are hesitant to try them due to the fear of pain. The good news is that dermal filler injections are generally not painful for most patients. The vast majority of patients only experience mild bruising and swelling after the filler injection.

You may also notice that the area feels a little sensitive to the touch for a couple of days afterwards, especially if you have been injected with filler in your lips. However, there are two more serious side effects worth mentioning. First, the filler is a foreign body and can develop an infection. I have seen chronic infection in two patients who were injected with filler in another office.

In both cases it was Juvederm Voluma, a product used on the cheeks. The infection is treatable and treatment involves dissolving the filler, along with antibiotics and steroids to reduce swelling. In my practice, I only use Radiesse or Restylane Lyft on my cheeks. I haven't seen chronic infections develop with any of these products.

The second serious complication that can occur with fillers is injection into an artery or vein. If this occurs in a vessel that irrigates the skin, the overlying skin will turn dark or spotty. Without treatment, the skin could develop a wound. If injected into an artery or vein in the vessels around the eye, the possible result is blindness.

Fortunately, this complication is very rare. However, it is essential that the complication be recognized immediately and treated appropriately. In my office, we have an emergency kit and treatment instructions immediately available in the unlikely event of a serious filling complication. And my injector nurse and I are trained to recognize this type of complication. The lips are one of the most sensitive areas of the body, so an injectable anesthetic can be used first.

But frosting is usually sufficient, especially since many of the most commonly used fillers, such as Restylane and Juvederm, already have lidocaine mixed in. Even before that time, it's critical to find a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in the specific treatment. Both the placement and the amount of product used will make a difference in the procedure itself and in the result. If the lips are too full, it may hurt a little. The injection itself feels like a splinter, but if done correctly, the pain should go away immediately.

The lips may swell a little for a few hours after the procedure. It can be a little unsettling, but it should never be painful. The next day, you will return to normal and the swelling should completely disappear after about a week. Dermal fillers can be used all over the face; cheeks, lips, under the eyes, around the nose and mouth. If you are taking blood thinners, your risk of bruising is higher after the filler injection, but you can still inject the filler safely. Fillers add volume directly, stimulate the body to produce collagen, or make a combination of both.

Dermal fillers are often an effective option for those who want to improve their lips and cheeks or eliminate lines between their eyebrows and in the area between their nose and mouth. If you are immunocompromised, you have an increased risk of infection after the filler injection and you should discuss this with your primary care doctor before considering filling. Dermal fillers are considered safe and effective treatments as long as they are administered by fully qualified and experienced medical professionals. In conclusion, dermal fillers can be used to improve your appearance without pain or discomfort when administered by an experienced professional.

Emmett Whitson
Emmett Whitson

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