Dermal fillers are Hyaluronic Acid (HA) based gels that can be injected into your face to fill deep lines and wrinkles, they can add volume to areas of your face such as your lips, jaw, chin, temple, forehead and cheeks. These fillers are not permanent and how long they stay in the body is determined by different variables such as the type of filler, the thickness of the filler, the area in which it is injected and the patient’s lifestyle choices. The body reabsorbs the HA gradually over time, this results in the dermal filler generally lasting from around 6 to 15 months.
The majority of dermal fillers licensed for use in the UK by the MHRA (Medical and Health Regulatory Agency) contain a natural substance called HA. HA is a simple sugar molecule and exists in every cell of the human body. It is responsible for the hydration of cells and works with your collagen to retain elasticity, volume and shape in the facial tissue. The HA contained in dermal filler is cross-linked, meaning it can remain present in the body tissue for prolonged periods of time allowing for greater water absorption. This helps to reduce the appearance of unwanted wrinkles and fine lines, as well as giving contour and volume to the facial tissues.
If you are considering dermal filler treatment, we recommend you undergo a general consultation with a member of our medical team, this can be done as an individual appointment or can be combined with treatment. During the consultation your medical history and suitability for treatment will be assessed and you will have the opportunity to discuss your desired outcomes and ask any relevant questions at this time. Our practitioners will explain in-depth the potential risks and side effects allowing you to provide a fully informed consent for treatment. Treatment can then be carried out at that appointment or in a future one. There are often concerns about the pain element of treatments and we do our up most to put you at ease using various pain management techniques.
POTENTIAL RISKS, SIDE EFFECTS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS
The following side effects tend to occur around the injection site, these can be immediately after treatment and will usually clear within 1 to 14 days:
- Minor pain
- Itching and/or a rash.
- Red needle puncture marks
While less common, you should also be aware of the following side effects:
- Nodules around the injection site
- Granulomas- a type of inflammatory reaction to the filler
- Movement (migration) of the filler from one area to another
- Injury to blood vessels (bruising)
- Tissue death (necrosis) due to blocked blood flow (occlusion)
Complications include vascular occlusion and infection. Vascular occlusions mostly occur in the treatment chair, and medical practitioners are able to see that they are happening and treat them immediately. This may be an area going white, or there may be an area of skin that looks mottled (like fishnet stockings), or there may be some skin discoloration in a distant area away from where the skin was initially injected. After an occlusion, there may be an area that has small blisters on the skin. If the medical practitioner is concerned about any of the above, then they will check the capillary return of the skin or ask you to do so.
It’s very important to understand that if you notice any of the things above on your skin after leaving the clinic, you must call The Sanctum-07764785105 immediately.
Early infections may occur a few days after the initial treatment, and you may notice increased redness, tenderness, swelling, pain, heat, nodules or pus, if any of these occur then you should seek medical advice from your GP immediately.
Active infection near the site of injection
A known allergy/hypersensitivity to the material or to the lidocaine mixed in the syringe of the filler:
Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
An active herpes (cold sore) breakout
Immediately after the injections you face will be cleaned. You should not touch your face for 6 hours; this is to reduce the chances of infection. After this you may clean your skin with water and a gentle cleanser, using light motions. It is ideal to avoid makeup on the day of the procedure.
Things to avoid:
- Do not expose the area to intense heat (e.g., sun-beds, sun or saunas).
- Avoid pressure on the treated areas for the first few nights (i.e., sleep on back if possible).
- Avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours. (gym, sports).
- Avoid alcohol for 24 hours.
- Do not use AHA, Retinols/Vitamin C therapy or oil-based make-up for 24 hours.
- Avoid facials, facial waxing, Glycolic or AHA peels, IPL or energy-based treatments and microdermabrasion for 14 days after treatment. Please check with your physician before undergoing other facial treatments within this time.
Pain is usually mild and sometimes moderate after filler injections. There are areas which can be quite painful such as the chin and lips. Pain relief such as paracetamol may be taken pre and post treatment as directed by your practitioner.
Apply a cool compress for 10 minutes every hour on the day of treatment (do not apply ice directly on your skin).
A cool compress applied regularly for the first 24 hours after injections may help to reduce the amount of swelling. Some patients use Arnica before and after treatment to reduce the swelling.
Patients on aspirin, fish oil or other drugs associated with increased bruising may find their risk increased. For the treatment of bruising, there are over the counter treatments available, including Arnica tablets or topical cream.
When the lips are injected, the upper lip tends to swell much more than the lower lip and often patients think that their upper lip has had too much filler injected into it. Once the swelling calms down, they realise this is not the case. The typical ratio that most people choose for their lip proportion is 40% in the upper and 60% in the lower, so most likely the upper lip is going to be smaller than the lower lip once the swelling resolves (unless the patient has asked for a less natural-appearing lip).
We do not recommend massaging the treated area, unless told to by your practitioner.
There may be a small chance that a treatment may induce an outbreak of facial cold sores if you have a history of cold sore. You can take preventative Lysine or antivirals to help reduce the risk of cold sores. If you get cold sores after a treatment, you should see your GP for prescriptive treatment.
Headaches are common after temple injections; paracetamol should be used to treat them if required.
Often the veins in the temple protrude and become more obvious temporarily after fillers.
Often you may feel dermal filler lumpiness along the jawline. This will resolve over the next few weeks as the filler integrates with the skin and tissue.
Lumpiness is a common issue after forehead fillers. Several treatments may be required to achieve the best results on the forehead.
Lumpiness is expected in the first 2 weeks post treatment. Bruising at the injection site is expected; it will take up to 7 days for this to heal. tenderness post procedure can persevere for up to 10 days, usually subsides within 48 hours. You must avoid physical exercise for 7 days, including but not limited to Horse Riding, Swimming, Dancing, Gym Classes, Bike Riding. Sexual intercourse or activity must be avoided for 7 days. Within the first 24 hours of treatment do not use soap in the area to wash, only use water. Wear loose fit clothing for comfort during the healing process.
Reviewing the results of dermal filler should be performed at 2-4 weeks (except for cosmetic emergencies like infections or vascular occlusions, which should be reviewed immediately)
Reviewing prior to 2-4 weeks is not useful as there is often a small amount of swelling still present, so the results cannot be judged until this has resolved. This is particularly important with regards to symmetry. Symmetry should not be reviewed prior to 4 weeks.
Re-treatment should occur at any time between 1-6 months after a first treatment. Once peak filler has been achieved maintenance treatments can be carried out once a year for some treatments.
Please get in touch with us anytime if you have any further questions or concerns that are not answered on this leaflet. Out of clinic hours, please call and leave a voicemail explaining your concern to the mobile number provided below. One of our on call nursing staff will contact you as soon as they can.
01482 205901 | 07764785105 | Instagram @the_sanctum__ | email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sanctum Team