What happens when I get a filler? 

The procedure varies with the filler your dermatologist will use, the part of the body to be treated, and your medical history. Here are some general guidelines about what you can expect:

  • Most filler treatments take between 15 and 60 minutes and require one office visit. Numbing time may be included.

  • Before getting the injections, you may need ice or an anesthetic applied to the skin. This varies with the filler and area to be treated. Hands, cheeks, chin, and jawline generally do not need anesthesia; lips require a topical anesthetic.

  • Your clinician will inject the filler into the area, often giving you several injections to produce the best results. 

  • You may feel a stinging or burning sensation as the filler is injected. 

What must I do after getting a filler?

  • Most patients can return to their everyday activities after leaving the medspa. 
  • To reduce any redness and swelling from the injections, your clinician may recommend icing the area for 15 to 20 minutes before you leave.
  • Before you leave the medspa, you should be able to apply makeup.

After leaving the office, you should: 

  • Wait until the next day to exercise or do any other strenuous activity.

  • Stay out of the sun and do not use a tanning bed or other type of indoor tanning. 

  • Avoid touching the treated area for three days, unless you receive instructions to massage the area.

  • One filler, poly-L-lactic acid, requires you to gently massage the treated area for about 5 minutes several times a day for 1 to 2 weeks. Your clinician will tell you if you need to massage the area. 

Is there downtime?

This varies with the filler. Most fillers do not cause downtime. Be sure to ask your clinician whether you will have downtime.

When will I see results after getting a filler? 

This also varies with the filler. Most fillers fill the skin, so they produce immediate — or close to immediate — results. A filler also can stimulate your body to produce collagen, but this takes time. Give your filler 4 full weeks to settle and spread properly to judge results.

Will I look natural? 

To get natural-looking results, the person injecting the filler must have expertise in placing the filler. We recommend not overdoing fillers. Your results will look more natural with a conservative approach. For example, patients who have very thin lips should not get dramatically fuller lips. Creating fuller lips in these patients could be extremely unflattering because the lips might start to resemble a duck’s bill.

How long will the results from fillers last?

Most fillers offer temporary results and require repeat treatments to maintain the results. 
Temporary fillers offer one key advantage: these can be injected as needed to replace lost fullness. This is advantageous because no matter what we do, our skin continues to age. 

When is it safe to get another treatment? 

If you get a temporary filler, you can usually have another treatment when the signs of aging reappear or swelling subsides.

What are the possible side effects? 

After receiving filler injections, some patients have minor, temporary side effects where they were injected. You may have:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising (occasionally)

These side effects tend to clear within 7 to 14 days — if not earlier.

Serious side effects are more likely when the person injecting the filler does not have adequate medical training and experience. To protect your health, you should never get filler injections in a non-medical setting, such as non-medical spa, salon, or someone’s home.
When fillers are injected in a non-medical setting or by an inexperienced provider, reports of more serious side effects increase dramatically. These side effects include:
  • Lumps.
  • Ridges.
  • Over-filled areas.
  • Allergic reaction.
  • Skin discoloration.
  • Infection.
  • Severe swelling.

What is the safety record for fillers?

This is one of the safest cosmetic treatments available. For years, dermatologists have been refining the use of fillers to diminish signs of aging. Today, dermatologists safely treat people of many ages and all skin colors. 

What can you not do after dermal fillers?

Things to avoid:

  • Do not expose the area to intense heat (eg solarium or sauna)
  • Avoid pressure on the treated areas for the first few nights (i.e. sleep on back of possible)
  • Avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours.
  • Avoid alcohol for 24 hours.
  • Do not use AHA, Retinols/Vitamin C therapy or oil based make-up for 24 hours.

Can filler move if you touch it?

Although extremely rare, dermal fillers are able to migrate within the skin if consistent and adequate pressure is applied to them. For this reason, we advise patients not to get a facial, massage (on the treated skin), or microdermabrasion for the first two weeks following their filler injections.

How do you sleep after dermal fillers?

Sleeping on your back is the safest position after any cosmetic procedure. The first night after your treatment, sleep with your head elevated (propped up with an extra pillow) to help avoid/reduce swelling and to ensure that the newly-injected filler stays in place.

Do lumps from fillers go away?

Generally, any lumps or bumps that appear after fillers will disappear on their own within one to two weeks. Give the treatment a couple of weeks to improve, applying ice regularly.

What happens when you stop doing fillers?

With dermal fillers, most people think your skin will become wrinkly or saggy if you stop getting injections. This is not necessarily true. The effects of the fillers will wear off after months or years, but the treated area is likely to return to its original state.