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What You Should Know Before Getting Facial Fillers

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Several different types of synthetic fillers are available.

Synthetic gels are the most common facial fillers. There are different brands, but they're grouped by the natural body substance they mimic. This includes collagen, calcium hydroxyapatite, and hyaluronic acid, a sugar protein that attracts water. Some are stiffer and puff up your skin more than others. Unlike other fillers, autologous fat injections call for surgery because they take fat from another part of your body.


Check out the facility and know who your injector is before getting facial fillers.

Facial fillers involve a medical procedure. Schedule a consultation to check out the facility and ask questions. You'll be more relaxed if your treatment is on a different day.

Each state has rules for who can give facial filler shots. Look for a board-certified plastic surgeon, dermatologist, or ophthalmologist. Ask:

  • How did you become experienced in facial fillers?
  • Are you qualified to take care of any issues, no matter how rare?


It is best to get facial fillers at a medical office.

Get facial fillers done at a medical office. Don't do it at a party, salon, spa, or someone's house. Issues are rare, but they can happen, especially with someone who doesn't know what they’re doing.


Have a goal in mind before getting facial fillers.

Think hard about what you want fillers to do for your face -- it's not just about looking younger. You might want to get injections in stages so you can better direct the result. Ask your doctor for before-and-after photos. It's important to know what success looks like.


It is normal to have bruising, redness, mild bleeding, and discomfort after getting fillers.

Your face is a road map of arteries and veins underneath your skin. Bruising after an injection is normal. So are redness, mild bleeding, and discomfort. You'll probably be a little swollen at first, too. Give it a week to settle in.


Fillers may be associated with risks like rash, acne, lumps, allergic reaction, and infection.

Even though most fillers copy natural substances already in your body, your body may not like it. Other risks include:

  • Rash
  • Acne
  • Lumps
  • An itchy allergic reaction
  • An infection that feels warm to the touch

Inflammation may also make your skin darker, called hyperpigmentation. This can happen with all skin types, but it's most often seen in patients of color.


Rare side effects of fillers include dead tissue and blindness.

Dead tissue and blindness don't happen very often. In each case, fillers block arteries and blood can't get through. For both conditions, you'll need help from a dermatologist or other medical professional right away.


Fillers add volume to your face, but cannot correct other issues.

Facial fillers can add volume to your face, but they can't change the quality of your skin. Talk to your dermatologist about treatment options if you have deep acne scars, etched-in lines, brown patches, or other skin issues.


Fillers cost approximately $650 per syringe for a 1-year treatment and $900 per syringe for treatment that lasts 2 years.

You'll need one or two syringes, depending on your treatment area. Current average cost is $650 per syringe for a 1-year filler and $900 for one that lasts 2 years. Most fillers aren't covered by health insurance because they're considered cosmetic. If someone quotes you a price that seems too good to be true, the filler may come from an illegal source.


Tell your doctor if you are taking blood thinners before getting fillers.

Tell your doctor about any medications you take, including supplements. Anything that thins your blood, like prescription drugs, aspirin, or ibuprofen, can make bruises last longer. Most doctors say you should stop blood thinners 2 weeks before an injection.


Do not wear makeup before you get fillers and for about an hour or so afterwards.

To lower your risk of infection, make sure your face is clean when you show up for your appointment. Your doctor will clean it again before your injection. You may have to wait an hour or so after the procedure to put on makeup. When you do, use clean brushes and new cosmetics.

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