Do Dermal Fillers Have Long-Term Effects?

Hyaluronic acid-based dermal fillers have a low overall incidence of long-term side effects, but there are occasional adverse outcomes that range from chronic lymphoplasmacytic inflammatory reactions to classic granulomatous foreign body-type reactions. This type of filler is unique in that its results are gradual, as it stimulates the body to produce collagen over a period of several months. To reduce the risk of serious side effects, it is important to choose a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who only uses FDA-approved dermal fillers. Other dermal fillers available include those made from calcium hydroxylapatite, poly-L-lactic acid, polymethyl methacrylate, and autologous fat (fat that is transplanted from another part of the body).

For those who have not had a dermal filler before and are unsure what to expect, this type of filler is recommended. Dermal fillers can be composed of a variety of substances, some naturally occurring and others synthetic. Hyaluronic acid fillers are the most commonly used, as they are the same component found in many topical skin care products designed for anti-aging and skin volume. Hyaluronic acid fillers are more durable than other more easily biodegradable fillers, but they can still cause clumping or visibility under the skin.

Infections from temporary fillers such as HA are rare, but they can still cause damage to the skin and subcutaneous fat. Semi-permanent fillers are made from products such as Sculptra, which stimulates collagen production in the injected area. Depending on their specific chemical composition, HA fillers can last from six months to much longer before they are gradually absorbed by the body. Due to their cost, some consumers have turned to the online black market to buy DIY fillers.

To avoid this risk, it is important to consult with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who can help you understand the differences between types of fillers and how each one focuses on specific areas and problems. If you want fillers removed or reduced due to side effects, you may need additional procedures to reduce the filler or surgery to remove it. According to the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, dermal fillers consist of gel-like substances such as hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite, and poly-L-lactic acid which are injected under the skin. For some types of dermal fillers such as Sculptra and Radiesse, it is best to wait until the results wear off before considering removal.