More than 2.5 million dermal filler procedures were performed in the United States last year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, making it not only one of the most popular kinds of plastic surgery being done today but also one of the fastest-growing.
Dermal filler injections temporarily smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, restore youthful volume to the face, and enhance lip and cheek contours without a single incision or even really any downtime. But you probably already knew all that. What you’re more interested in knowing—what may be holding you back—is can you reverse dermal fillers?
The vast majority who receive such treatments from a board-certified plastic surgeon, licensed physician’s assistant or nurse injector that’s trained and experienced in administering them are thrilled with their results. But, admittedly, less-than-perfect outcomes, such as overfilling and asymmetry, do happen. In a small percentage of cases, a patient’s body may simply react poorly to the product for no apparent reason.
Most dermal fillers are by their very nature temporary. But, if you don’t love your results, a skilled plastic surgeon can, in many cases, make more immediate corrections or improve on your results. Here’s a look at some of those treatments. So the question remains, can you reverse dermal fillers?
Your next move
Many of the most common dermal fillers are hyaluronic acid-based—Juvéderm, Voluma and Volbella. They, along with Restylane products and Belotero, can be partially or completely removed with an enzyme called hyaluronidase. It’s injected into the affected areas and dissolves the hyaluronic acid particles.
In some instances, it may remove more than the desired amount of filler, which may prompt another filler treatment to achieve your original goals.
Hyaluronidase won’t help with non-hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Radiesse, Bellafill, and Sculptra. But a steroid injection can help reverse the effects to an extent. A skilled plastic surgeon may also be able to significantly improve your results with the strategic placement of another filler.
Cosmetic surgery is part science and art. While a solvent that dissolves the filler may seem logical enough, treating a poor outcome with another filler probably sounds counterintuitive. So it may help to think of it this way: An artist creates dimension and life not by erasing imperfections but by delicately developing shading.
Yep, there’s homework
Often, time is the best remedy for subpar results. Mild symptoms, like moderate lumpiness or slight asymmetry, can usually be improved by massaging the area.
Well before then, though, be thorough about researching and screening prospective surgeons. The more capable they are to discern the appropriate filler for you and inject it safely and precisely, the more likely you’ll be to achieve a beautiful result.