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Facial or dermal fillers are naturally-occurring or synthetic substances that are injected into the tissues, folds and wrinkles of your face to plump up fine lines and add the volume lost through the process of ageing. Also known as wrinkle fillers, injectables and injectable implants, dermal fillers offer a temporary solution that can make your skin look younger and more youthful. And as they become more popular, clients want to know ‘does dermal filler hurt’. Let’s take a look.


What Are Dermal Fillers

Most dermal fillers are made up of gel or fat is taken from other parts of your body. They fill in depressed areas of skin, like those formed by creases, fine lines and wrinkles. They are also used to add volume to cheeks, chins, lips, jaws and foreheads, which are typically lost as we get older.


Why Are Dermal Fillers Used?

As we get older our bodies stop producing natural collagen and elastin; this usually starts happening from about the age of 25. Collagen and elastin give the skin a youthful appearance, and its production starts to decline at approximately 2% per year.

Most fillers are temporary because your body reabsorbs them over a period of time. Depending on the viscosity and type of filler, as well as the site it is injected into, fillers can last for between six and 24 months at a time.


What About The Side Effects Of Dermal Filler?

There’s a difference between side effects and adverse reactions, and most people will experience the most common side effects, which include tenderness, redness and swelling at the site of the injections. Some discomfort can be expected, but this is usually mild and can be managed with cold compresses or over-the-counter medication.

Adverse reactions occur some of the time and usually appear just after the injection. These may include redness, swelling, some pain, bruising, a rash and itching at the site of the filler injections.

But, Does Dermal Filler Hurt?

Dermal filler is administered after a topical anaesthetic, which numbs the surface of the skin so you don’t feel the needle penetrating it. Many dermal fillers are also formulated with an anaesthetic too, which numbers the effects even more. Once the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off, you may feel some temporary discomfort. Some patients liken the feeling to a stinging sensation.

It’s important to note that certain sites may be more sensitive than others, purely because the skin is thinner in these areas. Dermal filler injected into the lip area, for example, can induce more swelling and tenderness than other sites. 

The Technique Matters

Because certain parts of the face have thinner skin or lots of blood vessels below it, it’s worth asking your surgeon about their technique. The under-eye area is very sensitive and has a thinner skin and more blood vessels, so it requires greater precision to inject filler into. A cannula is a blunt, straw-like needle that delivers less filler to these areas, but in a more precise way. Using a typical filler needle in these areas can induce bruising and more discomfort.

do dermal fillers hurt miranda nswIf you’re worried about ‘does dermal filler hurt’, because you have very sensitive skin, it’s worth discussing the side effects directly with your plastic surgeon.

Your surgeon could administer more anaesthetic and wait longer to ensure it has taken full effect. In the vast majority of cases, the topical and pre-mixed anaesthetic is sufficient to manage pain and discomfort.

Any post-treatment discomfort is usually managed easily with symptomatic relief.

Part of the reason why dermal filler has become so popular is the fact that it is minimally invasive, compared to other anti-aging skin treatments.


What Can You Do To Manage The Risk Of Side Effects From Dermal Filler? 

It’s important to have your dermal fillers done by a plastic surgeon who is trained, registered and experienced, and who can manage your individual risk factors. It isn’t worth taking the chance at a beauty salon or with an unlicensed person, because there is always a chance of infection or damage during the procedure when it isn’t done properly. An inexperienced practitioner may also make the mistake of injecting into a blood vessel, which can cause permanent damage around your eye area.

You must follow your plastic surgeon’s pre-treatment instructions to minimise side effects and adverse reactions. That includes avoiding waxing, tweezing and other kinds of hair removal for two weeks before your treatment. Your aesthetician will also give you a list of medications or supplements that you should stop taking a week before the treatment.

It’s a good idea to avoid alcohol, salt and caffeine before and after your dermal filler procedure as these substances can exacerbate swelling and side effects.

You will also be advised to avoid vigorous exercise and very high temperatures after your fillers. If you need any dental treatments done, you’ll be advised to wait until at least two weeks after your dermal filler treatment, as the stretching of your mouth can displace it.


If you are concerned about ‘does dermal filler’ it’s best to discuss your concerns with a plastic surgeon. Please contact us for a confidential appointment.


Face fillers – everything you need to know before a treatment



Side Effects of Facial Fillers



The long-term health impacts of beauty fillers?


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