The Truth About Permanent Dermal Fillers

In an era where loss of facial volume and wrinkling of facial tissue is “fixable” many Australian’s are rapidly embracing the chance to use cosmetic injections to reverse and prevent some unwanted signs of facial ageing.

Let us state at Dermatology Institute of Victoria we only use temporary dissolvable fillers for your safety.  It is important for you to make an informed decision when it comes to your filler treatment.

It is important to know there are 3 types of dermal fillers in the Australian marketplace.  There are temporary hyaluronic acid fillers (last 2 years, dissolvable),  Semi-permanent fillers (last 2-3 years, not dissolvable) and permanent fillers (last 10 years to forever).

With the use of permanent fillers being published more and more in the media, it begs the question, is it worth making a lifetime commitment? We spoke to A/Professor Greg Goodman to discuss your options and whether this modality causes more harm than good.

What are permanent fillers?

Permanent fillers are dermal fillers that remain in place and do not dissolve spontaneously over time. They include occasionally ones own fat, but mostly are materials that resemble broken down contact lenses called acrylates. Silicone is also a permanent filler that has been used for many years and does have some good medical use but not when it comes to implanting into patients for cosmetic reasons.

Why are some injectors using this permanent filler method?

Injectors using permanent fillers are using this modality more frequently due to patient demands for something permanent. In part, they are also offering this because they perceive it as a point of difference to temporary fillers. Temporary fillers have the advantage that you can sometimes reverse the potential issues that might occur from the product. Sometimes the physician can buy the permanent fillers for a cheaper price and they consider this important to the consumer. Cheaper filler is not better filler. 

What are the possible complications?

Infection and inflammation of the fillers - The body may reject or respond unfavourably to permanent fillers, which are made with non-body like substances. Additionally, when permanent fillers are accidentally injected into blood vessels or the “injection danger zones,” they can cause blockages and may lead to serious complications and ischemic events. If you inject into an artery with a dissolvable filler you can treat the area and have a good chance of reversing any issue.  If you inject a permanent filler into an artery, then the skin may die with no chance of you reversing the treatment. This is why at Dermatology Institute we choose only temporary fillers for your safety.

Fillers dropping in position or changing in position - What may seem as the right amount of plumpness for more youthful lips for a woman in her early 30s-40s may look “overly enhanced” 10 to 15 years later. Also the cheeks that may look good on you today, may not look good on you in 10 years time.

Likewise, some patients may have permanent fillers injected into recessed acne scars. Although this will level out the scar when the filler is first applied, as the patient ages and experiences volume loss, the previously injected areas may become raised.

Can you reverse permanent fillers?

You can only reverse hyaluronic acid filler implantation at the present time. Other temporary fillers such as polylactic acid and hydroxyapatite do not have the ability to be dissolved but do disappear in time. Acrylates and silicone do not have any possibility of being dissolved and would need to be surgically removed if there was an issue.

 Consider the evidence before your filler treatment and meet with a professional, clinical practice to discuss your options.  We enjoy giving our patients long consultations so that you can discuss all possible adverse events and outcomes.  We pride ourselves on our treatment plans and our results.   

 At Dermatology Institute of Victoria -

Most of our injectors are clinical trainers for pharmaceutical companies and lecture regularly at conferences.  We choose to buy our temporary fillers from reputable companies from Sweden, France, USA and Switzerland.   We believe in natural results for our filler patients.