Typically, injectable dermal fillers are thought to last from anywhere between one month to a few, depending on a range of factors including the type of filler used and how quickly your body metabolises it. However, two cosmetic medicine specialists, Dr. Gavin Chan of Victorian Cosmetic Institute and Dr. Mobin Master of Victorian Dermal Group, have discovered it can last for many years and migrate to other areas of the face.
“If you ask anyone who has had fillers done, they’ll tell you it lasts six to 12, maybe 18 months if you’re lucky. Some people think it lasts even less than that. The perception is dermal fillers only last for a very short time. But, I’ve seen some examples that have made me think otherwise,” shares Dr. Gavin Chan on YouTube.
“Over the years, we’ve had patients come in after dermal fillers for their tear ducts. Six, seven or eight years later, they’ll have a puffiness or bulge under their eyes. The patients don’t think it’s the filler - they think the filler has gone many years ago. I often suggest we use some hyaluronidase (a filler dissolver). We do that and almost miraculously this bulge - which has been there for many years - disappears.”
According to Dr. Chan and Dr. Master, MRI scans of these patients also reveal that filler can remain in the face for many years - although it will often have migrated to another area than where it was originally injected.
“We’ve seen this over the years where patients continuously get more and more lip filler. The lips don’t actually get that much bigger but then suddenly their lip starts to protrude forward like a duck,” says Dr. Chan, explaining the northward movement of the lip filler.
Dr. Chan describes the experience of seeing patients he hasn’t seen for a while and who may have gone to see another practitioner in the interim for multiple filler treatments.
“You see them several years later and their face has just expanded. It’s quite ridiculous. They’ve lost that beautiful, slender shape to their face. It looks watery and swollen.”
The doctors’ advice?
Keeping sight of what your face originally looked like and not moving too far from this. You'll also want to ensure that you see an excellent (and honest!) practitioner for your treatments who will keep you in check. It may also be necessary to dissolve old filler before having an area refilled.
“A good practitioner will say ‘you’ve had too much, you need to stop.’ Unfortunately, a lot of people are driven by profit and that results in these patients who have these gigantic lips,” says Dr. Chan.
Did you know you can now buy injectables online? But, experts are warning it's very dangerous. Find out why here.
Main image credit: @kyliejenner
Isobel is a Digital Content Editor at BEAUTYcrew, marie claire and InStyle. When she's not busy hunting for the latest beauty news, you’ll find her arranging her skincare collection in search of the perfect “shelfie.” Isobel was previously BEAUTYcrew's Junior Beauty Writer.