“Filler migration” — maybe you’ve heard the term. With a rise in the popularity of dermal fillers over the last few years, many of us are now regularly exposed to images of injection before-and-afters on TikTok and Instagram. We’re used to seeing lips plumped and shaped to perfection, and under eye hollows smoothed out for a refreshed, youthful look. As satisfying as those are, there’s still the risk of that dreaded migration and filler regret. Some patients feel like their filler has moved or shifted in their face over time, causing misshapen lips or weighed-down cheeks. But is this something that should keep you from getting fillers? I spoke to Dr. Nancy Samolitis at Facile Dermatology + Boutique to get the facts.
So What’s Really Happening?
Consider this: there are over ten approved brands of hyaluronic acid filler on the market, with varying molecule sizes and intended uses (Facile, which Dr. Samolitis co-founded, offers four types, all tailored to different uses). On top of that, there are non-hyaluronic acid fillers that can be used for different sculpting purposes. Unfortunately, this range of options means under-trained injectors may reach for the wrong filler and use the wrong technique. This mistake can draw excess fluid into the injected area, leading to a swollen appearance and giving the illusion of migration. “Most of the time when filler is visible in an area that is unintended, it’s because it was injected in the incorrect depth, with incorrect technique, or a filler was used that is not appropriate for the anatomical area where it was injected,” says Dr. Samolitis.
The right injector will have experience with several kinds of filler, and will know where and how to inject what. “I don’t believe that filler, when properly injected, can truly migrate from one part of the face to another,” says Dr. Samolitis. Finding an injector who knows exactly the right filler to use and wear to inject it is key to a smooth, natural result that maintains its shape over time.
“I don’t believe that filler, when properly injected, can truly migrate from one part of the face to another.”
Do Your Research
Thankfully, it’s 2021 and more people are being open about the procedures they’ve had done. The best recommendation for an injector is seeing their work in person, so ask your friends with filler about their experiences. Are they happy with their results? Would they see that injector again? While many injectors will share their work on social media, sometimes filters and Facetune can skew our perceptions of how results truly look. If there’s a particular practice you’re considering for your treatment, read reviews in addition to checking out their socials to get a full scope of their professionalism. Red flags to avoid? Any injector who recommends using the same filler on all areas of your face, or offers significant discounts compared to other offices in your area. Call around for price quotes, and book a consultation to put your mind at ease.
While word-of-mouth recommendations may be helpful, booking a consultation is the best way to inform your decision. Write down any questions you may have beforehand to avoid forgetting (pre-injection nerves can happen!) Some key questions to ask your injector:
– How many years of injecting experience do you have?
– How and where were you trained?
– Are you comfortable using multiple types of filler for different areas of the face?
If your injector can’t put you at ease, or you feel like you are being pressured into treatment, it’s OK to change your mind and find an injector you feel more comfortable with. Ultimately, the best filler experience is the one you feel safest and most confident receiving!