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Fillers Gone Wrong: How to Fix It?

Kristina Cadwell  
May 4, 2023  

Dermal fillers can improve various facial imperfections, from sunken cheeks and wrinkles in the midface area, to thin lips and a sagging jawline. Fillers are at the very top of popular non-surgical beauty treatments.

One of the concerns that new patients have is whether a filler can produce bad results. This article explains why fillers sometimes fail and recommends what to do about fillers gone wrong.

Fillers gone wrong

Can Filler Injections Go Wrong?

Filler injections can go wrong for several reasons, including:

  • Injecting too much or too little filler in the target area
  • Injecting the filler in the wrong location
  • Poor quality product
  • Filler migrating to other facial areas
  • The patient’s medical condition/medications complicating the procedure

Another important reason why fillers go wrong is the provider’s lack of training and experience.

What Happens if Fillers Go Wrong?

The consequences of fillers going wrong range from mild, short-lived, and reversable, to severe and long-lasting.

1. Asymmetrical Results

Injecting the filler in one area can change the balance of facial features in other areas. To avoid asymmetrical results, knowledgeable filler providers sometimes inject a small amount of filler in other areas to achieve the patient’s desired look. Asymmetrical results can also occur when the patient doesn’t follow the provider’s aftercare recommendations, indulging in activities (e.g., strenuous exercise) that lead to filler migration.

Note: Learn what dermal filler aftercare tips to follow for the best results.

2. Unnatural Results

When the provider administers too much product in the target area, it can lead to unnaturally inflated features. This often happens when untrained providers use the same injection technique and filler amount for all patients.

3. Lumps

Administering too much filler, injecting it at an inadequate depth, or using the wrong product for the intended depth can result in lump formation.

4. Infection

Dermal fillers should be performed in a clean medical environment. The provider must wear gloves and prepare the patient for the treatment by disinfecting their skin. The patient should follow the provider’s filler aftercare tips to avoid complications. If any of these precautions is not adhered to, the patient may get an infection.

5. Necrosis

Necrosis or the death of skin tissue can happen when the provider inadvertently injects the filler directly into a blood vessel or close to a blood vessel, causing an obstruction. This complication is rare, occurring in one out of 100,000 patients.

6. Shorter Filler Duration

Bad injection technique can compromise the long-term stability of the product. Dermal fillers typically last one to two years, depending on the product, but if too little product is used or if it is administered superficially, it can shorten the longevity of results.

Note: Lip fillers are among the most popular dermal fillers. Learn how long Juvéderm lasts in lips.

How Long Will the Effects Last if a Filler Goes Wrong?

Left untreated, undesired filler results can last as long as the filler’s intended longevity – up to two years. Sometimes, the effects last shorter than intended due to inadequate administration. In many cases of fillers gone wrong, patients have options to correct them.

How to Avoid Fillers Going Wrong?

Patients are advised to conduct thorough research when considering a dermal filler treatment. The following solutions can help you avoid filler complications.

1. Choose a Certified Medical Provider

Medical providers receive thorough medical training and have a deep knowledge of facial anatomy necessary for performing complicated procedures such as injecting dermal fillers. Choosing a medical provider at a reputable med spa or clinic over a non-certified cosmetic practitioner in a salon reduces the risk of complications.

2. Disclose All Medical Information

Reputable dermal filler providers offer a consultation before the procedure. They inquire about the patient’s health and medications they use to determine if these may interfere with the treatment’s safety and effectiveness. The consultation is also a good opportunity for patients to learn about the provider’s expertise.

3. Clearly Communicate Your Aesthetic Goals

During the consultation, patients should clearly explain what they want to achieve with fillers. This will reduce the risk of unnatural looking results.

At Vibrant Skin Bar, we offer free consultations where we create a customized treatment plan for each patient according to their unique circumstances and needs.

What to Do if Fillers Go Wrong?

Most negative outcomes of a dermal filler treatment can be resolved.

  • Skilled injectors can reverse the effects of unnatural results by injecting the enzyme hyaluronidase in the treated area. However, this treatment can only work for fillers based on hyaluronic acid, like Juvéderm and Restylane.
  • To correct asymmetrical results and lumps, the medical provider injects a small amount of filler in different areas to restore balance to facial features.
  • Infection after a dermal filler is treated with antibiotics.
  • Depending on the state of necrosis after a filler, medical providers may be able to correct the condition with hyaluronidase (in early stages) or PRP treatment (in later stages).

Note: Learn the effects of nose filler gone wrong and what to do to correct the negative outcomes.

When Should You See a Doctor?

The common side effects of dermal fillers include swelling, bruising, redness, and moderate pain. They don’t require medical help and typically disappear within two weeks.

However, if you experience the following symptoms after your dermal filler treatment, immediately contact your medical provider:

  • Severe pain
  • Severe headache
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired vision
  • Whiteness of skin near the injection site
  • Blue discoloration
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty walking
  • Muscle weakness
  • Confusion


Dermal fillers provide outstanding anti-aging results. However, it is important to get the treatment with a certified, experienced medical provider to avoid potential complications.

If you are looking to get dermal fillers in Phoenix, schedule a free consultation at Vibrant Skin Bar and we’ll help your reach your aesthetic goals safely.

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About the Author:
Kristina Cadwell
PA Kristina Cadwell graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. She then completed the Physician Assistant program at A.T. Still University graduating with a Masters of Medical Science degree. Kristina has been working in the Aesthetic Medical field for over 10 years. She is certified in neurotoxin cosmetic injection, dermal fillers, Plasma Pen skin tightening, chemical peels, and laser therapy. She is known for producing natural results and has extensive knowledge in diet and exercise allowing her to help you achieve vibrant skin from the inside out.
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