Monday, 13 December 2021

Can you dissolve lip fillers?

This may seem like a silly question on a blog like this but it’s here for a reason – only certain dermal fillers can be dissolved. If the filler used is made of hyaluronic acid, then yes. If it is not, then likely no.

Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body, mainly the skin. It’s what’s used to make most of the leading fillers like the Juvederm Vycross range, Belotero, and Restylane. These fillers all break down naturally over time because a family of enzymes in the body called hyaluronidases slowly work to degrade the product. The product is broken down and flushed out naturally by the body over time.

KEY POINT- If the filler used is not made of hyaluronic acid, then it may not be reversible. Always ask your doctor.

Why would you dissolve lip filler?

This question needs to be answered from two different angles: you might need to dissolve a filler, or you might want to dissolve.

When do I need to dissolve my lip filler?

You might NEED to reverse a lip filler treatment if the filler is placed incorrectly and blocks a blood vessel. If this happens, the blood supply to the lip and other parts of the face may become compromised. There will be extensive swelling, bad bruising, skin discolouration and likely substantial pain.

You will NEED to dissolve this lip filler because if you don’t the lack of blood supply to the area will cause the tissue to die. This is called necrosis and once it starts, the damage is permanent. The damage done cannot be readily fixed and if severe enough you will require surgery and will not look the same ever again.

When might I want to dissolve my lip filler?

You might WANT to reverse a lip filler treatment if your treatment result is very poor. This will normally mean it looks unnatural, or feels very lumpy and uneven a few weeks after the procedure. This is likely because the injector has done a poor job or the product they used was of poor quality. Worst case scenario is that it’s both.

You will WANT to dissolve this lip filler because the poor result will be noticeable to you and others. If your aim is for subtle natural lip enhancement, a poor result will be the opposite of this. As well as you being able to see and feel it when you look in the mirror, others may be able to notice it.

KEY POINTS – If you’re in pain you likely need to have the filler dissolved ASAP. If you’re not happy with the result, you will likely want to have the filler dissolved.

What is used to dissolve lip filler?

Hyaluronidase (brand name Hylase) is used to dissolve and theoretically reverse the results of a treatment in which hyaluronic acid dermal fillers were used.

This is a powdered prescription product which is made into solution by a doctor to specific dilutions. When the product is in injected directly into dermal filler, it dissolves most of the product very quickly. Immediately, the volume of the area injected should reduce noticeably and over the next 2 weeks, the rest of the filler should be dissolved.

Hyaluronidase is a very powerful enzyme and is on the prescription only list of pharmaceutical products. If your injector cannot prescribe this product, they cannot keep some on site, which means they cannot reverse your filler treatment.

KEY POINT – A prescription only product available only to doctors and some nurses is used to dissolve fillers.

How do you dissolve lip fillers?

It’s not just as simple as injecting the hyaluronidase into where you were injected and off you go. There are a number of considerations that need to be made to ensure you get the treatment you need.

Too much hyaluronidase and you will dissolve some of the naturally occurring hyaluronic acid in your body leaving a deficit.

Too little hyaluronidase and the problematic filler will not be removed and the poor result or complication will remain.

Knowing precisely where the filler was injected will be important as the dissolving agent is best directed into the body of the filler which was injected.

When I dissolve my filler will everything return to exactly the way it was?

No. This is an imperfect treatment with a powerful agent that requires someone trained in the procedure to perform. The steps taken by the doctor performing the procedure are there to try ensure that your initial treatment is reversed so as to restore your tissue as closely as possible to its original state.

In the case of emergency reversals, the treatment will most likely dissolve enough of the problematic filler to prevent further damage. Then, corrective measures can be taken.

In the case of people reversing poor results, there is no way of guaranteeing how precisely the dissolving will go. The product may dissolve some of your bodies naturally occurring hyaluronic acid which will leave a deficit. This will likely need to be addressed by retreating with dermal filler.

KEY POINT – Dissolving fillers is a technically challenging procedure requiring training and skill. It can only be performed by a health care practitioner trained in its use.

Article credit:
By Dr Paul Munsanje


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