Possible adverse effects include:
Pain: You may experience some minor tenderness or discomfort post-treatment. If you do have more pain than expected, it is important to contact your treating practitioner immediately as this may indicate a complication, such as a vascular occlusion.
Redness: This is normal and usually resolves quickly. If the treatment area becomes red a few days after treatment, particularly if heat is also present, this may indicate an infection and you need to contact your practitioner straight away.
Swelling: Some swelling or oedema is normal after treatment and may be worse the following morning after the procedure. However, persistent swelling should be reported to your practitioner as there may be treatment to help relieve this.
Bruising: As the procedure involves injections in the skin, bruising is a common finding. This can be anything from a small mark on the skin to extensive bruising which extends beyond the area treated and can take up to two weeks to resolve. Rarely, bruising can lead to permanent staining of the skin.
Infection: Your treatment should be conducted in an appropriate clinical environment, your practitioner should adhere to infection control protocols and you should receive appropriate aftercare advice to lessen this risk. Infection often develops as a warm, red, swollen area over the area that has been injected a few days after your treatment. If this occurs, make sure you contact your practitioner for a review as soon as possible.
Tyndall Effect: Rarely, hyaluronic acid may remain visible beneath the skin as a bluish or grey hue. Remedial treatment may be required to deal with this, and you should book a review appointment with your treating practitioner.
Herpes (Cold sores): Treatment around the lip area can exacerbate an outbreak of herpes, which may be worse than a normal outbreak and may require treatment from your practitioner.
Lumps: Following treatment, it is normal to have visible lumps at the injection sites. These dissipate over the next few hours but may be present for up to 48 hours and may be worse the morning after treatment. If you develop a lump several weeks or months after treatment, it is recommended to arrange a face to face review with your treating practitioner. Lumps may appear as soft swellings or as hard nodules. They sometimes occur following an acute illness, such as a dental or sinus infection, or with exposure to excessive sunlight
Vascular Occlusion: This is a rare, but serious, complication from dermal filler injections. In this situation, your blood supply may have been compromised by filler that has caused a blockage or obstruction of normal blood flow. If this is not correctly managed, the skin and tissue supplied by the blood vessel does not receive sufficient oxygen and can result in tissue loss, scarring and secondary infection. A vascular occlusion will normally cause severe pain, an irregular change in colour of the area treated and poor capillary refill (a test performed by your practitioner to see if the blood supply has been compromised). It will often appear immediately during treatment or soon afterwards and once this has been identified, your practitioner should have the necessary products at hand to effectively manage this.
Blindness: This is an extremely rare and devastating complication that can occur with dermal filler treatments. There are certain areas of the face that pose a higher risk if they are injected, although it can occur from any facial dermal filler procedure. This should be discussed during your consultation with your practitioner, because if blindness occurs, it is likely to be permanent.
Stroke: Another extremely rare, but documented complication of dermal fillers.