Dermal fillers have become a popular aesthetic treatment, offering an effective and less invasive alternative to surgical procedures for anti-ageing and facial sculpting. However, the desired results can quickly turn disappointing if performed incorrectly. One of the most prevalent issues faced by patients is the formation of lumps post-treatment. This article delves into the common mistakes made by injectors that result in lump formation and offers guidelines on the correct techniques to mitigate these errors.
1. Inconsistent Piping
Inconsistent piping in dermal fillers can lead to a variety of undesirable outcomes, ranging from uneven facial features to potential complications such as lumps or nodules beneath the skin. The importance of a skilled medical practitioner in the administration of dermal fillers cannot be overstated, as inconsistent piping often stems from inexperience or a lack of technique. Such inconsistencies can compromise the aesthetic results, necessitating corrective procedures and posing additional risks to the patient.
2. Injecting Too Superficially
Injecting dermal fillers too superficially poses several significant risks and challenges that can compromise both the safety and aesthetic outcomes of the procedure. When the filler is injected closer to the skin’s surface, there’s an increased likelihood of complications such as the “Tyndall effect,” which manifests as a bluish discolouration of the skin due to the scattering of light. Moreover, superficial injections are more likely to result in visible lumps, nodules, or unevenness, making the treated area appear unnatural. These unwanted outcomes not only defeat the purpose of the cosmetic treatment but also may necessitate corrective procedures, thereby increasing the overall risk and cost to the patient.
3. Injecting Into the Wet/Dry Border
Injecting into the wet/dry border in dermal fillers is a precarious practice fraught with complications. The wet/dry border is where the mucosa transitions to the skin, a sensitive area with different tissue properties compared to other injection sites. Injecting a filler into this transition zone can lead to an uneven distribution of the product, creating asymmetry and a less-than-natural look. Additionally, this area is rich in blood vessels and nerves, increasing the risk of vascular complications or nerve damage. Unwanted outcomes such as swelling, bruising, or even more severe side effects like vascular occlusion can occur. Precise knowledge of the anatomy and a cautious approach are crucial when performing dermal filler injections in or near the wet/dry border.
4. Incorrect Needle Size for Density of Filler
Utilizing an incorrect needle size for the density of a dermal filler can have significant repercussions on both the efficacy and safety of the treatment. A needle that is too large for a high-density filler may lead to excessive trauma to the skin, causing unnecessary pain, bruising, or swelling. On the other hand, a needle that is too small may not be able to effectively administer a denser filler, compromising the uniformity of the injection and potentially leading to lumps or an uneven distribution of the product. It’s imperative to match the needle size appropriately with the density of the filler to ensure a smoother application, minimize side effects, and achieve optimal results.
1. Use the Correct Sized Needle
Utilizing the correct-sized needle in dermal filler procedures is a pivotal factor in achieving optimal results and minimizing complications. An inappropriate needle gauge can not only impact the even distribution of the filler material but also escalate the likelihood of bruising, swelling, and discomfort during and after the procedure. A skilled practitioner will select a needle size that corresponds both to the type of dermal filler being used and to the specific area of the face being treated, thereby maximizing precision and patient comfort. The choice of needle size is not merely a technical consideration, but one that influences the overall success and safety of the dermal filler treatment.
2. Maintain Consistent Piping Speed
Maintaining a consistent piping speed during the administration of dermal fillers is essential for achieving uniform and aesthetically pleasing results. Inconsistencies in the speed at which the filler is injected can lead to irregularities in the filler distribution, causing uneven facial contours or lumps. Furthermore, an erratic piping speed may increase the risk of complications such as bruising and swelling, as it can cause unnecessary trauma to the tissues. A steady hand and a uniform application technique not only enhance the predictability of the outcome but also contribute to a safer, more comfortable experience for the patient. Mastering the art of consistent piping speed is indispensable for practitioners aiming for excellence in dermal filler procedures.
3. Stop Before the Wet/Dry Border
The technique of halting the injection before reaching the wet/dry border, where the dermal filler transitions from a gel-like substance to a more liquid form, is crucial for achieving optimal results in dermal filler procedures. This practice helps to prevent overfilling and migration of the product, thereby minimizing the risk of complications such as lumpiness, bruising, or the Tyndall effect, which is a bluish discolouration of the skin. Stopping before the wet/dry border allows for a more controlled and precise application, ensuring that the filler integrates seamlessly into the tissue for a more natural appearance.
4. Check Your Depth
The injector must be aware of the depth at which they are injecting. Too shallow or too deep injections can lead to lump formation; hence it is imperative to get the depth right for each type of filler and targeted area.
While dermal fillers offer a convenient and effective means of facial rejuvenation, the technique of the injector plays a crucial role in the success of the procedure. Understanding common mistakes and employing correct techniques can significantly reduce the risks associated with lump formation. Both practitioners and patients should be well-informed about these aspects to ensure a safe and satisfactory aesthetic outcome.