Injectables is a collective name for wrinkle fillers that are applied by injection into or under the skin or into the muscles of the face. The purpose of injectables is to eliminate irregularities, reduce wrinkles and fill in deeper lines. But what if complications occur?
Injectables are widely used in cosmetic medicine and in plastic-aesthetic surgery for facial treatments. They can be temporary, semi-permanent or permanent; the shorter the effect of the injectable, the less chance of complications.
A lot of fuss is currently being made about the permanent injectables, because their use is not without risk. Possible complications of permanent injectables are: hardening, capsule formation, increasing swellings, granulomas and inflammations.
In the past, surgery was the only solution for serious complications of permanent injectables. The new ILT laser method recently offers an alternative – non-cutting – therapy.
Temporary injectables consist entirely of biodegradable substances and generally have a durability of 6 months to more than 1 year. Semi-permanent injectables have a durability of several years. Permanent injectables are not degradable and therefore have a lasting effect.
Two types of injectables
– filling in wrinkles, irregularities and scars , subcutaneous filling of deep lines
– temporary, semi-permanent or permanent in nature
– based on various substances such as hyaluronic acid, calcium-hydroxylapatite, collagen, silicone oil, etc.
– brand names for temporary fillers: Juvéderm, Surgiderm, Esthélis, Radiesse, Restylane
– brand names semipermanent fillers: Beautical, Sculptra
– brand names permanent fillers: Dermalive, Artecoll, Bio-Alcamid, Aquamid, PMS silicone oil
2) Botulin toxin
– neurological medicine that reduces muscle contraction
– very effective in the fine musculature of the face, especially around the eyes (crow’s feet) and applied in the forehead
– temporary in nature
– brand names: Botox, Dysport
Advantages and disadvantages
With a facial treatment with injectables you get a beautiful result quickly and easily. You can reduce wrinkles, eliminate scars (for example from acne) or other impurities, and fill the volume with deep lines under the skin.
For all injectables, if the effect of the substance lasts longer, the risk of complications increases slightly. Possible complications are: hardening, capsule formation, increasing swellings, granulomas and inflammations.
Temporary injectables consist entirely of biodegradable substances. Because the body breaks down the substance very slowly, the result gradually decreases; additional treatment is required over time.
Permanent injectables were very popular for a long time, because you received lasting results with one treatment. However, a permanent injectable consists of non-degradable agents and the body automatically gives a slight inflammatory response after the gel has been injected. It forms a layer around the mass and over time the body encapsulates the conscious substance.
It goes wrong the moment the capsule thickenes, if an inflammation occurs or if a granuloma occurs due to cell attraction: a (visible) grainy subcutaneous thickening that feels hard. Until recently, surgical removal was the only solution. Due to the risk of complications, permanent injectables are being used less and less these days.
Do not panic
You do not have to panic immediately if you have been treated with a permanent filler. Many clients are satisfied with the result and do not notice a possible reaction. Only a very limited number will experience unpleasant consequences after a facial treatment with a permanent injectable.
The check below may perhaps alleviate your anxiety:
- Have you undergone a wrinkle treatment with a permanent filler in the past?
- Do you notice a change at the treatment site: swelling, redness, persistent itching?
- Do you feel a thickening, lump, pimple or something else that was not there before?
- Have you undergone treatment at the dentist, possibly affecting the area (for example, an anesthetic injection near the area of the injectable)?
- If you are in doubt or have noticed a change, it is useful to contact your treating injectable doctor. It is often possible to prevent an inflammatory reaction at an early stage with antibiotics. In severe cases where there is, for example, granulom formation or hypertrophy of scar tissue, treatment is necessary.
Laser treatment as a solution
In addition to surgical cutting, there is now a new method to treat the complications of permanent fillers: the Intralesional Laser Treatment or ILT.
During ILT technology, the filler substance is heated and liquefied using an ultra-thin laser fiber under the skin. This substance can then easily be massaged from the area through a small puncture hole. The laser works quickly, gives no scar tissue and ensures that the affected area becomes calm and smooth again.
A requirement is that the filler is temperature sensitive and water soluble. Suitable fillers that can be removed are: Bio-Alcamid, Dermalive, Derma polymers and other water-soluble fillers. Fat-soluble fillers, such as silicone oil, do not react. Granulomas in which no filler substance is present, do not respond to laser technology either.
It is unpredictable how many complications will still occur in clients who have already been treated with a permanent filler. The ILT technology offers a solution in many cases.
The use of temporary fillers will become increasingly popular in the future. Instead of applying a permanent filler once with a lasting result, phased treatments will be chosen more often, whereby the desired effect will be built up more slowly with better durability. Developments in the field of temporary fillers are continuing at a rapid pace.
In the future, more and more clients will opt for non-invasive treatment. These are treatment methods where the body is not ‘damaged’ internally with materials or instruments.
The use of laser, ultrasound, radiofrequency, or a combination of these techniques is on the rise. These non-invasive methods stimulate skin tissue in such a way that the natural production of, for example, collagen is promoted.
With all these new trends and developments in the field of wrinkle treatments, serious complications will hopefully not occur in the future.