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March 09, 2019

Ironing Out the Kinks

Ironing Out the Kinks

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

With both temporary and permanent solutions available, dermal fillers remain a popular option for those looking to instantly reduce the appearance of wrinkles

Anti-ageing solutions and products have long dominated the wider beauty market space. So high is the demand that, according to Statista, global anti-ageing market sales are set to reach a colossal $199.5 million by 2022—up from just $89.7 million in 2017. It’s no surprise then that the popularity of dermal fillers—injections administered to plump skin and iron out wrinkles—is increasing. Practitioners promise rejuvenated and youthful skin in as little as 30 minutes. Before hopping off to the nearest cosmetic clinic for a lunchtime appointment, though, there are various things would-be patients need to consider.

Choices, choices

Why are dermal fillers the anti-ageing go-to these days? As we age, the skin on our face loses its elasticity (collagen) leading to wrinkles around the eyes and mouth and sagging skin surrounding the jawline. Dermal fillers work to reverse the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and scarring with instant results, creating a smooth-looking and filled out appearance.

Dermal fillers can be either permanent or temporary depending on the type of filler product used. Collagen is used for an effect that lasts three to four months; hyaluronic acid works for around four to six months; calcium hydroxylapatite about a year and a half; poly-L-lactic acid can remain effective for up to two years; and polymethylmethacrylate beads (PMMA) is a lifelong—but most risky—option. What dermal fillers can’t do, however, is promise desired results or correct a sagging jawline.


As with most procedures, there are risks associated with the use of dermal fillers. These range from rashes, swelling and bruising that are common at the injection site immediately after the procedure, to more severe risks such as infection and the development of lumps beneath the skin. In extreme cases, dermal fillers may block a blood vessel. With this complication, patients may experience permanent blindness, tissue death or a pulmonary embolism—a blocking of an artery in the lungs that can lead to a shortness of breath, chest pain and coughing up blood.

If you are unhappy with the results or experience medical complications following the procedure, speak with the practitioner who administered the injections. If this is not possible and symptoms get worse, speak with your doctor or visit A&E. 

Safety first

As dermal fillers remain unregulated in the UK, make sure to research treatments, get professional advice and select an accredited, safe non-surgical practitioner by using organisations such as Save Face before committing to a procedure

This article was originally published in Live to 100 with Dr Hilary Jones. Read the digitial edition, here.