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Can the Effects of Dermal Fillers Be Reversed?

Dermal fillers are one of the most popular ways to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, restore fullness to the face and plump up lips and cheeks. When administered by a qualified plastic surgeon or nurse, these injectables create beautiful, natural looking results. The overwhelming majority of patients love the outcomes of filler treatment.

However, dermal fillers are not perfect. On occasion, a mistake can lead to overcorrection or asymmetry, or the body may react poorly to the product used. Sometimes, a patient may end up not liking the way they look afterwards, and want the outcome reversed.

According to Bay Area cosmetic surgeons Dr. Samuel Pearl and Dr. Alexander Ereso of Pearl-Ereso Plastic Surgery Center, “un-doing” the results of dermal filler treatment depends on the specific filler used, as well as the nature and severity of the problem.

Reversing Hyaluronic Acid-Based Fillers

Fillers formulated with hyaluronic acid, like Juvederm and Restylane, can be un-done with an enzyme called hyaluronidase. The enzyme dissolves the particles of hyaluronic acid to reverse its effects. This may reverse problems such as overcorrection, overfilling, lumpy texture or asymmetry. The treated area should return to its pre-treatment appearance (although there is no guarantee).

Reversing Non-Hyaluronic Acid-Based Fillers

Fillers not formulated with hyaluronic acid, like Radiesse and Sculptra, behave differently and require a different approach than using hyaluronidase.

Sometimes, massaging the treated area can resolve minor issues like lumpiness or asymmetry. But in most cases, the most effective way to see the results reversed is simply to wait for the body to absorb the filler, to surgically remove the filler or to strategically inject additional filler to cancel it out.

In the case of Sculptra, a longer-lasting filler, it is especially difficult to reverse its effects because the product stimulates the body’s own production of collagen. The collagen must break down naturally over the course of a year or so; it cannot be selectively removed. With that in mind, Sculptra may respond to some extent to steroid injections.

Because reversing the effects of dermal fillers is unpredictable, it’s important to work with a qualified plastic surgeon that understands how to use fillers safely and precisely. This increases the chances of a successful and satisfactory result.

To speak with Dr. Ereso or Dr. Pearl at Pearl-Ereso Plastic Surgery Center, please call 650-964-6600 or email us today.