Done poorly however and it’s a very different story. You can be left looking not just unnatural but honest-to-goodness strange. Worse, you can suffer permanent injuries and even death. Yes - it’s incredibly rare but it does and has happened.
Obviously that’s terrifying. And yet, filler remains incredibly popular with both women and men. So how to ensure we get it done right? The Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia says firstly we need to understand what filler is (and isn't) and what it can and cannot do.
Accordingly, the group has come out with a handy guide to ensure that we not only know exactly what to expect when we book in for cosmetic injectables, but also, how to ascertain we get our filler from a reliable, trustworthy and even talented practitioner.
And this is what the group recommends. Firstly, learn about the treatment. So, here you go.
Fillers are used to counter the loss of collagen and elastin in the skin by plumping out lines, restoring volume to areas where tissue commonly degenerates with age, fill in pockmarks and acne scars, contour or reshape facial features and add volume to the lips. They’re gel-like in consistency, and the type of filler, the area of injection and the depth of injection all influence the final result, and how long they last.
Over the years, there have been significant improvements made in the technology of injectables, which has contributed to their increase in popularity. But the CPCA warns they are still medical procedures and, as such, carry inherent risk of side effects and complications.
Further, there has been an increase in the number of unregistered, unqualified people administering cosmetic injectables, resulting in unsafe practice.
“As per recent media reports, the influx of non-approved Schedule 4 drugs into Australia is a huge issue regarding patient safety and therefore is a major concern for the CPCA. The illegal importation of these Schedule 4 drugs for cosmetic use is happening now all ￼over Australia, with potentially dire consequences,” says Dr Michael Molton, President of the CPCA.
So how does a patient safeguard themselves against these unsafe and high-risk practices?
“The most important consideration is to ask about the qualification of the person performing the injecting. It is vital to know what experience they have, how long they have been doing this for and do they have the knowledge and skills to firstly prevent or secondly manage any complications,” explains Dr Michael Molton.
Dr Molton also advises against using health practitioners who implement high-pressure sales techniques, cut-price offers, pay-later schemes and who may use altered imagery to promote their services.
“It is imperative that there is an adequate cooling-off period to ensure the patient is given enough time to ascertain that the procedure is right for them and to assess any associated risk,” he says.
The CPCA also stresses the importance of confirming with your health professional which brand of product is being used and to ensure it is an Australian-distributed product, not one that has been purchased from an overseas website or illegally imported as illegal imports carry a much higher risk of serious and permanent injury.
“It is important to remember, while non-surgical, this is still a cosmetic medical procedure and the final decision should not be based on price, so avoid clinics that exercise aggressive marketing tactics to attract patients,” says Dr Molton.
Prices will vary depending on where you go and how much filler you have injected but expect to pay anywhere from $450 for a small area to $2000 and up for cheeks, lips and the area under the eyes.