Fillers Gone Wrong: How to Tell and What to Do When Your Fillers Are Wrong

An expert injector checks a patient for a dermal filler treatment at Skinney Medspa in New York, NYC.


Fillers are injectable substances many people use to augment specific facial features and smooth wrinkles. Many of the most popular types contain hyaluronic acid (HA). But there are also fillers made with polymethylmethacrylate, calcium hydroxylapatite, and poly-L-lactic acid.

Many people receive one-time or regular filler injections to volumize certain facial features and minimize signs of aging. If you are considering fillers, you should know they have a high rate of success and a long history of use. However, as with any cosmetic procedure, complications can occur. Here’s what to know about fillers gone wrong and how to correct them.

What to Know About Fillers Gone Wrong

The likelihood of experiencing problems from fillers is low if you go to a skilled injector. Look for a provider with a deep understanding of facial anatomy, potential filler contraindications, and proper injection techniques. Visiting an unlicensed and inexperienced injector could result in unexpected problems.

Adverse reactions from facial fillers most commonly include prolonged swelling, asymmetry, bruising, and lumps or bumps. These can be embarrassing but are not serious in terms of health risks. Rarer, severe symptoms may include allergic reactions, blindness due to embolism, and death of skin cells.

Serious side effects from fillers gone wrong are more likely to occur if you purchase from untrustworthy providers online and perform your own injections. Your safety and a reliable treatment outcome are more than worth the cost of going to a trusted dermal filler provider.

Filler in Face Gone Wrong

Some people receive fillers in their hands, decolletage, or earlobes. However, the face is the most common place to get these injections. Therefore, this guide focuses on symptoms of filler in the face gone wrong and what to do if it happens to you. From lip fillers to cheek fillers, here are some of the most common complications and next steps you can take.

Lip Filler Gone Wrong

Lip fillers add volume to your lips and can correct asymmetry. When correctly performed, lip filler injections can help you obtain the beautiful, full pout you’ve always longed to have. However, there are several ways these injection sessions can go wrong. Here are some of the most common signs of lip filler problems:

  • The appearance of swollen “balloon” lips
  • Excessive redness or bruising
  • Asymmetry
  • Strange-looking bumps and lumps
  • Overstretching of the lip tissue
  • Skin necrosis (tissue death)
  • Blindness of injecting the filler into the blood vessel

Fortunately, most of the side effects associated with fillers gone wrong are rare – especially the more serious ones. Temporary lumps are pretty common but normally subside within 72 hours of injection.

How to Correct Bad Lip Filler

You can correct bad lip filler by having it dissolved if it’s made from hyaluronic acid. If it’s not made from HA, you may be able to correct asymmetry or lumps by having the treatment re-done by someone who’s experienced. If you have any other side effects, you may just need to wait them out. Most dermal fillers last anywhere between three and 18 months before they degrade. Seek medical attention for any severe side effects.

Undereye Filler Gone Wrong

Undereye filler can help correct the appearance of sunken or hollow eyes. However, if there’s too much filler injected into this area, it could cause side effects that impact both the appearance and function of your eyes. Here are some indications of undereye fillers gone wrong:

  • Bruising
  • Swelling and pain
  • Itchiness
  • Headache
  • Puffy-looking eyes
  • “Sunset eyes,” or eyes that appear stretched too tight

Though more serious side effects are possible, they are rare. Most complications from undereye filler are merely esthetic.

How to Correct Bad Undereye Filler

If you experience a bad undereye filler result, talk to your provider to see what they suggest you do. If the problem stems from an inexperienced provider, seek advice from a more skilled injector. The most common correction for undereye fillers is to dissolve them with hyaluronidase. If your provider used a non-HA filler initially, you may need to wait until the fillers degrade on their own. Talk to your injector to see if you can reduce lumps by gently massaging the area or using a warm compress. Only do this with the approval of your provider.

Nasolabial Fold Filler Gone Wrong

Nasolabial fold fillers help to smooth the lines around the nasolabial folds. These lines form on both sides of the mouth and are often called smile lines. Ideally, injecting dermal fillers in these areas will help reduce the appearance of the nasolabial folds. But as with all other fillers, complications can arise. Here are some signs of nasolabial fold fillers gone wrong:

  • Injection site bruising
  • Lumpiness
  • Redness
  • Bleeding
  • Scarring
  • Itchiness
  • Tissue death
  • Blindness

Though serious complications are rare, the risk of experiencing them is higher with nasolabial fold filler than other filler locations. This is because the angular artery goes through the nasolabial fold. If this artery is accidentally injected, it can cause irreversible blindness and widespread tissue death due to blocking blood flow to multiple areas of the face.

How to Correct Bad Nasolabial Fold Filler

If you have signs of nasolabial fold filler gone wrong, talk to your provider. They may be able to smooth any lumpiness or correct overfilling by retreating or dissolving the fillers as needed.

Jawline Filler Gone Wrong

You may want to consider jawline filler if your jaw looks too soft or unclear for your preferences. Fillers can subtly enhance the shape of your jawline and make it look more contoured and defined. Fillers can also slim down the appearance of the masseter muscles if you have a boxy jaw. Most people have great results from jawline filler. But some may experience these signs of jawline fillers gone wrong:

  • Nodules or bumps that may mimic the appearance of acne
  • Minor bruising or swelling
  • Unnatural appearance
  • Bleeding and redness
  • Numbness
  • Skin discoloration or damage
  • Asymmetrical appearance

How to Correct Bad Jawline Filler

The best way to correct lumps and other problems from jawline filler problems is to dissolve the filler. Remember that it’s common for fillers to cause temporary bumps in the treated areas. But if those bumps don’t go away within a few days, talk to your provider.

Marionette Lines Filler Gone Wrong

Marionette lines extend to the chin from the corners of your lower lip. They can create a puppet-like appearance and are a common sign of aging skin. Fillers can lift the skin folds and restore a more youthful and plump appearance in this area. If you’ve received this treatment, here are some signs you might be dealing with marionette line filler gone wrong:

  • Localized swelling and bruising
  • Filler migration
  • Bleeding
  • Scarring
  • Skin infection
  • Tenderness

These symptoms are all quite rare, but they do sometimes occur. Overfilling the marionette lines could also cause them to become even more pronounced.

How to Correct Bad Marionette Lines Filler

If you’ve experienced marionette line fillers gone wrong, reach out to your provider. They will likely suggest that your fillers be dissolved if you’re unhappy with their appearance.

Chin Filler Gone Wrong

Chin filler can enhance the definition of your chin. It can also subtly change the shape of your profile. Since the chin is a small area, it needs very little filler. Therefore, it’s very easy to overfill and cause the chin to become unnaturally pronounced. Here are some possible indications of chin filler gone wrong:

  • “Witch’s chin”
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Localized pain
  • Asymmetry
  • Tightness or pressure in the treated area
  • Allergic reactions

Some people may also find they can no longer smile normally after chin filler. This is likely due to excessive skin tightness from overfilling.

How to Correct Bad Chin Filler

As with other dermal filler problems, your best bet is to dissolve your unsatisfactory chin fillers if possible. If your filler is non-dissolvable, you can wait until it dissolves over time or see if surgical intervention can correct the problem.

Nose Filler Gone Wrong

Many people receive nose fillers to reshape their noses temporarily. Potential signs of nose fillers gone wrong include:

  • Swelling and bruising
  • Unnatural-looking results
  • Vision problems
  • Infection
  • Asymmetrical results
  • Permanent scarring
  • Tissue death

Going to a certified medical provider and following aftercare instructions can reduce your risk of side effects.

How to Correct Bad Nose Filler

In many cases, unsatisfactory nose filler results can be corrected with hyaluronidase. If you don’t want to reverse the results, you may be able to correct them by having your provider strategically administer more filler.

Cheek Filler Gone Wrong

You may wish to receive cheek filler if you’ve lost volume in your cheeks. It can help add volume and shape to your cheekbones. Cheek injections are generally relatively safe. But rarely, people may experience the following results of cheek fillers gone wrong:

  • “Pillow cheeks”
  • “Sunset eyes”
  • Injection site redness and swelling
  • Mild bruising
  • Facial asymmetry
  • Infection
  • Granulomas (localized inflammation)
  • Tissue death
  • Blindness

Keep in mind that serious adverse events are very rare, especially when you go to an experienced provider.

How to Correct Bad Cheek Filler

We typically recommend reinjecting the area with dermal filler if you have lumpy or asymmetrical results. We can also reverse your HA injections with hyaluronidase if you’d like. In the case of granulomas or other inflammatory reactions, corticosteroid injections may help soothe the area and reduce swelling.

Schedule Your Filler Correction Appointment

When fillers go wrong, you need the help of a trusted expert like those of SKINNEY Medspa. It’s almost unheard of for our patients to experience the effects of fillers gone wrong because we know how to inject them properly. Our expert filler injections and other esthetic services have helped many people obtain satisfactory results. Contact SKINNEY Medspa today to schedule your dermal filler appointment in NYC. Call us at (212) 754-6639 or learn more about this popular treatment on our website.

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