Everyone has their go-to skincare and makeup products, but sometimes you may be looking for a little extra oomph when it comes to accentuating your features or minimizing signs of aging. This is where cosmetic procedures like filler—a gel-like injectable that can add lost volume, smooth lines, and diminish the appearance of creases—may come in. But when considering any cosmetic enhancements, safety should come first, and erring on the side of caution is a must. Read on to find out the most dangerous area to get filler, according to a celebrity plastic surgeon.
Beware the forehead area.
Naturally, as you age, you may notice forehead wrinkles. However, filler should not necessarily be the go-to solution if you're looking to get rid of them. "The most dangerous place for filler is the forehead, nose, and temples as these have the highest risks of tissue necrosis and blindness," says Paul Nassif, MD, and celebrity plastic and reconstructive surgeon.
Filler too close to the forehead area can lead to blindness.
According to Nassif, if you inject filler in the forehead area you may experience a complication known as "vascular occlusion," when too little blood flows to the tissue. This can lead to tissue necrosis, or "death of body tissue," which can cause skin blisters, redness, infection, or worse.
"Additionally, placing filler near the forehead and nose can lead to blindness due to vascular occlusion that can trackback to the ophthalmic artery," he says. In instances where the filler is placed centrally, it's been known to cause instances of bilateral blindness, which is the total loss of vision in both eyes. However, according to The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, it is extremely rare.
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Cheek fillers are a better option.
While there are risks associated with any cosmetic procedure, cheek fillers are a more preferred option when it comes to enhancements. "The most common places to receive filler are the nasolabial folds along the lower cheek as well as the infraorbital cheek area," says Jordan D. Frey, MD, and plastic surgeon. The nasolabial folds are known as "smile lines" and extend from the bottom of your nose to the corners of your mouth, while the infraorbital area is the plumpest part of your cheek beneath your undereye.
Injections in the nose have become more common, Frey says. However, this area also presents its own challenges and risks. "Injections into an artery can cause nasal skin loss," he says. That can mean tissue loss or even deformities.
Other common areas for filler for the face include the lips, chin, and jaw, says Nassif.
Choose your care provider and procedure carefully.
To avoid complications, the simple answer is: Don't get filler in the forehead area. If you are set on getting rid of those forehead wrinkles, you might want to consider Botox. But if you're looking for something less invasive, topicals that include retinol, chemical peels, or serums can be great options, too.
But in any case, it's important to work with someone who is familiar with anatomy and has an understanding of filler, which includes knowing how to handle a vascular emergency, or when filler is blocking blood flow to any particular area of the body. "Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that dissolves hyaluronic acid filler and absolutely must be on site when filler is being injected," says Nassif. "Not keeping hyaluronidase in the office is extremely dangerous." He also adds that having aspirin, a heat pack, Nitropaste, and hyperbaric oxygen are all helpful to have as well in the event of vascular occlusion.
When making any changes to your body, it's important to do your research. Make sure you schedule a consultation with your surgeon where you can discuss any medical conditions you have ahead of any procedure and ask questions about the filler options available so you can find the best one suited for your needs. Remember: Comfort and safety are key when getting a cosmetic enhancement.