Can Filler Move if You Touch It? - An Expert's Perspective

The dermal filler usually doesn't move after treatment but there are certain activities that should be avoided after Botox and dermal filler injections such as facial treatments or massages on treated skin. Learn more about filler migration from an expert's perspec

Can Filler Move if You Touch It? - An Expert's Perspective

The dermal filler usually doesn't move after treatment. Immediately after the procedure, our professionals recommend gently massaging the injected areas to ensure adequate distribution of the product and minimize the risk of lumps formation. It usually takes about two weeks for the filling to settle and integrate into the surrounding tissue. Filler migration is the movement of a dermal filler from the injection site to another area of the body.

While it is possible for fillers to migrate, this side effect is extremely rare and can be avoided by choosing a qualified injector. Due to the growing popularity of facial fillers over the past decade, there have never been more clinics offering injectable cosmetic products; however, this has resulted in a large number of unprofessional and poorly trained professionals who administer injections. While it is normal for some swelling to occur after receiving the filler, a very small percentage of patients may have moderate to severe inflammation due to an immune system response caused by a disease, an allergic reaction or a vaccine. Sometimes, this swelling may cause the filling to move slightly, although it often only occurs in patients who have had a filling placed in the past 6 to 12 months.

A thorough evaluation of patient admission is necessary to prevent a serious immune system response to a filling. During this evaluation, a qualified injector will ask you about your complete medical history, including the medications you are taking, any allergies you may have, and the vaccines you have received or plan to receive (including the COVID-19 vaccine). The right injector will have experience with several types of fillings and will know where and how to inject each one. The key to a smooth, natural result that maintains its shape over time is to find an injector that knows exactly what filler to use and use to inject it.

Horn is quick to point out that filler migration is “less frequent than what the media and social media have described”, especially when performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist. Dr. Sherber agrees, adding that migration occurs a little more frequently with fillings from previous generations, which have a “slippery texture” in their own words. Surprisingly, this molecule doesn't actually bind to any of the other molecules, so it can still be extracted or moved if necessary, but it's not something that can happen by accident.

Over time, both Botox and dermal fillers are metabolized by the body and safely excreted through the liver and kidneys. For this reason, many of the same activities, such as drinking alcohol and exercising, should be avoided after Botox and dermal filler injections. However, since dermal fillers are injected deep into the skin, where they rest for their entire lives, while Botox is injected into the muscle, where it is slowly absorbed, there are a few different activities to avoid for everyone. Although very rare, dermal fillers can migrate into the skin if constant and adequate pressure is applied to them.

For this reason, we advise patients not to undergo facial treatments, massages (on treated skin) or dermaplaning for the first two weeks after injecting the filler. It's important to remember that localized swelling is expected to occur after a filler treatment, which should go away on its own. On average, the body naturally metabolizes fillers such as Juvéderm and Restylane for six months to a year, but traces can persist for up to two years. Different fillers must be injected at different depths into the skin, and a poorly placed filler can cause problems months later.

Social networks may give the impression that filler migration is common; however, in fact this is a very rare side effect. With the rise in popularity of dermal fillers in recent years, many of us are regularly exposed to before and after injection images on TikTok and Instagram. Filler formulations integrate into dermal tissue over time so treatments shouldn't affect the outcome of the procedure. We call this process “tissue integration” and it's responsible for some of the best aspects of modern dermal fillers.

But you can also see it at any time as the filler breaks down or muscles in face move it back and forth if it's not injected properly. It's also critical that your provider has a thorough understanding of human anatomy and knows how deep to place the filler.