Facial Fillers – Top 5 Danger Zones for Dermal Filler Injections

Facial Contouring and Anti-ageing: Non-Surgical doesn’t mean Non-Serious

If you’ve read up on dermal fillers and how popular they have become for augmenting features and reducing facial lines and other signs of ageing – you’ll know that they are excellent for non-surgical facial contouring of the cheeks, jawline, nose, and chin. They are the go-to solution for non-surgical treatments and anti-ageing.  However, that does not mean they don’t have risks. Read on to become an educated consumer who fully understands the risks of dermal filler injections and what the top five danger zones are.

  • Filler is designed to replace lost facial volume caused by;
  • muscle deterioration
  • bone atrophy
  • skin ageing

But you’ll also want to know what the danger zones are for facial fillers or “dermal filler danger zones” and how to minimise your dermal filler injection risks. And remember, don’t fly right after getting dermal fillers! Read more about Dermal Filler Do and Don’ts – Tips for a  Better Result.

Download your Free 20 page Injectables Guide about Injectable Treatments in Melbourne

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Different uses of Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers can now be used in so many different ways because of advancing injectable strategies and a choice of different filler types.

  • These include skin boosters and tear trough fillers and nose bridge enhancements (which carry extra risks)
  • But not all filler types – or injecting strategies – are safe to use.  You should ascertain the brand and supply chain of your injector to be sure it’s REAL.

Also visit recommended reading and resource websites at the bottom of this page, for further information.

Despite the popularity, dermal filler injection complications and facial damage can occur during non-surgical solutions. These include injectable fillers and muscle relaxing wrinkle treatments. Especially if you choose an inexperienced Clinician or one who works in a less-than-sterile environment.

  • Even non-surgical solutions have some risks, including dermal fillers
  • So become aware of what risks you’re choosing to take, and why.

Dermal Filler Complications from Cosmetic Injectables may occur, for example:

When injections are performed by a Clinician or Surgeon who lacks extensive training & experience:

  • In the hands of a less experienced injector
  • you can lose your facial balance and end up looking ‘odd’.2
  • If your injector isn’t highly attuned to a patient’s individual facial anatomy.

If the Injecting professional uses the wrong type of injectables;

  • There are notable quality differences in brands.
  • Permanent fillers can cause long-term facial issues.
  • Our team believes permanent fillers are best avoided.

If the wrong type of filler is used in an unsuitable area of the face;

  • the wrong injecting strategy can make you look older or worse.
  • too much filler gives an unnatural ‘over-done’ appearance.

If a Clinician is ‘overly aggressive’ or too fast in their cosmetic injecting approach;

  • you’ll end up looking over-volumised (think pufferfish like lips or strange-looking chipmunk cheeks instead of natural-looking enhancements)
  • you may bruise extensively
  • you could have other complications

So you want to be super careful to choose a Cosmetic Injector who is highly experienced and very well informed about maximising the benefits of these treatments whilst minimising any dermal filler risks.

The areas and zones for facial fillers

Fillers and Staying on Good Terms with Your Mirror

Dermal filler injections that are done well can leave you smiling at your mirror. Dermal fillers done improperly can leave you unhappy with the mirror – or sadly, even worse. Imagine having a disfigured or scarred face just because your injector used their needle (or cannula) in the wrong zone!

But before we talk about ‘Filler Danger Zones,’ lets firstly review how dermal fillers are used.

  • Dermal Fillers are administered either as a stand-alone procedure (non-surgical) or
  • They may be delivered in combination with facial enhancement surgery for a more thorough facial rejuvenation effect.
  • They are injected into different areas of the face and different layers of the skin, using micro-fine needles or cannulas.

Dermal Fillers are essentially facial skin volumisers (liquid solutions) delivered into the dermis (skin) by micro-injections. Understanding facial anatomy is crucial. The difficulty lies in every person’s face having highly different anatomy.

Potential risks:

  • Your Injecting Clinicians will use either super-fine needles (or micro-fine cannulas) to inject the temporary filler solution into your skin.
  • They hence need to be able to assess where your arteries and veins actually are. Vein and artery location varies from person to person. As a result of this difficulty, skill and precision are essential.
  • If the injectable goes into a vein or artery you can end up seriously harmed, and a few potential complications could be fatal.
  • So DO understand the risks – and why it’s so important to choose an experienced injector with the proper training, experience, qualifications, and expertise.

Download the Facial Rejuvenation Guide.

Facial Rejuvenation Guide Download

How long do the results of Injectables or Fillers Last? Treatment Duration

The Injecting Strategy that your Injector uses – such as type of filler, volume, delivery, and injection locations – is crucial to getting a great outcome.

If your CROWS FEET lines are getting worse, or your eyelids are starting to DROOP, you may benefit most from EYELID SURGERY or a facelift, not just cosmetic injections.

What you need to know about Filler substances used in Australia (and fake injectables)

If you’ve done your homework and read our other blogs, you’ll also know that NOT ALL Filler Brands are alike. Plus, there are numerous strategies as to WHERE – and HOW MUCH – dermal filler should be injected to get the results you’re seeking. Additionally, there are fake fillers being sold to unsuspecting injecting clinics and beauty clinics. These are NOT approved for use in Australia and could be dangerous, especially permanent fillers. It pays to be very cautious about who you let inject you.


The quality between brands of injectable dermal fillers can differ tremendously.

  • There is great variety in brands and brand quality
  • Within each brand, there are also consistency-differences that can be used for ‘facial sculpting’
  • Some fillers are best for softer lips; others are firmer and can assist with a jawline or cheek area, especially if injected near the bone
  • There are also dangers involved in fake or counterfeit injectable solutions penetrating the Australian market, which may be advertised as ‘cheap cosmetic injections’ and offered by untrained practitioners.

Plus, dermal fillers often have unique qualities and specific recommended uses.

So it’s always best to ask your Clinician WHAT quality, temporary filler brands they plan to use on your face; and don’t settle for anything less than a reputable, top brand that your injector has extensive experience using for facial contouring or skin rejuvenation.

What to know about filler brands and quality:

  • The best fillers and injectable solutions are temporary.
  • Avoid permanent fillers as they are considered highly problematic and potentially disfiguring.
  • Permanent fillers also don’t adapt to ageing. Temporary ones have many other advantages including being adjustable as you age, as your volumisation needs or augmentation preferences change.
  • With different properties and within-brand ranges of ‘filler styles’, they can be used to help better define, contour, or plump certain aspects of your face.

Some injectables solutions are designed for lips, and others for cheek enhancement or crow’s feet reductions. A great injector will know just what to use and in what area of your face for best results.

liquid rhinoplasty - dangers -dermal filler injections to the nose to reshape the nose - liquid rhinoplasty

Avoid a fake filler experience or a less experienced injector. Ask Questions.

  • You can ask your Clinician what brand(s) they use during your initial consultation
  • Beware anyone who uses one type of filler everywhere including lips
    • Ask which Brands and product lines they would choose for different areas of your face
    • Ask why your Clinician prefers these over other brands
  • Be sure your Injector has a proper medical qualification
    • Look for Cosmetic Physician, Injecting Registered Nurse or Plastic Surgeon with substantial training and experience using injectables
    • New patients need an assessment by a Cosmetic Doctor before they can have injections
    • Avoid new injectors who are keen to learn – on your face – they may offer discount injectables, but these can be dangerous if used improperly

Many new injectors enter the market every day, and they may not know enough about the products or injecting strategies to get you safe results.   Additionally, if your Injector isn’t investing in ongoing training and brand awareness, you may be getting less-than-wonderful injecting results or even be putting yourself at risk.

  • Cheap injecting offers are not always the bargain they seem to be
  • fillers or anti-wrinkle injections are offered at a huge discount? Ask why? As well as the brand used.
  • Do your homework and figure out where they might be cutting costs, as well as quality

Please Note

Australian laws prohibit the use of printing Injectable BRAND names but a great Injecting Clinician should have a thorough knowledge of many different filler products – and be able to articulate WHY they are choosing specific ones for your facial enhancement

  • Injected properly by an experienced and conservative Injecting Nurse/Clinician or Aesthetic Physician, fillers, and anti-wrinkle injections can have a highly transformative impact on your facial features, such:
    • lips
    • cheeks
    • forehead
    • jawline
    • chins
    • nose/nose bridge
    • nose tip
    • around eyes/eyelids
    • under eye areas
    • brows
  • Fillers can also help fill in some skin creases or acne scars – even facial dog bite scars
  • Fillers can help add (or restore) volume to areas of the face that appear hollow or ‘sunken in’ due to atrophy of the bones or underlying tissues (as occurs with age or weight loss).

With women and men discovering just how much Dermal Fillers (dermal volumisers) can help improve their facial features and give their faces a younger, more harmonious appearance, there’s a lot more ‘filler use’ going on today than ever before.

Questions to ask before receiving Dermal Filler Injections:

It’s important not to choose an injector based on price or a discounted rate. You could get an inferior injector or even counterfeit or diluted product.

Important things to research before receiving Dermal Filler Injections:

  1. Become an informed consumer about:
    • injecting risks
    • danger zones
    • dermal fillers
  2. Do your homework about your Injector.
  3. Don’t shop on price and discounts

dermal filler injection treatment risks and safety: preparing for your injectables treatment fillers

Top 5 Spots You Shouldn’t Get Facial Injections – or where you should be superbly cautious about who’s injecting

  • Non-surgical techniques such as injectable treatments often have less risk, overall, than most surgical procedures.  But that does NOT mean they are entirely risk-free.
  • All invasive procedures carry risks and some are serious; also, patient results can vary.
  • If a less-trained Clinician administers dermal fillers or anti-wrinkle injections, they might even carry greater risks than a surgical procedure – because of less formal oversight of these cosmetic medicine procedures.
  • That’s why choosing the right Injector is SO important for your results as well as your safety, as is having a Doctor assessment of your suitability as a candidate for dermal fillers, before you get injections.
  • Our Cosmetic Doctor(s) and Injecting Team works alongside our Plastic Surgeons & they all have extensive experience and top qualifications.
  • For Sydney Cosmetic Injections, explore your options with Dr Briggs.

Whilst adverse effects or serious complications occur quite rarely for most non-surgical techniques, they are still a possibility.  Every invasive procedure carries risks and Cosmetic Injections and Dermal Fillers are no exception.

The risks may be higher when it comes to fillers being injected into certain areas or potential DANGER ZONES of your face.

So here’s what’s good to know about Facial Filler Danger Zones before you have a Dermal Filler Injections treatment.

Danger Zone 1 for dermal fillers

  • Glabella (between your eyebrows/just above the nose)
    Injecting the Glabellar region of the face carries a risk of damaging the supraorbital and supratrochlear arteries. Supratrochlear, if occluded, may lead to the formation of a band-like area extending up to forehead (e.g., tissue damage).

Danger Zone 2 for dermal fillers

  • Nasolabial grooves (smile lines; lines between the corner of your nose and your mouth)
  • Another potential danger zone for injectable fillers involves the nasolabial groove area. This is a risky area for injecting because of the facial artery that runs close to the surface of the skin. The flow of this facial artery is vitally important. Impeding the blood flow to this artery will result in things such as damaged skin around the nasolabial fold, or a damaged tip or side of the nose.

dermal filler danger zones - smokers lines, lip fillers, injectables for winkles

Danger Zone 3 for dermal fillers

  • Nasal augmentation (a “non-surgical Rhinoplasty or Nose Job” or enhancing the bridge of the nose)
    The non-surgical nose job is increasingly popular but carries greater injection treatment risks than many people currently realise. The procedure itself involves using filler for minor nose reshaping procedures; without surgery. This might be to reduce nose bumps or correct and reshape other minor nose imbalances by using ‘sculpted’ dermal fillers. If your nose isn’t quite in harmony with the rest of your face – and you want a more balanced or smoother bridge look, yet aren’t ready for a Rhinoplasty, then you MIGHT be an ideal candidate for a filler injection nose surgery. However, is having a temporary nose procedure worth risking the angular artery? Again, be sure to choose your injector very carefully and ask to see the before and after photos, speak with former patients, and ask about their complication rates. In addition, you should choose your injector carefully. Doing so will minimise risks and complications. Furthermore, your injector’s choices in fillers (brand and quantity), as well as their placement, are vital.


Danger Zone 4 for dermal fillers

  • Tear trough or Nasojugal groove
    A filler can work wonders if there is a true “tear trough” deformity that isn’t easy to cover up with makeup.
  • If your Tear Trough area is a problem for you, it often means you’ll have:
    • sunken-looking eyes
    • dark shadow(s) over or around your lower eyelid
    • a fatigued appearance
  • Tear trough depressions can be filled using injectables. When in the hands of the right injector can reveal excellent results
  • For crepey-looking skin under the eyes, a skin booster series might help (select candidates only).
  • However, if you are wanting to get rid of dark under-eye circles that relate to hyper-pigmentation or other issues, a dermal filler may or may not be the right solution (ask for a thorough consultation).

If you’re getting a tear trough treatment, the artery your injector needs to be extremely cautious about is the infraorbital artery.

There are categories for complications around the nasojugal groove that make it a “danger zone”: immediate or delayed complications.

Immediate risks of tear trough treatments

  • Swelling and bruising
  • Asymmetry
  • Headache or Migraine
  • Delayed complications/risks of tear trough treatments:
  • Orange-brown skin colouration (skin staining) that might take months to resolve
  • Puffiness in the area of the injections due to over-correction with filler products [2]
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (skin discolouration is often a greater risk for people with more pigmented skin tones)
  • The “Tyndall” effect (where a superficial injecting strategy results in a bluish discolouration of the skin)
  • Nodules
  • Blindness (Rare, but might occur if an embolus travels through the central retinal artery)

Danger Zone 5 for dermal fillers

anti-wrinkle-injections-melbourne dermal filler injections - the danger zones

Temple Area Injectables

  • Facial changes related to skin, tissue, and bone structure aging include epidermal thinning, muscle loss, changes in elasticity (less elasticity and collagen), and other subcutaneous fat and bony changes [3].
  • Three key factors can be attributed to Temporal volume loss. Or the gaunt appearance of the temple that occurs with age:
    • Increasing concavity of temporal bone
    • Atrophy of temporalis muscle
    • Reduction in the fat pad
  • Injecting facial filler(s) in the temple area can actually help you regain a more youthful look to the entire face. But like all the other danger zones, a lack of skill OR improper injecting technique (or the wrong filler products) may result in serious consequences.
  • These can include the following complications:
  • Bruising, swelling or localised tenderness
  • The “Tyndall” effect
  • Chewing discomfort
  • Overcorrection problems (including too much volume or uneven filler volumisation)
  • Skin infections
  • Intravascular necrosis (the artery at risk in this facial zone is the superficial temporal artery)
  • Potential Blindness (due to embolization) [4]
  • Preventing Complications – How to Have Dermal Filler Wisdom

Avoiding Danger Zones

Now that you’re familiar with the top 5 danger zones for dermal filler injections and the types of complications that you might face, how can you prevent them?

Your choice of professional, your professional’s choice of injectable products (dermal filler brands, types, volumes), as well as specific injection locations play a VITAL role in how well your procedure will be performed, as well as your risks.

What Your Injector Should Explain

Not every filler is appropriate for your specific concern. And not every Injector will get you a great result. Your Injector should be able to explain the following to you in detail:

  1. what dermal filler product range(s) they will use and where
  2. how much they plan to use
  3. specifically where they will be injecting these dermal fillers (and how)
  4. how many times they have performed the treatment for the areas of the face you’re having treated
  5. what the potential results will be – and what risks there are in the procedure
  6. how they would be able to handle any complications, if they were to occur
  7. whether or not the injectables can get you the results you’re wanting

Excellent Injectors will ensure that:

An excellent Injector will ensure that you have realistic expectations and that you are well-informed about each and every aspect of your procedure. They will explain the risks, as well as how they plan to minimise or manage them before a RISKY facial ZONE.

Make sure that you’re well informed and confident about your injector before the procedure. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a surgical cosmetic procedure or a 20-minute non-surgical injectable treatment.

Potential Dermal Filler Complications You Must Know!

No one wants to seek a facial improvement treatment only to end up worse than they were before.

So here’s what you need to know, especially with so many ‘new’ injectors jumping into the delivery of fillers. And remember that, with FILLERS, whilst non-surgical procedures are relatively safe in the right Clinician’s hands, they can still have serious consequences if performed improperly – or when delivered by someone who lacks adequate experience or proper training and qualifications.

Wrong placement of dermal fillers

  • Dermal fillers injected in the wrong spot can lead to some serious consequences.
  • Filler injected into a vein or artery can lead to blindness or even an embolism (which can lead to death).

TIP: Ask your Clinician how much they know about fillers – and listen carefully to get a sense of how thorough their knowledge is.

Your Injecting Clinician’s understanding of the individual characteristics of each type of filler becomes an absolute necessity for getting you good results due to a continuous influx of newer varieties and brands of filler products.

Asking about your clinician’s experience may help you avoid these complications:

  • In regards to complications, Filler treatments typically involve a potential for the following outcomes.
  • Bruising – All filler use has the potential to cause bruising and this is, in part, an interaction dependent upon your skin’s natural reactions to injections and your injector’s specific technique  [1].
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Skin discolouration (ranging from redness to hyper/hypopigmentation)
  • Infection- any implement that penetrates the skin carries a risk of infection
  • Nodular masses –  more commonly seen in thin-skinned areas of the face
  • Paraesthesia – might result where there is direct nerve damage (fortunately this appears rare)
  • Vascular compromise – an immediate reaction that might occur when a needle punctures an artery, which can result in an embolism that hinders blood flow

So be sure to have a thorough discussion about your Injecting professional’s experience, qualifications and training during your consultation. For that reason, you should specifically ASK about what their injecting strategy will be-e.g, how they plan to get you the best FILLER results without increasing your risks of complications.

*All invasive cosmetic procedures have risks.  Also, patient results can vary. It’s vital that you are an informed consumer. This will assist you in choosing a skilled Clinician, with extensive experience and sound medical training in anatomy and facial injections.



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