Let’s not name any names, but all of us probably know at least a few people who went to get fillers and came back with chipmunk cheeks. Many celebrities and influencers have suffered this unfortunate phenomenon. The good news is that pillow face from fillers can easily be reversed. It is best if you avoid getting pillow face altogether by properly vetting medical practitioners and only booking appointments with experienced, board-certified cosmetic physicians.
What is Pillow Face From Fillers?
“Pillow face” is a term used to describe what happens to one’s appearance when their face is injected with too much filler. When you get pillow face, your cheeks will become larger and more rounded, your forehead will round out too much, and you will lose jawline contour due to puffiness.
When dermal fillers are injected properly, the results will look natural and subtle. You should still look like yourself, just a version of you with greater contour and fewer wrinkles. However, if you go to unlock your phone using FaceID after getting fillers and it doesn’t work, that’s a big clue that your fillers might have gone too far. If you come out of your appointment looking like a cast member of Alvin and The Chipmunks 3, then you may want to have your pillow face reversed.
How Do I Avoid Getting Pillow Face From Fillers?
The best way to avoid pillow face is to only work with experienced, board-certified cosmetic physicians when you get cosmetic procedures. Here’s why: COVID-19 lockdowns started a phenomenon of at-home and DIY injections. Many people who do not have adequate medical training have started offering services out of their homes. When practitioners don’t know how to inject fillers properly, they can easily inject too much and give you pillow face.
Here are 5 tips for how to screen practitioners before you make an appointment:
- Where will your appointment be? As a general rule, never get injected with anything in someone’s kitchen, no matter how clean it looks. Real medspas will always have a professional office space with clean, comfortable treatment rooms.
- What do the reviews say? If the practitioner harmed a patient or injected too much filler and gave them pillow face, an angry review will probably tell you so. Always read the reviews, both on the practitioner’s website and on their Google My Business listing. Cosmetic physicians who know their stuff, like Dr. Qazi, will have numerous 5-star reviews and plenty of positive testimonials from patients.
- Look at photos of their work. If you go to a practitioner’s Instagram or website and all the photos feature slightly puffy faces, that’s probably how your results will look too. Similarly, if you want natural-looking results, then don’t book with a medspa that only posts photos of patients who look like Barbie dolls.
- What are the practitioner’s qualifications? As a general rule, you should only receive treatments from a board-certified cosmetic physician who is very experienced at performing the procedure that you want. If a practitioner is not board-certified, then they could give you bad results – or worse, cause permanent damage to your skin. If you check the “About Me” tab on the website, then you can find more information about the practitioner’s qualifications.
- Schedule a consultation to learn more about them. Consultations are a chance for you to get expert advice and ask all your questions. During the consultation, you should also gauge the practitioner’s level of experience with the procedure and what techniques they use. It is recommended that you ask “how do you prevent pillow face from filters?” during the consultation.
What Do Dermal Fillers Do?
Dermal fillers are a type of non-invasive injectable that can be used to create contour and volume in almost any area of the face and the hands. There are several different brands of fillers, but Dr. Qazi primarily uses fillers made from hyaluronic acid – a naturally occurring sugar complex. Because hyaluronic acid is already present in the body, your body is able to metabolize the filler after 6 to 12 months.
Fillers are commonly used to treat a variety of cosmetic conditions include:
- Lost volume to the face or hands
- Sunken temples
- Under eye circles
- Certain types of acne scars
- Uneven facial features
- Lack of contour and facial dimension
- Certain types of wrinkles
Fillers are safe for use on several areas of the body including:
- Hands – Great for revitalizing the hands, so your handshake won’t give away your age.
- Temples – Loss of volume in the temples is an early sign of aging. Address premature aging early with fillers.
- Cheeks – Fillers in the cheeks can help you achieve effortless contour. This is how you can achieve the “off-duty model” look!
- Jawline – Give your profile extra dimension with dermal fillers.
- Butts – Sculptra is a great treatment for cellulite. It is also a key part of the HD Lift, which can give you #bootygoals without all the squats.
- Under the eyes – We all love Tim Burton movies, but no one wants to look like a zombie. Fillers under the eyes can reverse the appearance of sunken eyes and under eye bags.
- Chins – If your face lacks dimension, a little filler in the chin might make all the difference.
- Neck – Your neck can give away your age even before your face does. If you notice lost volume in your neck, dermal fillers might be able to help!
If you want to avoid pillow face, it is very important that you have realistic expectations for your procedure. Dr. Qazi emphasizes that fillers are very effective for subtly improving your appearance. However, fillers are non-surgical and non-invasive, so the results are only so transformative. Many patients have unrealistic expectations, so they request more and more filler, then end up with pillow face.
Dr. Qazi recommends that you schedule a consultation to learn more about what fillers can do for your appearance.
How To Treat Pillow Face From Fillers
When you come to Qazi Cosmetic Clinic to treat pillow face from fillers, you have 2 options: have your filler dissolved with Hyaluronidase or wait it out.
Hyaluronidase For Dissolving Fillers
Dr. Qazi frequently gets patients who got injections from an inexperienced practitioner, and now need their injections to be adjusted or corrected. If you got pillow face from your injections, Dr. Qazi can help! Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that can be injected into filler-treated areas to dissolve the filler.
However, Hyaluronidase is only effective if your filler is made from hyaluronic acid. If you know what brand of filler you got, this can help Dr. Qazi determine if it can be dissolved. If you are unsure what your filler is made of, Dr. Qazi will help you find a solution.
Brands of fillers that can be dissolved with hyaluronidase:
Brands of fillers that cannot be dissolved with hyaluronidase:
Correct Pillow Face By Waiting it Out
If you have a type of filler that cannot be dissolved with hyaluronidase, then your other option for correcting pillow face is to just wait it out. Most types of fillers will be naturally dissolved within 6 to 12 months. Some fillers can last up to 2 years. If you just wait for your fillers to wear off, you will eventually be free from pillow face.
You are hardly the first person to run into this unfortunate phenomenon of getting too much filler. Celebrities, including Nicole Kidman, Madonna, Kylie Jenner, Lindsay Lohan, and Janice Dickison, have fallen victim to too much filler – and many of them walked the red carpet for premiers with their chipmunk look before it wore off.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fillers and Pillow Face
Will my skin be stretched out after having pillow face from fillers?
No, your skin will be the same texture it was before once the pillow face wears off. You would only experience extra wrinkles if you have older skin with less elasticity. Younger patients do not get extra wrinkles or loose skin after pillow face. Certain changes to the tissues under the skin can stretch out the skin, such as severe weight gain, retaining excessive water weight, or another size-related medical condition. However, fillers are not severe enough to risk stretching out the skin.
If you have concerns, Dr. Qazi recommends moisturizing everyday and avoiding excessive sun exposure until your chipmunk cheeks wear off.
Does having my fillers dissolved with hyaluronidase hurt?
When you have your fillers dissolved with Hyaluronidase, you should feel no pain. The needles used are very small, so you may feel a brief pinch or nothing at all. Once the enzyme has been injected, you can expect to feel some heat. It should not be painful. The chemical reaction will take 24 to 48 hours to be completed, after that, your pillow face will be gone.
Are there alternatives to dermal fillers that won’t cause pillow face?
Yes! In the world of cosmetic procedures, there are many ways to get the look that you want. If you want to get rid of wrinkles, then try a PDO thread lift. Unlike with fillers, there is no risk of pillow face. The procedure involves injecting tiny, sugar-based barbed threads into the skin. These threads are then used to lift the skin into place and erase wrinkles.
Botox, Xeomin, or Dysport is also a good alternative to fillers. If you want to smooth your fine lines and wrinkles, then a shot of Botox can help! Some patients have allergic reactions to Botox or experience resistance, so Xeomin or Dysport can be used as an alternative. Since Xeomin and Dysport are pure of extra ingredients, patients are unlikely to have a bad reaction or to build up resistance to the treatment.
If you want to restore lost volume to your face but don’t want to risk pillow face, then you may want to consider a surgical procedure. Facial implants are an ideal alternative to fillers because they are more precise, they are easy to customize, and they last longer. If you are completely sure that you want a new look for more than a few years, then facial implants are the way to go.
Another alternative to fillers is a fat transfer. This procedure combines liposuction with fat injection to relocate fat cells from one area of the body to another. The results are longer lasting than fillers and there is no risk of pillow face.
Can I have fillers reinjected after my pillow face is corrected?
Yes! You can have your fillers redone – properly this time, by an expert – after your pillow face is treated at Qazi Cosmetic Clinic. If you want to go this route, it will be a 2 step process. First, Dr. Qazi will need to fix the pillow face from fillers by injecting Hyaluronidase. It takes up to 2 days for the chemical reaction to be complete. In some cases, it may take multiple sessions to get rid of the old filler completely, especially if you have had many filler injections in the past.
Once your old fillers are completely dissolved, you can schedule a separate appointment with Dr. Qazi to have new fillers properly injected.
Say Bye-Bye To Your Pillow Face From Fillers
No matter where you got your fillers, Dr. Qazi can help you ditch the pillow face or even out your fillers. Qazi Cosmetic Clinic is now accepting new patients! Schedule a consultation to learn more about how to treat and prevent pillow face from filter.