Signs of Botched Cosmetic Injections and How to Avoid Them

Cosmetic injections like botulinum toxin and dermal fillers are hugely popular treatments. These treatments are highly versatile and can have several benefits like reducing signs of ageing, adding volume, and creating a smooth and youthful appearance. However, you must take steps to avoid a botched cosmetic injections treatment and stay safe, especially when getting injectables.

Botulinum Toxin and Dermal Filler Regulations in the UK 

Currently, dermal fillers are unregulated in the UK. That means that anyone can give fillers without completing any tests or qualifications. Although there are strict regulations for cosmetic surgeries, the dermal filler industry is highly unregulated. And despite increased pressure to regulate the sector, the response is slow. 

So, how do you ensure that you don’t end up with a lip filler gone wrong or marionette lines filler gone wrong? Do your due diligence and research the clinic or doctor doing your fillers. The safest way to ensure you don’t end up with botched cosmetic surgery is to go to an accredited and registered clinic

Botulinum toxin is slightly different as it’s a prescription-only substance. This means that practitioners can only give patients botulinum toxin if they have a prescription from a qualified doctor. Existing regulations state that patients have to meet face to face with the prescriber before getting a botulinum toxin prescription. While this sounds a little better, when it comes down to who can prescribe the treatment, the answer is practically anyone. Even worse, practitioners who perform non-surgical treatment are not legally required to have any qualifications. 

What are the Signs of Botched Cosmetic Injections?

A quick Google search on botched cosmetic injections, and you will see just how bad things can get when botulinum toxin goes wrong. From unnatural looking faces, faces that appear frozen in time to overly exaggerated “duck lips”. 

When it comes to fillers, the final result should be as natural as possible such that an untrained eye doesn’t notice any difference. Here are some of the signs of botched cosmetic injections:

Persistent Puffiness 

Several signs point to a facial filler injection gone wrong, but the main one is puffiness that doesn’t go away after the first injection. Typically, you will experience some swelling and puffiness on the treated area, but this goes down after 24 hours. It’s one of the common side effects of fillers and is usually not a cause for concern. However, if the inflammation or swelling doesn’t go away after a day or two, it’s advisable to contact your plastic surgeon.  

Persistent puffiness and swelling can be caused by many factors, with each possibility 

presenting its own risks. For one, the swelling could be due to vascular occlusion. Vascular occlusion occurs when the needle perforates a blood vessel, or the injectable gets too close to a blood vessel that blockage occurs.

Before and after upper lip filler at the Harley Clinic

Asymmetric Fullness

Another sign of botched cosmetic surgery is asymmetric fullness. Usually, this occurs after the procedure. In most cases, it’s only a cosmetic concern that is corrected by dissolving the filler and starting over. Asymmetric fullness is usually a sign of a poorly injected filler. 

Allergic Reaction

Sometimes asymmetric fullness can be a sign of an allergic reaction. This can be an allergy to the medical ingredient or the liquid gel used to suspend the ingredient. Allergic reactions are rare, but you will need to consider the possibility. Usually, the reaction is not immediate and occurs three to four days after the procedure. Other signs of an allergic reaction include swelling and tenderness. 


If asymmetric fullness persists many days after the procedure, that could be a sign of an infection. Infections require addressing immediately with antibiotics. 

An Unnatural Appearance 

A general unnatural appearance after filler treatment points to botched cosmetic surgery. Usually, if you can notice a significant change in your face, your doctor didn’t do a very good job. This is more common following lip fillers where you have overfilled lips that look unnatural. 

Pain and Discomfort 

If you experience discomfort during the injection process, that’s a poor sign. At the same time, if there is pain around the treated areas afterwards, that is a sign of botched fillers. There shouldn’t be any pain or discomfort during the treatment process or after leaving the doctor’s office.

Overdone Results 

Overdone results are common signs of botched plastic surgery. Popular cases of overdone fillers are when patients end up with “duck lips”. Besides botched lip filler, overdone results occur when the filler goes outside the target area. This is also known as filler migration. If you notice that your doctor has injected too much filler, tell them.  

When it comes to botulinum toxin, there are a couple of signs that something is wrong, such as:

  • Facial asymmetry 
  • Drooping eyelid 
  • No forehead movement at all 
  • Overarching eyebrows 

3 Things to Watch Out for When Getting Injectables 

Every year, a ton of people get injectables. They pop out on their lunch break for a midday treatment and come back with a slight yet natural enhancement. But when injectables are involved, you must watch out for the following. 

Low-Quality Injectable Products 

Your practitioner should only use high-quality injectable products. Ask plenty of questions to find out what type of products your injector uses so you can do your research. 

Non-Sterile Environment

Offering to meet you in a non-sterile environment should be a red flag. A non-sterile environment increases the risk of infection. Highly qualified doctors only work from medical offices. 

Poor Experience and Training 

It’s scary how unregulated non-surgical procedures are in the UK. One of the best ways to prevent issues and poor results is to find someone who has a complete understanding of the human anatomy and proper training and qualifications. 

Fillers and botulinum toxin can offer several benefits. But it’s essential to stay safe and take the proper steps to avoid botched cosmetic injections. 

How To Fix Botched Cosmetic Injections

A botched lip filler, jawline filler gone wrong or tear trough filler gone wrong are all horror stories of cosmetic procedures gone wrong. But here’s the thing; you don’t have to live with a botched filler job. Inform your plastic surgeon if you notice that your filler job isn’t as expected. Most of the time, the doctor will use numbing medicine to assess what went wrong. A botched filler job is fixable as long as there is no infection. 

The most common way of fixing botched cosmetic injectables is by removing the filler. The doctor uses a cannula to suction excess filler if there is overfilling. If there are bumps on the treated area, the doctor uses a scalpel to make a small incision through which they drain the excess filler. 

Facial fat transfer, Dark circles treatment

However, one of the best ways of fixing a botched filler job is knowing when enough is enough and when you need to stop. Usually, most people with botched cosmetic surgery get there because of overdoing it. If you notice that your face or lips are getting more unnatural, take a step back. 

Botched Cosmetic Injections Q & A

How do you know if your filler is botched?

  • There may be a problem with your filler if you notice the following symptoms: 
  • Persistent puffiness – if the swelling and puffiness do not disappear after a day or two.
  • Asymmetric fullness – it is usually evident immediately after the procedure.
  • Allergic reactions – signs of allergic reactions include swelling, tenderness, and asymmetric fullness.
  • Pain and discomfort – if you feel pain and discomfort during the injection and afterwards.
  • An unnatural appearance

How do you know if you have necrosis after fillers?

Necrosis involves the death of body tissue resulting in too little or no blood flow to the tissue. The following are signs to watch out for: 

  • Discolouration – the area may turn blue or dark purple several hours after getting fillers.
  • Pain – you may experience unusual and severe pain.
  • Cool to touch – it happens later, and the area may feel cooler than the surrounding areas.
  • Breakdown of the skin results in wounds that later discolour the skin.

What does a reaction to filler look like?

A reaction to a filler looks like unusual changes evident in the areas where the filler has been administered. Adverse reaction to filler is characterised by severe pain in the area, visible allergic reaction, an unnatural appearance, infection of the injected area, and asymmetric fullness where the treated area is not symmetrical. 

In any case, you should immediately contact your doctor if you think you are having a reaction.

How do you tell if your filler has migrated?

If your filler has migrated, you can usually tell because it will have moved from the injection area to another area and is clearly visible. This is most common among patients with fillers that have been wrongly applied. In addition, some of the other visible signs include:

  • The appearance of lumps
  • If it is a lip filler, the upper lip may appear puffy
  • Raised skin around the treatment area.

How do I fix botched filler?

There are various ways you can fix botched filler; however, they all depend on the nature of the filler administered. The following are some of the different ways your doctor may suggest to fix botched filler:

  • Manual adjustment through massaging the area; however, this should be done by a specialist.
  • Dissolve the original fillers with hyaluronidase treatments, commonly used to dissolve hyaluronic acid fillers and treat skin necrosis.
  • Wait for the filler to dissolve naturally over time.

Can botched lip filler be fixed?

Yes, botched lip filler can be fixed through a series of processes. It is vital to ensure that after you notice you have a botched lip filler or Botulinum Toxin, you consult a specialist who then recommends the most effective way of fixing it.

How do you prevent filler complications?

There are various ways you can prevent filler complications, both before and after the procedure. These include:

  • Cleansing the face before injection.
  • Having minimal punctures caused by the injections.  
  • Not injecting through oral or nasal moist inner lining.
  • Avoiding injecting filler over previous filler or into traumatised tissue.
  • Going to a doctor or specialist for any aesthetic appointment. 

Can I accidentally move my filler?

Yes, you can move your filler by accident; however, this often happens in rare cases. For instance, you may move your filler when undergoing a massage, sleeping, or even wearing eyewear immediately after your fillers. This is because these actions could cause pressure on the treated areas and cause your filler to migrate.

Although cosmetic injections are some of the most common cosmetic procedures conducted globally, it is crucial to know the risks and how to manage and avoid them. If you have any concerns, it’s important to speak to a doctor to get the right treatment plan.

Harley Street Injectables: Dermal Fillers and Botulinum Toxin 

Before getting filler, it’s important to ensure that a trained medical professional will handle your case. Like with any other cosmetic procedure, don’t just go to any doctor who claims they can do the job. Research the doctor and the clinic to ensure that you are in good hands. 

If you are considering getting filler, contact a qualified surgeon today. We will walk you through the whole process and answer any questions you may have. 

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