It started as just a little experiment to lessen your laugh lines or to see how you’d look without those bags under your eyes.  You were excited and nervous, but you decided to try Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse, Sculptra, Artefill or some other dermal filler.  It was going to be “just this once.”

But the results were so good, and the procedure was so easy, and it was fairly inexpensive, and maybe just a little bit more would look even better, and before you know it … your face no longer looks like your face.  And you might not even know it.

Do you have girlfriends who will tell you the truth?  Do you think your injector is going to turn down more money by telling you enough is enough?  Have you wondered if people are whispering behind your back?

Well, although this doesn’t help with enriching my wallet, I’m going to level with you and tell you how to know if you’ve had too much dermal filler, because if I don’t, who will?.  And because people with too much filler tend to give the whole procedure a bad name.

Here are some tell-tale signs:

Your Mother Doesn’t Recognize You

You Look Puffy – Too Puffy

You Look Too “Full” for Your Age, or Any Other Age, For That Matter

Your Lips Look Permanently Bee Stung.

Your Cheeks Change the Shape of Your Eyes

You Return to Your Plastic Surgeon Way Before Your Dermal Filler is Gone

You’re Getting Too Much Filler, and Not Considering Surgery

Your Mother Doesn’t Recognize You.

Here’s an easy one.  If you greet your mother at the airport with a hug, and she pulls away and says, “And you are?” – you’ve had too much filler.

You Look Puffy. Too Puffy.

No, it’s not due to sun exposure, drinking too much, or overeating.  If your face looks bloated and round, then you may have had too much dermal filler injected into your nasolabial folds, your cheeks, or in the nasojuggal grooves, the lines under your eyes.

You Look Too “Full” for Your Age, or Any Other Age, For That Matter.

A youthful face is slightly fatty, with no loose skin and a healthy glow.  Too much dermal filler can replicate the fullness you used to have in your face, but it can’t actually tighten facial skin.  You might have seen some celebrities with this unnatural look (think Suzanne Somers).   Their faces are full but their skin seems tired and lumpy.

Your Lips Look Permanently Bee Stung

If your lips look too bee stung, or if your lower lip can’t touch your upper lip, then may I suggest laying off the dermal filler?  Everyone wants full lips, but too much dermal filler in your upper and lower lips will result in an appearance where your lips are too big and out of proportion to the rest of your face.

In fact, changing the size and shape of your lips is one of the most obvious indicators of “having work done.”  Lips play a big role in the overall look of your face.  When and if you do decide to enhance your lips with dermal filler, do so cautiously and conservatively.

Your Cheeks Change the Shape of Your Eyes

Injecting dermal filler into your cheeks is a common and effective way to replace lost volume in the area below your eyes.  However, you’ll know that you’re going overboard with the dermal filler if your cheeks start to push up on your eyes, making them cat-like and squinty.

A good rule of thumb is to be able to see just a little bit of your cheeks with your eyes when you look down.  If you can’t see anything BUT cheeks when you look down, take a break from the dermal filler.

You’re Getting Too Much Filler, and Not Considering Surgery

Dermal filler procedures are great on so many levels.  There offer no down time, minimal pain, affordable price and noticeable results.  It’s no wonder that so many patients keep coming back for more.

But more dermal filler is not always the best option.  Dermal filler can’t tighten loose skin, and so a facelift, neck lift, eyelid lift, or similar plastic surgery procedure may actually give you a more natural, rejuvenated appearance, compared to more dermal filler.  It’s unusual and psychologically jarring to see an older person with loose skin and full lips and cheeks, and can be a giveaway that not only you’ve had dermal filler recently, but that you’ve had too much of it.

You Return to Your Plastic Surgeon Way Before Your Dermal Filler is Gone

Various dermal fillers last varying amounts of time, typically about 6-12 months, and sometimes longer.  If you’re going back for another injection a month or two after your last injection, then I would suggest that you wait until it has settled down before getting more dermal filler.

If you are getting treated by several different providers or doctors so that you can receive more injections with less questions, then you may have crossed the threshold from dermal filler user to dermal filler addict.

Remember, you will look better in the long run if you do just the minimal amount to maintain your appearance.  When you start to change your appearance with dermal filler, you lose the all the benefits of subtlety and start to look like a caricature of your former self.

The key to aging gracefully is not to deny it by erasing all traces of aging, but to embrace the best version of you at the age that you are.  Certainly this means taking full advantage of the tools available to you such as Botox, Juvederm, Restylane and surgical procedures, but it also means knowing when to say when.


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