Aug 13, 2019

Are We Going Too Far with Fillers?

By Chelsea Campbell

If you're in the market for facial fillers, chances are you are aiming to restore a youthful plumpness to your face. When done right, fillers can add volume to sunken cheeks, make lips fuller, and plump up prominent wrinkles. However, going overboard can often have the opposite effect, making you look lumpy, older, and just plain strange. 

The Farce of Filters

Dr. Catherine DiGiorgio, cosmetic dermatologist in Austin, TX, believes that social media has a noticeable influence on what we consider to be aesthetically pleasing. So yes, while that Instagram filter that makes you look like you've bathed in the blood of virgins after waking up from a blissful 12 hours of sleep does make you look uh-mazing, it is unfortunately not reality- nobody looks that smooth, plump, and flawless! In fact, what may look great in photos online doesn't always transfer to looking good in real life, a lesson that not everyone heeds when they approach their dermatologist seeking fillers. 

Dr. DiGiorgio explains the phenomenon: "I think the new normal has changed and people have a delusional sense of what is actually normal for an aesthetic appearance in the face. People look at Instagram and other social media websites and they see these unnatural looks that, although may look good in photos, when you see a person in real life, look completely bizarre."

She goes on to explain that it's become popular for completely normal features of someone who is, you know, a living human and not an avatar, to now be seen as flaws. "For example," Dr. DiGiorgio says, "you're supposed to have a small shadow at your nasolabial fold. That's normal. It's a normal anatomical landmark, and to blunt that shadow looks abnormal. The same goes for the "tear trough", or the under-eye area. There's supposed to be a small shadow in that area. It's a normal anatomical landmark." 

"Lumpy Filler Face"

However, many people think that fillers are the answer to filling in these normal areas of the face and end up going overboard in trying to plump them up. DiGiorgio describes how this can result in an odd look: "Too much  fillers are being placed and people are going straight from 

eyelid margin to cheek, and they end up looking puffy and lumpy. I call it "lumpy filler face." Looking like a Snapchat filter is not a normal appearance, it's completely bizarre."

"Some celebrities have taken it too far as well," she goes on, "and I think it makes it very difficult for the younger generation to know what is normal. They view these things as aesthetically pleasing, because it's in their face all the time."

Dr. DiGiorgio's advice for making sure you don't go overboard with fillers and end up with the dreaded lumpy filler face? "[Patients] should see a board-certified dermatologist for their aesthetic treatments. We are trained to manage complications and to make sure that you get a natural look." Because it is technically legal for anyone with a medical license to purchase and administer fillers, it is crucial to find a skilled doctor so that you can look great, but still natural - filters and 12 hours of sleep not required!