Nose fillers: Everything you need to know

In Asia, adults commonly choose to augment their noses first, as our noses are often the weakest link — lacking in definition and height combined with unsightly nostril sizes. Augmenting the nose is a delicate affair; besides choosing a doctor that understands your facial anatomy and structure, the right type of procedure also matters.

For those looking for a permanent fix and don’t mind undergoing surgery, a rhinoplasty is your best bet. However, there have been cases of botched jobs, such as the patient not liking the final result or implant infections. Revision rhinoplasty, in case you might not know, is very costly and even more complicated than a first-time augmentation. Hence, the risk of nose jobs are relatively high.

Enter the next best option, nose fillers. Nose fillers are an effective and non-surgical way to enhance the nose. They can also correct deformities and asymmetries, including saddle nose, a complication from rhinoplasty where the nose bridge sinks downwards. Best of all, nose fillers allow you to achieve results in as fast as 15 minutes.

Ready to find out more? Here’s everything you need to know about nose fillers.

How do nose fillers work?

Nose fillers contain hyaluronic acid, a natural compound found in our body responsible for stimulating collagen production, aiding tissue repair and lubricating joints. When injected into the nose, nose fillers can fill out areas that are “deficient”.

For example, if you want a higher nose bridge, nose fillers can be injected to add volume and definition to your nose bridge. If you want a sharper nose, nose fillers can be injected at your nose tip for a sculpted look.

There are various brands of fillers out there, including:

  • Juvederm
  • Restylane
  • Belotero

Each comes with their own properties like different firmness and viscosity. Hyaluronic acid nose fillers can last 9-12 months.

There’s also a second and newer type of filler that’s considered an in-between of dermal fillers and nose threadlifts. They’re known as bio-stimulating fillers, which are non-hyaluronic acid based. When injected into the nose, they add volume to the nose bridge and tip and stimulate collagen production.

Bio-stimulating filler brands include:

  • Ellanse
  • Radiesse
  • Sculptra

Bio-stimulating nose fillers can last for at least 2 years.

How long does the procedure take?

On average, a nose filler treatment takes about 30 minutes to perform. Due to how fast the process is, nose filler treatments are commonly known as ‘lunchtime procedures’, as you literally can get the job done during your lunch break.

Typically, a treatment is performed like this:

  • Consultation with the doctor to discuss your goals, determine the type of filler to be used and ask any questions
  • On the day of the appointment, a numbing cream is applied to your nose to for about 15 minutes to reduce any pain or discomfort during the treatment
  • Fillers are injected into the treatment areas via a thin needle or cannula. A little massaging is then done to mould and even out the fillers to achieve the desired results.

Upon injection of nose fillers, results are immediate. Patients can therefore see volume and definition in areas that are deficient.

Collagen-stimulating fillers, however, might require a little more time. This is because unlike hyaluronic acid fillers that fill up deficient areas by themselves, collagen-stimulating fillers take effect only once the body generates collagen for volumisation.

Are the results reversible?

Yes! Unlike a rhinoplasty, the results from nose fillers can be reversed easily. This is done either by dissolving the acid or through the body’s natural mechanism, which is a breakdown of the acid over a period of 9 months to 2 years. For collagen-stimulating fillers, however, the results are not reversible.

What are the risks and side effects associated with nose fillers?

After the treatment, it is normal to have side effects such as:

  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Slight bleeding and discomfort at the injection site

However, these reactions are temporary and should subside within a few days. To speed up the recovery process, patients are advised to:

  • Avoid drinking alcohol, going for massages or exercising for the first week
  • Avoid touching the injection site
  • Gently apply an ice pack on the treatment site to reduce swelling

When nose fillers are overdone or used wrongly, they can slide sideways off the nose bridge, causing the nose bridge to widen. This is termed as the ‘Avatar effect’.

A less common but dreaded complication of nose fillers is the blockage of blood vessels, or ischemic necrosis. This happens when too much fillers are placed at the globular or nose tip, resulting in a blockage of blood supply carrying oxygen and nutrients around the nose.

Another feared complication of nose fillers is blindness. This happens when large amounts of fillers are accidentally injected into the arteries beside the nasal bridge, pushing the fillers into the retinal and ophthalmic arteries, causing blindness.

To wrap up

Nose fillers when used appropriately can produce fantastic results, but negligence or greed can cause frightening consequences. To obtain the best results without any drawbacks, you should:

  • Find an experienced doctor who will give honest feedback on what works and is familiar with facial anatomy. 
  • Use a less is more approach, especially if it’s your first time getting fillers. You can always top up the next time round.
  • Be realistic with your expectations.

Have a question?

If you have any other questions, please leave us a message anytime and we will be happy to answer them!

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26616716/
    Moon H. J. (2016). Use of Fillers in Rhinoplasty. Clinics in plastic surgery, 43(1), 307–317. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cps.2015.08.003

  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23731585/
    Jasin M. E. (2013). Nonsurgical rhinoplasty using dermal fillers. Facial plastic surgery clinics of North America, 21(2), 241–252. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsc.2013.02.004
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