Are Expired Injectables Harmful?

Dermal fillers are gel-like substances that are injected into the skin to correct skin concerns such as lines and wrinkles. Soft tissue filler injections are considered medical treatments that should only be conducted by a certified physician. Since the procedure involves intradermal administration, it is extremely important that the treatment is conducted with strict adherence to aseptic medical standards, to reduce the risk of immunogenic responses.

Equally important criterion is the shelf life of the dermal filler. The expiry date determined by the manufacturer guarantees the sterility and quality of the implants up until that point. Using expired dermal fillers may lead to reduced potency and safety of the post-treatment results. Additionally, expired soft tissue fillers may only deliver aesthetic results for a short period of time compared to dermal fillers that have not expired.

Expired Fillers Over Time

Most dermal fillers contain biodegradable materials like hyaluronic acid, collagen, poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), and calcium hydroxylapatite. These bioresorbable fillers are gradually metabolized by the surrounding tissues, and the residence time of these implants depends largely on a patient’s health, severity of skin condition, and lifestyle choices.

Once the injected fillers start to resorb, the patient’s aesthetic corrections will reverse over time. Though this is an expected process, expired fillers may not produce effective results. Not only could they fail to correct the aesthetic imperfections adequately, expired fillers may also disintegrate at a much quicker rate than non-expired implants.

Additionally, expired injectable fillers are deemed medically unsafe as they are likely to induce inflammatory infections and immunogenic reactions.

Reporting Expired Filler Use

Patients are strongly recommended to make informed decisions prior to obtaining dermal filler injections. Always work with qualified and highly experienced physicians who only use properly labeled, sealed vials for treatments. Patients should inquire regarding their doctor’s cosmetic filler experience and always learn about the type of injectables being implanted and all of its possible side effects.

An initial consultation session should be reserved for discussing medical history, aesthetic desires, dermal filler of choice, the possible side effects, and precautions. Patients should be permitted to request and read the patient labeling information on injectable implants prior to the treatment session.

  • It is very important that patients do not receive dermal filler injections from unlicensed providers. Patients who have been injected with expired filler can report it to a regulatory agent in their area, such as the FDA.

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