Cheek filler treatments are a perfect way to raise and tighten sagging skin and clear up any wrinkles to reveal the lines of your cheekbones. However, a known complication of cheek augmentation procedures is chipmunk cheeks—when the cheeks appear unnaturally depressed and excessively plump.
So how long do chipmunk cheeks last after a dermal filler treatment? Chipmunk cheeks or pillow faces are a result of mistakes during the procedure. Expected swelling from the injection should last up to two weeks but chipmunk cheeks will last until the filler is depleted—which can last for 8 months to a year.
Dermal fillers are gel-like substance that contains chemical compounds that increase collagen production in the skin. Once injected and absorbed by the body, it can naturally lift your face by tightening the skin, removing any wrinkles or fine lines, and providing volume after a few fast and painless injections. If injected in the cheek, the filler will define the skin color and contour of the cheeks, and help ease any aftereffects of acne scarring.
One of the most common reasons for receiving a dermal filler or, in this case, a cheek filler is because of a loss of facial volume due to age, acne, or skin damage. However, if too much is injected, more injections are done after the initial treatment, or if the wrong area is injected, it will cause an abnormal amount of volume to develop in the treatment area.
The extra volume may be mistaken for swelling—a common side effect of cheek filler treatment. If it occurs, it should last for two weeks. However, the cheeks may still have an extra and unintended volume that may make your overall face look older or unusual.
Since chipmunk cheeks are due to mistakes in the cosmetic treatment, not a temporary side effect, it lasts for as long as the filler is still in the treated area. This depends on the lifestyle and skincare routine of the patient but it can last up to 8 months or even 2 years with frequent maintenance.
Chipmunk cheeks, also known as pillow faces, are a result of frequent cheek filler injections or an immoderate amount of injected cheek filler. This may also happen with overuse of Botox injections, cheek filler is designed to be broken down by the body to produce more collagen to create more volume and define the shape of the jawline. When too much cheek filler is injected, the volume in the cheeks will increase to an extravagant level and become rounder while the contour of the jawline will disappear under the volume.
The cheeks and other treated areas must be properly assessed for their elasticity, texture, and volume so that the correct amount of cheek filler, the number of dermal filler injections, and the planned injection site can be determined to meet the patient’s expectations.
1 to 3 ml of cheek filler is the general range dermatologists use for the filler treatment. However, 1ml of filler can do plenty by subtly lifting your face by adding volume and clearing up any wrinkles for a natural and youthful look. It’s important to manage expectations by working out what is possible with your dermatologists. Schedule follow-up consultations and maintenance treatments to properly manage the results of your dermal filler injections.
Chipmunk cheeks and other consequences of improper dermal filler injections and botox injections can be avoided altogether by consulting a first-rate aesthetic clinic that has the foremost expertise in cheek augmentation and other cosmetic procedures. Instead of puffy cheeks and artificial looking plastic surgery results, you will receive a well-defined jawline and apple-like cheeks.
Dr. Lanna Aesthetics has completed over 10,000 cosmetic treatments. Led by a world-class expert and practitioner of dermal filler injections and a compassionate and expert medical spa team, we can accurately surmise how much dermal filler is needed and where it must be injected for you to regain the refreshing look you once had.
Dr. Lanna is a world-class injector sought out by clients all over the U.S. that can efficiently provide you with all the benefits of the filler without any complications or serious side effects that require additional treatments to relieve. Our dermal filler treatments live up to the mantle of “lunchtime procedure”—the treatment can be done over the course of your lunch break and you may easily return to work without any worry and with a revitalized face.
While chipmunk cheeks cannot disappear without the body metabolizing all the injected cheek filler or direct treatment, there are methods for alleviating any form of swelling after the filler injection If it reaches unmanageable proportions or uncomfortable levels.
Drinking water often has numerous benefits for the skin like increasing its elasticity and volume, flushing out harmful toxins in the body, improving its complexion, reducing itchiness, and decreasing the size of its pores — lowering the chance of acne breakouts. The recommended daily intake of water is 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women.
Swelling is caused by the body’s inflammation to heal any minor damages caused by the injections. Adding water in the body will boost the healing process of the body and help remove any damaged cells or retained water from the injected site. For chipmunk cheeks, water helps regulate the metabolism of the body, helping it absorb the cheek filler.
Arnica oil is made of an herb that has several medicinal uses such as treating bruises, muscle aches, and other wounds. However, it can also be used to lessen the symptoms of inflammation like swelling, bruising, pain, and redness. Gently apply it in the cheeks after 2 days of the dermal injection.
If the swelling feels painful, lightly add an ice pack or a cold compress to the cheek area or other areas that are experiencing side effects. Lowering the temperature of the treated area will lower the blood flow, constrict the blood veins, and lessen the feeling in the cheeks — alleviating any heaviness or pain that comes with swelling.
Keeping the head elevated will help regulate the blood flow in the tissues of the skin. This will help increase blood flow to a manageable and consistent level so that any retained water, pooled blood, and other fluids in the swollen area can be quickly filtered out.
If hyaluronic acid fillers were used in the cheek filler treatment like Juvederm and Restylane, the dermatologist may recommend a hyaluronidase injection. Hyaluronidase is an enzyme used in the body to break down hyaluronic acid. Once injected in the treated area, any effects of the cheek filler will be resolved, including the chipmunk cheeks, within 24 hours.
It’s a natural way to quickly dissolve all the injected filler in the cheeks. Hyaluronidase and hyaluronic acid are compounds that already exist in the body and are involved in the hydration process of the skin. Once the injected hyaluronidase breaks down the cheek filler, its byproducts will be metabolized by the body and are properly disposed of without any difficulties.
Since it’s an injectable procedure, it’s subjected to the same pre-treatment and aftercare instructions as a dermal filler treatment. Additionally, consider seeking an expert injector or dermatologist to oversee the injection as adding too much hyaluronidase will swiftly dehydrate the skin: causing further sagging, wrinkling, facial volume loss, and texture changes in the skin.
If you’re experiencing chipmunk cheeks, you may also have too much dermal filler injected in other treated areas. A failure to completely understand facial anatomy will lead to injecting the wrong areas of the face and adding more filler than what is required. Ensure that your skin care provider is certified and well-trusted to utilize dermal filler injections.
Asymmetrical lifting or uneven volume in the cheeks, lips, or near the eyes is a telltale sign that the facial plastic surgery was done incorrectly. It could mean that the filler was injected too shallowly. Excessive movement after recently receiving the injection may also mitigate the filler outside its intended area. Wait for 2 weeks for the filler to settle completely before reporting to your dermatologist as the cheeks may swell differently from each side.
The lips are the most at risk for complications because they are the most delicate part of the face. If the lips receive too much filler or is improperly injected, it may plump up to exuberant amounts and change to a sausage-like shape. Only 0.5 ml to 3 ml should be used in the lips, but 1ml is enough to faintly and naturally increase its volume and shape.
If the forehead has received an unsuitable amount of dermal fillers, the temples will become unnaturally rounder and enlarged. Rather than smoothening fine lines and wrinkles in the forehead, the contours around the eyebrows will be hidden from the extra volume produced.
Given the overzealous amount of dermal fillers in the upper face, the area near the eyes might look like it shrunk, leading to “sunset eyes”. The volume of the sheeks account to how much the eyes will be shaped in the face. With chipmunk cheeks, the eyes will be pushed up and look squinted.
Dermal fillers can be used on the chin to decrease nasolabial folds and to sharpen the jawline, creating a natural v-shape. Just like chipmunk cheeks, an excessive amount of dermal fillers will only provide an obtuse angle on the chin as the extra volume protrudes on the lower face.
Though an expert injector will leave no heavy complications after a dermal filler treatment, there may be side effects from the injector. The tissues under the skin have tiny blood vessels that will be unavoidably scratched or irritated by the microneedles used in the injection. These actions will ensure any damage from the injection will not develop into side effects.
Blood thinners are useful for increasing blood flow across the veins to prevent blood clots. However, this will increase the chances and effect of bruising and swelling after the dermal filler treatment. Avoid taking blood thinners a week or 2 weeks before the treatment. These include medicines, foods, and supplements like aspirin, ibuprofen, garlic, ginger, and vitamin E.
These vices have detrimental effects on the skin and increase the probability of sustained bruising and swelling after the cheek filler treatment. Alcohol consumption will dehydrate the skin and constrict the blood vessels while smoking exposes the face to heat and slows down the body’s healing process. Don’t partake in these substances for a week before the injection and 2 weeks after the treatment to avoid circumventing the benefits of the dermal fillers.
The UV rays from the sunlight can cause short-term and long-term damage to the skin such as accelerating the aging process, destroying collagen, darkening the complexion of the skin, and thins the blood vessels. Stay indoors for a day before the treatment to keep the skin hydrated and clear before it accepts the dermal fillers.
Chipmunk cheeks and other unintended results are difficult to completely reverse without invasive facial plastic surgery or waiting for an extended amount of time for it to dissolve naturally. These types of complications can be completely avoided by receiving your dermal filler treatment and other cosmetic procedures from a trustworthy and well-reviewed skin care provider.
At Dr. Lanna Aesthetics, you’re in expert hands that served hundreds of clients in the U.S. with the utmost knowledge of dermal fillers and a wealth of experience from serving a variety of skin conditions. Receive world-class dermal filler treatments and book a consultation with us online.