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Dissolving Filler: The Why and the How

The use of dermal fillers has become increasingly popular for the cheeks to lips to even the unmentionables. With the increased popularity, inevitably, there are some issues that can arise. Fortunately, there is a way to dissolve certain types of fillers if they no longer look the way you want.

Reasons for dissolving filler.

The injection of filler is both a science and an art. The placement of the filler may be less than ideal whether due to technique, a difference in anatomy, or differences in how one’s body responds to the filler. All can lead to undesired outcomes. The filler itself can also migrate – more commonly around the lips due to the high mobility of the area. Or there may simply just be too much of a good thing. There are also emergency situations when filler is inadvertently injected into a blood vessel and dissolving of the filler is needed immediately to minimize the risk of adverse outcomes. Regardless of the reason, fillers made of hyaluronic acid can be dissolved with a solution called hyaluronidase.

How does hyaluronidase work?

Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that breaks down hyaluronic acid. It is injected into the areas where the undesired filler is and dissolves the filler. The effects can be seen immediately and continues to work over the next 48 hours. The location, type and volume of filler can affect how easily the filler dissolves. Certain types of fillers are easier to dissolve than others. Thicker fillers and larger amounts of filler are more difficult to dissolve and may take multiple sessions. The filler may also dissolve unevenly from one side compared to the other.

What are the risks of dissolving fillers?

Hyaluronidase is typically injected with a needle and the solution itself stings upon injection. There is a risk of bruising and an allergic reaction to the hyaluronidase. It is contraindicated in people who are allergic to bee and wasp stings. If you have any allergy, it is best to discuss this with your injector. Hyaluronidase can also dissolve some of your native hyaluronic acid, however, the natural hyaluronic acid will rebuild over the next 6-12 weeks.

When can I get filler again after I dissolve my filler?

Although, you can get filler injected to the areas you had filler dissolved after 2 days, it is better to wait at least 1 week before filler is reinjected into the same areas. There may be bruising and swelling that have not fully resolved and will impact where the new filler is injected. However, filler in other areas of the face/body can be injected in the same day since the effect of hyaluronidase is localized to the injection site.

 Ideally, there would be no need to dissolve the filler, but sometimes we need a little tweaking or a major overhaul. At least there’s a solution!


  • Unwanted hyaluronic acid filler can be fixed by dissolving it

  • Hyaluronidase (an enzyme) is injected under the skin to break down the filler

  • Results are immediate and continue to work for 24-48 hours

  • There can be bruising and swelling

  • Filler can be placed again in about 1 week

  • We hope not to have to use hyaluronidase, but will if we have to

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