Hot Topic: Should fillers be more accessible?

Dr. Maurizio Viel and Dr. Salwa Abo Rashed go head-to-head on this month’s hot topic

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Our experts take on this month's Hot Topic.

Dr. Maurizio Viel, cosmetic surgeon, London Centre for Aesthetic Surgery

Fillers can be more accessible if there is sufficient regulation to also protect the consumer. There are two methods which will allow fillers to be more accessible. Firstly, through price and secondly to have more practitioners offering this service. Fillers are already pretty accessible to the majority of the public but practitioners need to ensure that they offer only temporary fillers as permanent fillers lead to long term complications.

Currently in the UAE, prices at good clinics match most world prices. However, we advise people to be careful when seeking budget prices because that means products are often of a poor quality leading to problems in the future. Practitioners should also use extremely good quality hyaluronic acid fillers which are safer for patients. The good quality fillers allow mistakes to be corrected using an enzyme known as hyaluronidase which immediately dissolves the filler.

Generally, good quality fillers are safe to use when used by professionals who know what they are doing. Often, mistakes and poor quality fillers are often the results of untrained or inexperienced practitioners seen all over the world. So, yes, fillers can certainly be more accessible but that also means that the consumer must be even more discerning.

Dr. Salwa Abo Rashed, specialist dermatologist CosmeSurge

No, for a variety of reasons, fillers should not be made more accessible.

Fillers are traditionally used to help patients correct moderate facial wrinkles. Occasionally, people also use it to add volume to their lips or hands. The product increases the volume of those modified areas, providing a smooth look.

With easier access, any doctor would have the ability to use fillers freely on their patients. Therefore, it would be imperative for patients and physicians to understand the risks and limits of fillers. Any dermal filler can cause short- or long-term side effects, permanent side effects or a combination of all. More severe side effects might include harmful allergic reactions that require immediate emergency medical assistance; blindness, occurring when the filler is injected into an artery, blocking blood flow to the eyes; tissue damage; and death.

Regardless of the documented risks, some physicians choose to remain uninformed about the side effects or about how to use fillers appropriately. Therefore, patients who are looking for filler injections should seriously consider the risks of the drug, as well as the clinical history of the doctor administering it. This awareness can only help to prevent the dangerous side effects that could potentially, and negatively, affect their lives.

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