Chances are you have seen Madonna’s most recent photos and the changes to her face. While experts believe that she has undergone multiple different surgical procedures to achieve this “unnatural” look, they also believe that excess fillers have helped contribute to the excess plump appearance the 64-year-old is now sporting. Unfortunately, the overfilled face, also known as a pillow face, is becoming more and more common as people push the envelope when it comes to dermal filler injections. But are you stuck with this overfilled appearance if you receive regular dermal fillers or is it possible to achieve a more natural look?
What Is an Overfilled Face?
The addition of hyaluronic acid fillers over 25 years ago was a revolutionary tool for providers to address the signs of aging, such as wrinkles and lost volume. While originally targeted for the lips and nasolabial folds, it didn’t take long before these fillers were used to enhance the volume and shape of the cheeks, chins, foreheads, jawlines, noses, and temples in order to enhance appearance and balance facial features. Unfortunately, over time, the use of fillers has greatly increased, leading to the overfilling of many facial areas, resulting in an overfilled, puffy, pillow-like appearance that has become so popular it has inspired a filter on Instagram and TikTok. This overuse of dermal fillers contributes to the development of facial overfilled syndrome (FOS).
Signs and Symptoms of an Overfilled Face
Aside from the obvious appearance of complete physical facial distortion, signs of an overfilled face can include a broad nose shape, often referred to as an avatar nose, excessively large cheeks, prominent duck lips, a flying saucer facial shape, or a chin with a drastic pointy shape.
Can You Have Too Much Dermal Fillers?
In many cases, those with facial overfilled syndrome often undergo large dermal filler treatments, using more than five syringes per treatment or more than 10 syringes within a year. This excessive amount of filler can contribute to increased volume that appears unnatural. Inexperienced providers do not necessarily have the skills to evaluate the patients’ facial needs and simply believe more is better.
However, many can reach an overfilled appearance by simply following regular dermal filler treatment recommendations.
When dermal fillers first reached the market, the different fillers were given a life span, meaning that certain fillers are thinner than others and may provide results for six months while others were thicker and provided longer lasting results. However, given these fillers were new, there was never really any evidence as to how long they would really last. Over the years, ultrasound testing shows that many of these fillers last for over 10 years. But if you keep getting new injections every six months to a year and your initial filler is still present, you are essentially adding more and more layers of fillers to your face and contributing to the overfilled appearance that is becoming so common.
Can You Fix an Overfilled Face?
When your face reaches an overfilled appearance, there are ways to correct the unnatural appearance. If you have hyaluronic fillers, an injectable enzyme called hyaluronidase can dissolve the hyaluronic fillers that remain in your face and return your facial appearance back to your starting point. Unfortunately, at this time, there is no way to dissolve other filler material, such as calcium hydroxylapatite or poly-L-lactic acid. Keep in mind, however, that dissolving layers of filler can result in an unsettling change in your appearance as the natural signs of aging return quickly.
Avoiding an Overfilled Face
The good news is that it is entirely possible to avoid the overfilled face look and, when done by an experienced and well-trained provider that understands facial harmony and proportion, filler treatments can provide a very naturally appearing treatment method to reduce and minimize lost facial volume and the signs of aging and allow you to avoid the distorted filter appearance.