Mar 16

Liquid Silicone Making a Comeback

The facial filler market is getting very crowded lately. Everyone is searching for the holy grail- the perfect filler. It should be smooth, resilient, reliable, free of side effects – and, oh yeah, PERMANENT. To date, Artefill is the one and only permanent filler FDA-approved for cosmetic facial use. But, there are a number of long-lasting fillers coming down the pike. One of these is liquid silicone.

Injecting liquid silicone

Liquid silicone has been quietly used for decades by its supporters who claim it provides superior handling and results, especially when used carefully with a microdroplet technique. That may be true in most cases. However, there has been a healthy number of very serious reactions to liquid silicone, resulting in nodules, lumps, and severe inflammation that is near impossible to treat. What’s worse is that a reaction may occur many years after the initial injection and the material may migrate over time to unwanted areas.

When liquid silicone goes wrong, it goes very wrong. It’s true that many of these disasters occurred when non-physicians injected what may have been impure product. But, serious reactions have also happened in expert hands, prompting the FDA, in 1992, to stop a group of prominent physicians from using the product. You can be sure that doesn’t happen often. The reactions have been severe enough to relegate talk of liquid silicone to the backrooms of facial filler discussions and most doctors won’t touch the stuff.

But, all this may be about to change. In 1997, the FDA approved liquid silicone for use in treating detached retinas. Since then, its use as a cosmetic filler is starting to creep up again. And a new breed of the product is in development and under investigational study. The dermatologists who have tried it are using words like “spectactular.” So, whether liquid silicone is the panacea of tomorrow or a “time bomb” is yet to be determined. But, you can be sure that we won’t be the first ones jumping on that boat to who knows where.

For more information about injectable safety, you can check out www.injectablesafety.org

This is the product of a joint physicians’ coalition from the AAFPRS, the ASAPS, and ASOPRS dedicated to safe injectable practices and information for the public.

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