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Unfortunately, it’s a request we receive too often. A patient went to a med spa to plump their lips, contour their cheeks, or smooth lines and wrinkles and their dermal filler was botched. Bad cheek filler (or lip or eye filler) is almost always the result of an unqualified injector. Less frequently, it’s the result of improper post-care. Thankfully it can be corrected before it dissolves naturally—with visible improvement in as soon as 24 hours!

What Does Bad Filler Look Like?

The team at Valley Medical Weight Loss and Med Spa has seen it all. We define “fillers gone wrong”, as anything that delivers results that leave you looking and feeling less than your best. Often with more aesthetic concerns than you had before your filler. With modern fillers lasting between 6 months and 2 years, waiting until it dissolves naturally is too long for most. 

We can correct:

  • Asymmetry
  • Overfilling
  • Puffy appearance
  • Bumps
  • Lumpiness
  • A distorted smile
  • The dreaded “duck lip”
  • Caved lip corners
  • Misshaped eyes
  • Any undesirable filler outcomes

Let’s explore some of our most common dermal filler correction requests.

Botched Nasolabial Fold Filler

Often referred to as marionette lines, this is the area where deep creases form that extend from the side of your nose to the corner of your mouth. The most common mistake in this area is over-injection. Even if the marionette lines smooth, a botched treatment leaves the skin looking heavy, weighed down, or droopy.

A skilled injector understands how to position and distribute your filler appropriately to balance your facial features. This is of particular importance in those who are experiencing the facial volume loss that comes with the natural aging process. 

Bad Cheek Filler

Cheek filler is most often injected to minimize volume loss or to create the illusion of pronounced cheekbones. Bad cheek filler occurs when too much filler is injected, or the filler is positioned in a manner that looks unnatural. This includes strong angles on one or both cheeks or an unnatural appearance from either or both the front and the side.

An experienced injector understands:

  • How to assess your natural contours
  • How filler settles once it settles
  • Where to inject and at what angle
  • How to space out injections
  • How much to inject
  • How deep to inject underneath the skin

Another common mistake is over-plumping, often referred to as “pillow face”. If your intention was to plump up your face but too much filler is used, your face will look unnaturally full. This can range from looking bloated to looking like you’ve put on a significant amount of weight.

Botched Lip and Upper Lip Filler

Lips and the upper lip are the most frequently botched areas. The skin on and around the lips is thin and delicate. These areas can’t hold a lot of filler without looking unnatural, unless that’s the look you’re going for.

A skilled aesthetic injector understands the importance of the needle’s angle, how much is injected, how far apart it’s spaced, and how far into the lip’s dermal layers they should inject. They also understand that they must inject on and above the lips in a manner that enhances your natural contours—without overpowering your appearance.

On the flip side, if you want your lips to look exaggerated, you need an injector who knows how to safely achieve the results you desire.

Botched Eye Filler

Bad cheek filler doesn’t only change the shape of your face, but it can create what’s known as “sunset eyes”. When too much dermal filler is injected into the cheeks or mid-face, it can cause the skin around your eyes to droop downward. This drastically changes your appearance.

Another common mistake is overfilling the under-eye area to the point that it eliminates the connection between the cheek and the lower lash line. This is most common if the wrong type of filler is used.

Last but not least, if the filler around the eyes is lumpy, it wasn’t injected properly. This might be one noticeable bump or a series of lumps.  

Worst case scenario—temporary or permanent loss of vision can occur if the filler is injected into the arteries. This is one of the many potential risks of going to an unqualified injector.

What to Do After Bad Dermal Filler?

You could return to your initial injector, but if they didn’t properly inject your filler—they may not know how to correct it. Even if they can correct it, they’ve likely lost your trust.

If your dermal filler has you feeling more self-conscious than you were before it was injected, or you just don’t want filler anymore—schedule an appointment with Valley Medical. We’re a medically-licensed team of trained and tenured aesthetic injectors.

During your consultation, we’ll evaluate your filler and advise on the correction you require. If it’s been less than 2 weeks since your filler was injected, we’ll likely need to wait. Within the first 2 weeks, it’s not uncommon to experience bruising and swelling. As the swelling subsides your results may look more natural.

If your results are still too pronounced, we’ll advise on your corrective treatment options.

How to Dissolve or Reverse Bad Filler?

Modern fillers last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. The thought of waiting it out is agonizing, but there’s no need to wait! Once your initial bruising and swelling have subsided, we’ll create a tailored strategy utilizing hyaluronidase injections for small treatment areas or Morpheus8 for bad cheek filler.


This enzyme rapidly degrades and dissolves hyaluronic acid-based fillers. It selectively targets hyaluronic acid, without harming surrounding tissues.

You’re likely to have a bit of swelling after your corrective injection, but you’ll see visible results within 24 hours—and significant results within 48 hours.  

You may require more than 1 corrective treatment to achieve desired results.  


Morpheus8 is most often utilized for rejuvenating the skin, by remodeling, smoothing, and tightening. However, it can also be utilized for dissolving botched fillers on large treatment areas such as the cheeks.

Morpheus8 utilizes a combination of microneedling and radio frequency to rapidly degrade fillers. Results will take longer than hyaluronidase, but it may be the most effective option for the cheeks and face.

You’ll gradually start looking like yourself over the next 3 to 4 weeks.  

How Many Corrections Sessions Will I Require?

The larger the treatment area and the more exaggerated or asymmetrical the results, the more likely you’ll require more than 1 corrective treatment.

If multiple sessions are required, your appearance will gradually improve. We’ll schedule a follow-up visit to assess your progress, and if needed—additional treatments to fine-tune your contours.

Will You Completely Dissolve My Filler?

It depends. We tailor corrective treatments to the individual patient. In some cases, we will need to dissolve all or most of your filler. In other cases, we may be able to precision-target how and where we dissolve.

During your consultation, we’ll advise on which path is right to achieve your desired outcome.

How to Choose an Aesthetic Injector?

After bad cheek filler, over-plumped lips, or lumpy eye filler—you may be hesitant to reconsider dermal fillers. If you decide to give it another go, invest a bit more time in the selection process.

The tips below minimize the risk of painful, harmful, costly, and emotionally-disruptive consequences.

#1 Verify Medical Credentials

Legally, all aesthetic injectors must be licensed medical doctors, nurse practitioners, or physician assistants. If the person you’re considering won’t provide their credentials, don’t risk it.

#2 Verify Their Training and Tenure

Just because someone is licensed to give injections (of any kind) doesn’t mean they have the training to work with dermal fillers. So, inquire about their aesthetics training and how long they’ve been administering cosmetic injections.

#3 Assess Their Reputation and Reviews

Head online and read the medical spa’s client reviews. Read both positive feedback and successful outcomes as well as negative reviews. Also, ask for recommendations from trusted friends or family members who’ve had similar treatments.  

Valley Medical is proud to say that we have over 1,000 5-star reviews!

#4 Browse Their Before and After Photos

Ask to see the before and after photos of other patients undergoing the same treatment. Verify that these are actual patient photos, not the photos the dermal filler brand provides for marketing.

View some of Valley Medical’s patient photos here!

#5 Don’t Let Cost Be Your Top Determining Factor

We’re all for being mindful of your spending, but your health and safety are paramount. While you may shop around, price must not be your primary deciding factor.

Once you verify the information above, schedule an in-person consultation. This will give you a feel for the practitioner and demonstrate their ability to listen to your unique needs—and personalize your treatment plan. During your consultation, inquire about their safety protocols and how to contact them if complications arise.

Have Bad Cheek Filler? Want Your Lip or Eye Filler Reversed?

If you live in the Phoenix area and want to have your botched filler reversed, reach out to Valley Medical Weight Loss and Med Spa. We have 3 locations in Phoenix, Tempe, and Glendale.

We can dissolve filler that was improperly injected or filler you no longer want.

A botched aesthetic treatment is stressful. When and if you’re ready, we hope you’ll consider our medically licensed team for your next round of cosmetic therapies! 

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