Filler Dissolving: A guide to emergency and planned usage

In recent years, lip dissolving has gained popularity as a non-surgical cosmetic procedure to correct migration, remove filler for personal reasons or for emergency use. In this blog post, we will explore the reasons behind the growing interest in lip dissolving, covering both emergency and planned usage. We will delve into the risks, benefits, and important considerations associated with this procedure.

Emergency Usage: Why Dissolve Lip Fillers?

In some instances, individuals may find themselves dissatisfied with the results of lip filler treatments. Overfilled or poorly executed injections can lead to an unnatural appearance and unevenness. Often this can happen progressively and may not be noticed by the consumer until that’s all they can see. Lip dissolving offers an effective solution to reverse these unwanted outcomes. By injecting a dissolving agent into the lips or any other area filler is placed or migrated to, the previously injected filler material can be safely broken down and metabolized by the body. The same process can be used in an emergency in the occurrence of a vascular occlusion for filler in any location, it will breakdown the product allowing the restoration of blood flow. An expert in this field is Dr Time Pearce who is based in the United Kingdom, you can read more via this blog or check our our blog on vascular occlusion

Planned Usage: Aesthetic Modifications and Corrections

Aside from emergency usage, lip dissolving can also be employed as a planned cosmetic procedure to modify or correct lip shape, size, or symmetry when excess filler has been previously injected. The dissolving agents used in these cases are kept in stock for emergency’s at most if not all cosmetic injectable clinics so a planned dissolve can usually be arranged after consult. But remember this product is placed and then massaged for best effect so most clients would require a dissolve and re-treat a month later, or leave a‘naturale. 

Risks Associated with Filler Dissolving

While Filler dissolving is generally considered safe, it is essential to acknowledge potential risks and complications. As with any medical procedure, adverse reactions can occur, albeit rarely. One such risk is anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis can manifest as difficulty breathing, swelling, hives, and even a drop in blood pressure. Although rare, it is crucial for patients to discuss their medical history and allergies with their injector before undergoing filler dissolving to minimize the risk of such reactions. 

Did you know why we ask if patients are allergic to bees? This isn’t actually because of a potential reaction to filler agents it’s because of the risk using a dissolving agent, which keeping in mind although may be in general for emergency’s the client safety is the upmost important consideration and those with reaction to bees are at a heightened risk of reaction to dissolving agents.

Benefits of Lip/filler Dissolving

1. Reversibility: One of the key advantages of filler is its reversibility. Unlike surgical procedures that may have permanent outcomes, filler dissolving allows for reversal if desired. This feature provides patients with added peace of mind, knowing that changes can be made if they are unsatisfied with the results. This is most commonly seen in the lips after several treatments, because it is a much smaller space then say the cheeks.

2. Non-surgical Approach: Lip dissolving offers a non-surgical alternative to lip enhancement, making it an attractive option for individuals who prefer to avoid invasive procedures. The use of injectable dissolving agents reduces the need for incisions, resulting in shorter recovery times and minimal scarring. 

Considerations for Lip Dissolving

1. Downtime and Recovery: While dissolving is generally associated with minimal downtime, it is essential to prepare for potential swelling, redness, bruising and tenderness in the treated area. Patients should follow post-procedure care instructions provided by their injector to optimize healing and minimize discomfort. We would recommend taking it easy for a few days as a precaution.

2. Individual Variation: Every individual’s body reacts differently, and the results of filler dissolving can vary. Factors such as metabolism, skin type, and the type of filler being dissolved can influence the rate at which the dissolving agent takes effect. Patience and realistic expectations are key when undergoing lip dissolving. At Illuminate aesthetics we wait a month before we consider further filler treatments to allow for healing to occur.

Emergency Use

In my other blog ‘What is a vascular occlusion? available by this link  we talk about what a vascular occlusion is. Essentially, it’s a blockage in a vessel that is compromising blood flow to a portion of tissue. This is a relatively rare complication and one that all injectors avoid but essentially the face has literally thousands of vessels of varying sizes and so it is a known risk, and one I make sure all my clients are aware of. If this occurs, we will utilise an assessment and if needed use of dissolver to re-establish blood flow to the affected area. 

What is the process like?

Like all our treatments we complete a consultation prior to treatment to establish the safety of fillers for clients. In the instance of planned dissolving, we will discuss the goal the client has so we can target the area’s most effectively. This is regarded to be a painful procedure so we will numb the area, and preferably get the client to take an over-the-counter antihistamine as a precaution for reaction to the product. Similarly, to receiving filler a small needle is injected into the affected area and product injected. Once treatment is complete the area is massaged to enhance the spread of the product and the client will then allow a month for the area to rest recover before returning if they desire more filler to be placed.


Lip dissolving has emerged as a viable solution for both emergency and planned usage scenarios in cosmetic procedures. Its ability to reverse unwanted filler outcomes has contributed to its growing popularity. While there are risks associated with lip dissolving, including the potential for anaphylaxis, these risks are relatively rare. By carefully considering the benefits and potential complications, seeking the expertise of qualified practitioners, and understanding individual variation, individuals can make informed decisions about pursuing lip dissolving to achieve their desired lip aesthetics.

Disclaimer: Content in this blog and linked materials is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. If you or any other person has a medical concern, professional medical treatment should be sought. Call your doctor or emergency services immediately if you believe you have a medical emergency.