You might not have thought about asking these questions, but it's not advisable to get fillers until you have the answers

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Are you considering getting fillers? How long have you been thinking about it? We only ask because the average consideration period before booking in for injectable treatments is getting shorter and shorter, according to The Private Clinic .

A recent survey by the cosmetic clinic reported that a third of people wait less than a month between thinking about fillers and booking in their appointment, and 43 per cent of people are waiting less than three months before proceeding to treatment.

The Private Clinic believes that this short consideration period is down to the increased availability and demand for non-invasive treatment. While increased availability and slashed prices advertised on Instagram might seem like a good thing, what you may not know is that there are no formal regulations surrounding filler – because it’s not medical anyone can buy it online and administer. The industry is fighting for stricter regulations, but in the meantime, if you’re looking to book in a filler there are some things you need to consider.

We spoke to three experts about things you need to ask your practitioner before going under the needle. Here’s what they said.

Dr Tristan Mehta of The Harley Academy, the UK’s largest postgraduate training provider in aesthetic medicine wants would-be clients to find out the kind of dermal filler they'll be injected with as well as querying the credentials of their practitioner and checking the aftercare provided

What product does the clinic use?

"Many clients don’t understand the procedure that they have signed up for. There are hundreds of dermal fillers available – most are made from hyaluronic acid, which is a substance found naturally in the body - it integrates beautifully and comes with added safety benefits. Some hyaluronic acid fillers are better than others, so always choose a practitioner who uses the safest filler brands - those which have passed FDA approval."

What are the side effects of fillers?

"It is incredibly important to go to the right medical professional to have fillers, and some treatments are definitely riskier than others. Relatively common side effects can include swelling and bruising. An infection is possible, so sterility during the procedure is important. Extremely rare (although devastating) consequences can include permanent scarring and blindness."

What training, skills and experience do you have?

"There is an alarming number of people taking pseudo courses to do aesthetic injectable treatments and who, in my opinion, are not adequately trained to do the job. I think the problem that we’re facing is that even though we have tried to get a unilateral level of quality, the key area in which we are failing in this country is at the education level. There’s such a diverse offering – from a two-day course to a full-time qualification, to anything in between. At Harley Academy, we launched the country’s first postgraduate Level 7 Qualification that provides practitioners with the education to become true specialists in injectables. I’d advise patients looking to undergo an injectable procedure to look for those who have such a qualification - not a course. Ask if they have a qualification specifically in injectable treatments."

What level of aftercare will you provide?

"Whilst injectables are minimally invasive, good aftercare is crucial to minimise complications and ensure the best outcome is achieved. It is routine to see clients again two weeks after treatment. Your practitioner should be happy to provide you with the follow-up needed free of charge. Also ensure that your practitioner is available to see you, and not renting a room only once a month in your local area."

Can you remove the filler if I hate it after it’s administered?

"If you decide you are unhappy with the result, your injector should be able to administer hyaluronidase, which will dissolve the filler. Check that they can before you proceed. However be careful - this comes with its own risks of swelling and possibly an allergy - so whilst it is very effective, it shouldn't be seen as a magic eraser of filler. Good injectors should be able to avoid this situation by fully understanding your ideas and expectations before treatment."

Dr Kuldeep Minocha of the Tempus in Belgravia (launching in late February), advises querying how often you’ll need follow up appointments, what results to expect and how long your recovery will take.

Am I suitable for treatment with dermal fillers?

"You should be able to attend a no-obligation consultation to discuss your medical history and your requirements for treatment. Make sure you disclose anything that could determine your suitability for treatment as a well-informed practitioner can mitigate problems if and when they do occur.

A thorough full facial assessment should be carried out by an experienced aesthetic practitioner to advise you of the possible ways to treat facial ageing skin or enhance your existing aesthetic beauty. During this initial consultation, the practitioner should talk you through the type of filler being used and any potential side-effects and risks of treatment that may occur before you sign an informed consent for the procedure."

How frequently will I need to repeat the treatments?

"Whilst your procedure is likely to have an immediate effect, if you want to make a permanent change it is, of course, better to consider an on-going commitment. Whilst fillers should be re-administered every six to 12 months, you may not always need treatment on the same areas.

On average fillers last between nine and18 months, depending on the area of the face being treated."

What results should I expect from this treatment?

"It’s important to have realistic expectations prior to undergoing a filler procedure. Ask yourself if you’re aiming to completely alter your appearance or just enhance your looks. In experienced hands you should genuinely look like the best version of yourself and maintain the very essence of who you are. Fillers are designed to replace lost volume, improve skin hydration, texture and quality as well as enhance certain areas. In the hands of a true artist, one can achieve beautification with ideal aesthetic ratios being re-balanced and harmonised."

How long will it take to recover from fillers?

"The advantage of fillers and non-surgical treatments is the minimal downtime after treatment. More often than not there is very little to see other than minimal swelling which settles within 24 hours."

How long will my fillers last?

"Some fillers last six months, while others last up to two years or longer. It’s important to understand your time frame."

Dr Rita Rakus of the Dr Rita Rakus Clinic, Knightsbridge says there’s no harm in asking the most basic of questions –  requests for before and after pics and queries about how much it will hurt are perfectly normal

Does getting fillers hurt?

"It’s very important that any of your concerns are dealt with prior to the procedure. If you’re worried about experiencing pain or discomfort, express yourself beforehand and it will help you to manage your own expectations of what will happen."

Can an anaesthetic be used on the area?

"There is no need to suffer for beauty! Using prescription strength numbing cream can make your experience more comfortable. Furthermore, most fillers contain lidocaine, which numbs the tissue, reducing pain or discomfort."

Can I see before and after pictures?

"Your practitioner should be proud to show you their previous work. Looking at photographs will also help you to clarify with them what you would like to achieve."

If I decide not to continue with my appointments, will I start to look old?

"The answer is no! If you’ve been for only a few treatments, you will look as you did before. If you’re a more long-standing client, sometimes treatments can permanently rejuvenate your skin, so you may look younger than pre-procedure."

MORE GLOSS: The questions you need to ask before getting lip fillers