Is Temple Filler Dangerous: What are the Risks?

Medically Reviewed
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aurora Kalmanson on
Written by Fillers Editorial Team, plastic surgery specialists.

Temple fillers, designed to rejuvenate the facial appearance by addressing volume loss in the temples, can offer aesthetic benefits but are not without risks. While they can restore facial balance and contribute to a more youthful look, the procedure carries potential complications such as vascular occlusion, skin necrosis, and even more severe outcomes like blindness or stroke.

It’s crucial to seek treatment from a skilled and experienced injector who understands the intricate anatomy of the temple area and can minimize these risks.

Risks and Complications of Temple Fillers

While temple fillers can offer significant aesthetic improvements, they are not without risks. Understanding these potential complications is essential for anyone considering the procedure.

Common Side Effects

Redness, Swelling, and Bruising: Following a temple filler treatment, patients may experience common side effects such as redness, swelling, and bruising at the injection sites. These reactions are typically mild and temporary, going away on their own within a few days to a week. Redness and swelling are the body’s natural response to the injection and the introduction of a foreign substance into the skin. Bruising can occur when the needle or cannula used for the injection disrupts blood vessels beneath the skin’s surface. While these side effects are generally not cause for concern, they can be inconvenient and may require some downtime. Patients are advised to follow their practitioner’s aftercare instructions to help minimize these reactions and promote a quicker recovery.

Itching and Discomfort: Itching and discomfort are other common side effects that patients may experience after temple filler injections. Itching can be a reaction to the filler material itself or a byproduct of the skin’s healing process. Discomfort, on the other hand, may arise from the injection process or the pressure exerted by the newly introduced volume against the surrounding tissues. These sensations are typically mild and subside as the area heals. Over-the-counter antihistamines or topical treatments can alleviate itching, while pain relief medication can help manage discomfort. Patients should report persistent or severe symptoms to their injector, as these could indicate an allergic reaction or infection requiring medical attention.

Serious Risks and Complications

Vascular Occlusion and Skin Necrosis: Vascular occlusion occurs when filler material inadvertently enters a blood vessel, obstructing blood flow. This serious complication can lead to skin necrosis, where affected skin cells die due to lack of oxygen. Symptoms of vascular occlusion include severe pain, a dusky or white discoloration of the skin, and the appearance of reticular or lace-like patterns. Immediate intervention is crucial to dissolve the filler and restore blood flow, minimizing the risk of permanent tissue damage. Recognizing the signs early and seeking prompt treatment are key to preventing the progression to skin necrosis.

Blindness and Stroke: Among the most severe risks associated with temple fillers are blindness and stroke. These rare but catastrophic events can occur if the filler material enters the ophthalmic artery, leading to an obstruction of blood flow to the eyes or brain. Symptoms of impending blindness include sudden vision loss or changes, while signs of a stroke may include facial drooping, weakness, and difficulty speaking. These are medical emergencies that require immediate attention. The expertise of the injector in understanding facial anatomy and using proper injection techniques is vital to mitigate these risks.

Nonthrombotic Pulmonary Embolism: Nonthrombotic pulmonary embolism is a rare but serious complication where filler material travels to the lungs, potentially causing respiratory distress and other life-threatening symptoms. This can happen if the filler is inadvertently injected into a blood vessel and then migrates to the pulmonary circulation. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, chest pain, and a rapid heart rate. Immediate medical intervention is necessary to manage this complication, highlighting the importance of having an experienced medical professional perform the procedure.

FDA Approval and Off-Label Use

Anatomical Complexity of the Temple Area: The temple region’s anatomical complexity makes it a challenging site for filler injections. It contains a dense network of blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue layers, all of which must be navigated carefully to avoid complications. The superficial temporal artery, in particular, poses a risk if accidentally injected with filler. Precise knowledge of the temple’s anatomy is essential for safe and effective treatment. This complexity is one reason why the FDA has not approved fillers specifically for temple use, making it an off-label procedure that requires a highly skilled and knowledgeable injector.

Importance of Trained Provider for Off-Label Procedures: The involvement of a trained medical provider is vital when it comes to off-label procedures like temple fillers. Given the potential risks and the complex anatomy of the temple area, a provider’s expertise in facial anatomy, injection techniques, and complication management is critical. Providers must be well-versed in the product’s properties, the facial vascular network, and the appropriate response to adverse events. They should also be able to assess individual patient anatomy to adapt the procedure accordingly. A trained provider can make informed decisions about the suitability of the procedure for each patient, ensuring safety and optimizing outcomes. Their ability to navigate off-label uses responsibly is a safeguard against the serious complications that can arise from temple filler injections.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are temple fillers FDA-approved for use in the temples?

No, the FDA has not approved dermal fillers specifically for use in the temples. This is considered an off-label use.

How long do temple filler results typically last?

Temple filler results can last between 9 to 18 months, depending on the type of filler used and the individual's metabolism.

Can temple filler treatments be reversed if complications arise?

Yes, treatments using hyaluronic acid fillers can often be reversed with the enzyme hyaluronidase if complications arise.

What are the signs of a vascular occlusion after temple filler?

Signs of vascular occlusion include severe pain, skin blanching, and a dusky or white discoloration of the skin.

What should I do if I experience complications after temple filler treatment?

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience severe pain, changes in skin color, vision changes, or signs of infection.

How can I ensure my temple filler treatment is as safe as possible?

Choose a qualified and experienced injector, discuss the risks and benefits, and ensure they use FDA-approved fillers.

Are there any specific brands of fillers recommended for temple injections?

While no brands are FDA-approved specifically for temples, hyaluronic acid fillers like Restylane and Juvederm are commonly used.


Temple fillers offer a solution to age-related volume loss, enhancing facial symmetry and youthfulness. However, they carry risks that must be carefully considered. Alternatives, both non-invasive and surgical, exist for those seeking other options. Ensuring safety involves selecting a skilled provider, understanding potential complications, and following proper aftercare. FAQs provide a quick reference to common concerns, emphasizing the importance of FDA approval, treatment longevity, reversibility, and recognizing complications. Ultimately, informed decisions and professional expertise are key to a successful temple filler experience.

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Desyatnikova S. (2022). Ultrasound-Guided Temple Filler Injection.

Heydenrych, I., De Boulle, K., Kapoor, K. M., & Bertossi, D. (2021). The 10-Point Plan 2021: Updated Concepts for Improved Procedural Safety During Facial Filler Treatments.

Dr. Aurora Kalmanson

Always Consult a Medical Specialist

The information provided in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as personalized medical advice. It's crucial to understand that while we are medical professionals, the insights and advice we provide are based on general research and studies. They are not tailored to individual health needs or conditions. Thus, it is essential to consult directly with a healthcare provider who can offer personalized medical advice relevant to your specific situation.