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How to Recognize Authentic Filler Products

Dermal Fillers

2023-06-08

Last Updated On: 2024-01-12

With the rising demand for dermal fillers, the market has been flooded with counterfeit and substandard products.

Doctor Medica team

In an era where non-surgical aesthetic treatments have gained significant popularity, dermal fillers have emerged as a powerful tool for rejuvenating and enhancing facial features. However, with the rising demand for dermal fillers, the market has been flooded with counterfeit and substandard products, posing serious risks to patient safety and treatment outcomes.

Of course, when purchasing at DoctorMedica, you can be sure that you’re buying a genuine product that’s safe to use. In this article, we’ll explain what are the differences between authentic and counterfeit dermal fillers, equipping you with the expertise to distinguish genuine products from counterfeits, ultimately helping you promote patient safety and obtain the best treatment results. 

Why Are Fake Fillers Problematic?

Unfortunately, many markets are flooded with fake and off-brand products. The same goes for dermal fillers. But the question is – does it even matter that you’re not getting a 100% genuine product? Should you care, after all?

The thing is, purchasing authentic filler products isn’t just a matter of supporting the brand and knowing that you’re getting exactly what you paid for. It’s primarily about the dangerous unpredictability of the knock-off products, which could very well cause serious harm to your patients.

Counterfeit dermal fillers may contain unknown or potentially harmful substances. Just because the box says otherwise, there’s always a possibility that the actual contents aren’t on par with the genuine product. These substances may not have undergone proper testing or quality control, making it impossible to predict their effects on the human body. Injecting such substances can lead to severe adverse reactions, ranging from allergies and infections to tissue damage and even disfigurement.

In a similar fashion, medical professionals who are found using counterfeit medical devices are at risk of losing their medical licenses. So, not only do they harm their patients and the clinic they work at, but they can also put themselves out of the job. This is too much of a risk just to save a few dollars when ordering products.

Similarly, you don’t have any guarantee that these products have passed regulatory approvals. Authentic dermal fillers undergo rigorous testing and meet the highest safety standards set by regulatory authorities – the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US and the Conformite Europeenne (CE) in Europe. Since dermal fillers are considered to be medical devices class 1, there’s a very detailed certification process each of these products needs to undergo before they can reach the market.

This ensures their reliability and compliance with medical guidelines, while fake fillers simply don’t have these certifications as their backing. At best, they don’t provide the same effect as the legitimate filler and, at worst, put patients at serious risk.

Lastly, fake fillers undermine the reputation of reputable manufacturers and healthcare providers. Patients who experience negative outcomes from counterfeit fillers may lose trust in the entire industry, affecting their willingness to seek legitimate treatments from qualified professionals. Supporting such products can have a long-lasting impact on the whole industry.

Identifying Authentic Dermal Fillers

Since knowledge is half the battle, knowing how legitimate, authentic fillers look is an essential step in knowing what to avoid.

First, let’s go through all the famous brands that are often the targets of counterfeiters:

  • Juvederm, Belotero, Restylane, Hyacorp: Dermal fillers based on hyaluronic acid; these and similar products come in pre-filled syringes.
  • Filorga / Fillmed: This manufacturer produces hyaluronic-based fillers, creams, skin peels, and other skincare products. Each of its products has very distinguishable packaging.
  • Sculptra: Products based on poly-l-lactic acid, sold as vials.
  • Ellanse: Polycaprolactone microspheres are the main ingredient. Products are sold in stylish, black packaging.

We’re putting such a spotlight on these brands because familiarity with the products will help you identify the genuine ones from fakes the quickest. Knowing the exact contents, how the manufacturer sells it (syringes or vials), and even the packaging can help identify a fake.

A legitimate product must have a seal (often holographic) on its box. It must also imprint the best before and manufacturing dates on the packaging. Each of them also has a batch number, which functions like an ID card, helping the manufacturer identify where it shipped each batch. Lastly, you can find the data on these products in certification databases like the FDA, confirming that these are not only legitimate products, but products that have been thoroughly tested and are safe to use.

Tips for Recognizing Fake Fillers

Shopping for fillers is different when you order them online. There are additional precautions and ways to identify fakes. Here are some key factors to consider when distinguishing genuine products from counterfeits:

1. Reputable manufacturers: Authentic dermal fillers are typically manufactured by well-known and reputable companies with a track record of producing high-quality aesthetic products. Research and choose brands recognized and trusted within the medical community.

2. Regulatory approvals: These products undergo rigorous testing and are approved by regulatory authorities, such as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the United States or the EMA (European Medicines Agency) in Europe. Check for proper certification and regulatory markings on the product page.

3. Professional distribution channels: Authentic fillers are primarily distributed through authorized and licensed channels, such as medical suppliers or pharmaceutical distributors. A store lacking contact information is a big red flag, for instance. That’s why, at Doctor Medica, we offer international customer support through email and a toll-free number. Get in touch if you need any assistance or have questions about the products at sale.

4. Packaging and labeling: Going back to brand familiarity, these are the fastest ways to find fakes. Look for typos, stickers, barcodes, different content of the package, and if information about the content of the product itself is present in the store.

5. Bad or no reviews: Research online for the reviews of the store you’re trying to order from. Are there customer reviews at all? How satisfied are they with their purchases? This can tell you whether the shop is legitimate and sells genuine products.

Conclusion

Fake dermal fillers are a big problem, but, together, we can fight against them. Prioritize patient safety by always sourcing dermal fillers from authorized suppliers and consulting with experienced medical professionals who have a comprehensive understanding of the product’s authenticity and proper usage. You can confidently select and administer authentic dermal fillers by staying vigilant and informed, ensuring optimal results and maximum patient satisfaction.

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