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COVID-19 Vaccine and Dermal Fillers

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Cosmetic fillers, also known as dermal fillers, are gel-like substances injected beneath the skin to not only reduce the appearance of facial lines and creases, but it can also restore volume to certain areas of the face. It is estimated that 2.7 million people in the United States get dermal fillers per year. During the COVID-19 pandemic, dermal fillers made headlines as it was reported that some patients who had cosmetic fillers experienced side effects after receiving the COVID-19 vaccines that utilize mRNA technology.

Following those reports, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery released guidance regarding the COVID-19 vaccine side effects in patients who received dermal fillers. Based on FDA data from the Moderna vaccine trial, three of 15,184 patients developed either facial or lip swelling around the areas of dermal filler placements. These were classified as medically significant but not a serious adverse event. What does this mean for the millions of people who currently have or want fillers and want to be protected from the virus?

According to the guidance, these side effects from the mRNA vaccines are temporary and rare. Such side effects can be eased with oral corticosteroids or hyaluronidase. The side effects may resolve without treatment. Given the currently available data, the guidance advises that patients with dermal fillers should not be excluded from receiving these vaccines. Similar recommendations are given to patients who are interested in getting dermal fillers.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines can be given to people who have received injectable dermal fillers without a history of severe allergic reactions to a vaccine or medication. No additional precautions are needed. However, they advise that you should contact your healthcare provider for evaluation if you experience swelling at or near the site of dermal filler following vaccination.

The CDC recommends that the majority of people who receives the vaccine wait 15 minutes for observation after receiving the vaccine. This time limit increases to 30 minutes for those who have a history of allergic reactions to other vaccines. If you have a reaction after you leave the vaccination site, it is recommended that you contact your healthcare provider and report to the CDC using V-safe, which is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Through V-safe, you can quickly tell the CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on your answers, someone from CDC may call to check on you and get more information.

The information in this blog post is accurate at the time of publication. However, as the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to change, it's possible that information has changed since being published. While Ochsner Health is trying to keep our blog posts as up to date as possible, we also encourage readers to stay informed on news and recommendations by using the CDC website.

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