Fillers and the Coronavirus Vaccine – Can You Have Them at the Same Time?
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused many fillers patients to be unsure about having cosmetic treatments while also receiving the vaccine against COVID-19. The possible danger of the vaccine having a less than ideal interaction with a cosmetic injection is a popular topic among patients. The subject was recently discussed in an online video posted by a leading aesthetician from the Chelsea area in West London.
Fillers and the Coronavirus Vaccine – Can They be Performed Together Safely?
Dr. Sarah Tonks, in an online video on YouTube, said there are “no problems” with patients having procedures such as Botox, chemical peels and laser treatments at the same time they receive the coronavirus vaccine. Having said that, she does warn against having the vaccine at the same time as injections of dermal fillers as the two injections could interact with each other and cause swelling, hard lumps or redness.
Dr. Tonks went on to say that planning a schedule for the injection of fillers and the vaccine will involve “guess work” until more information is available about the vaccine. “Obviously the vaccines have not been out for a very significant amount of time, so all the information around how to time your dermal filler injections around your vaccine is kind of a little bit of guess work.”
Coronavirus Vaccine and Paperwork Questions
Once a person books a vaccine appointment, they will more than likely have to fill out a medical history form to determine if they are allergic to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. In addition, there could be a question about the performance of dermal filler injections in the past.
The reason this question is asked is because there are rare cases when a person who had fillers in the past might develop a mild case of temporary swelling at the filler site (after getting the vaccine). This does not mean that the vaccine is not safe. According to Dr. Esther Freeman, director of Global Health Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, “Lots of people get facial fillers, and the likelihood of developing this kind of a reaction to the vaccine is exceptionally rare. So, this does not mean that everybody who gets facial fillers will get this kind of a reaction. It’s still very unusual.”
Patients who do see some swelling after getting the vaccine should reach out to a dermatologist who might recommend steroids or an antihistamine to help the swelling resolve a bit faster than it would if it was not treated.
Dermal Fillers and Allergic Reactions to the Vaccine
Patients should know that dermal fillers are not the same treatment as Botox. The filler will remain underneath the skin for an extended period of time while Botox is absorbed by the body in a quicker manner after it works to relax the muscles that cause wrinkles.
Dr. Freeman noted that patients need to wait about 15-20 minutes before they can leave the medical office, clinic or pharmacy where they received the vaccine shot. This is the amount of time it usually takes for an allergic reaction to occur after the shot. “The reason that they have you wait after a vaccine is for what is called an immediate-type allergic reaction, which the CDC defines as an allergic reaction that happens within the first four hours after vaccination. And those include things like anaphylaxis and difficulty breathing. The filler reactions are not those. They are a completely different kind of reaction that usually doesn’t start until the next day or a couple of days later. It has no ability for it to turn into anaphylaxis, which is the severe allergic reaction.”
The fears that surround vaccine reactions from fillers first started to appear last December when health officials looked over data that came from the vaccine trials of Moderna and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trials. This data revealed that three people, who had received filler injections in the face, experienced temporary swelling a day or two after they received the vaccine produced by Moderna.
These results caused plastic surgeons to receive calls from worried patients who were considering not getting the vaccine due to a fear of swelling. Thankfully, there were no additional reports of swelling, related to fillers, from the over 15,000 people enrolled in the Moderna vaccine trial. The trials of the Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines had no reports of similar reactions in patients.
Medical professionals are making sure that the public knows that receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is quite important in maintaining the health of the public. They also are sharing the fact that some of the early fears about reactions from fillers have been lessened as they are placed in the larger context of the total number of vaccine trials. They are helping patients realize the health benefits of the vaccine and are breaking down the resistance some people feel about receiving the vaccine as well as consulting with a doctor to make sure any cosmetic procedures they desire are safe to have at the same time.