The COVID-19 Vaccine Has Caused Reactions in People With Facial Fillers - Here's What We Know
There is a woman and a beautician, the woman lies and the doctor does the facial injection procedure for tightening and smoothing wrinkles in a beauty salon. Cosmetology skin care.
Last month, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use in the United States. Despite early data showing that the vaccine offers high levels of protection against the virus, new reports suggest that it causes an unexpected side effect in people with face fillers as well.
A recent review of the vaccine by the FDA Advisory Committee found that a handful of people who had previously received facial cosmetic fillers had mild reactions after receiving their second dose during Moderna's vaccine study. While this sounds a bit alarming to the thousands of people who receive fillers on a regular basis, it is worth noting that these reactions have been extremely rare, and according to doctors, there isn't much to worry about.
"There have been three reports of patients with a history of cosmetic fillers who experienced mild facial swelling shortly after receiving the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine," board-certified plastic surgeon Samuel Lin, MD, told POPSUGAR. "Two cases were reported on the day the vaccine was administered and one case was reported two days after vaccination."
Of the three patients, one had injected filler two weeks before receiving the vaccine while another had theirs six months earlier. Another reported having a similar type of reaction after receiving the flu vaccine. It is not clear what exactly caused the reaction, but a running theory among doctors is that the swelling was the result of an inflammatory response that mimics that of something a person with allergies would experience.
"It is brave to even call this an allergic reaction," said Dr. Suzanne Trott across from POPSUGAR. "[It] may be that the swelling is due to an inflammatory response due to an interaction between the post-vaccine immune response and the dermal filler. Some people just have a small immune response because the ingredients are injected so close together." In other words, if you are concerned about this happening, it may help to wait about three to six months between filling and vaccination (although vaccination should probably be a priority here, all in all).
An important distinction also pointed out by Michelle Koo, plastic surgeon and founder of Private Practice Skincare, is that it has not yet been established which fillers - Juvederm, Restylane, Bellafill, etc. - participants received prior to their vaccinations early on any Jump to conclusions. "It may be related to how the products are made in a virus culture to grow the hyaluronic acid or the preservatives that stabilize the hyaluronic acids," she said. "There may be areas of filler RNA or DNA that the mRNA vaccines will recognize as a 'target'. Nobody knows exactly at this point."
With this in mind, three reported cases are insufficient to conclude that there is a direct link to cosmetic fillers and the vaccine, which is why medical experts recommend people who have had fillers continue to receive the vaccine to reduce their risk of the contract COVID-19.
"Even if you had fillers, the COVID-19 vaccine is still highly recommended."
"The side effects seen so far in patients with injectable fillers and the COVID-19 vaccine are far less of a concern than the disease with COVID-19 or the spread of the disease to high-risk people," said Dr. Lin. "Even if you had fillers, the COVID-19 vaccine is still highly recommended."
All three doctors recommend taking an antihistamine before vaccination to allay any fears, or, if you experience any of the swelling above, take Benadryl or Zyrtec to relieve symptoms.
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