Written by: Stephanie Marie Borjas, FNP-C
Heard the news? Moderna’s COVID19 vaccine may cause temporary swelling in patients with cosmetic filler! During Phase 3 of the vaccine’s clinical trials, two participants with facial fillers experienced swelling at the site of their injectables.
Hyaluronic Acid dermal fillers such as Juvederm are injected into areas that need lift or support, such as cheeks, chin and nasolabial folds. In the lips, they offer hydration and plump appearance. Their ability to smooth wrinkles and lines make fillers exciting to users wishing to improve their appearance. However, these fillers are at risk of occasional late onset inflammatory reactions.
The swelling is an immunological response expected after vaccination as the immune system works to reject what normally does not occur within the body. There is no need to fear, for these adverse reactions are very rare, the swelling reported was mild, and were easily treated. The swelling resolved quickly in these patients after the use of oral steroids and oral histamines. This reaction, called a “delayed filler reaction” in these patients did not need the use of an EpiPen as it is not considered an allergic reaction to the product, just expected immune response. No filler patients required hospitalization. The patient who had swelling with lip filler after taking Moderna’s vaccine stated she had the same reaction when receiving the influenza vaccine.
It is important to note that this swelling has occurred in 2 participants with dermal filler and has not been noted in patients with Botox. The mechanism of action for Botox is different than that of filler. Botox is a neurotoxin injected into muscles to tell them to stop contracting, which forms wrinkles. Filler is a temporary injectable implant. Patients with botox and filler alike who seek the vaccine should monitor their treatment areas after receiving the vaccine and seek medical care should they develop any symptoms.
L-Aesthetics clients with Juvederm fillers who choose to be vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine should wait at least two weeks before & after their filler appointment to seek vaccination keeping in mind the small chance of this mild swelling. The FDA states this rare occurrence should not deter anyone wishing to receive the vaccine to avoid getting it. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our healthcare providers!