You may have seen your social media feed filled with sensationalized headlines pointing to adverse reactions between the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and dermal fillers. While the onslaught of negative messaging would make you think otherwise, the risk of reaction is rare and should not deter you from getting vaccinated.

Here’s what we know about dermal fillers and their relationship to the vaccine.

Doctor holding a vaccine

What’s Happening

In December, the Food and Drug Administration disclosed that three recorded cases in the vaccine study of people who had dermal fillers experiencing facial swelling after getting vaccinated. There was nothing life-threatening about the situation, and the issues were resolved with antihistamines and steroids. The situation is still evolving, but researchers nevertheless agree that the risk is very rare even with new anecdotal evidence.

Can I Still Get the Vaccine if I Have Dermal Fillers?

YES. And we encourage it.

It’s important to note that immune responses — like swelling — are not limited to COVID-19 vaccines. All vaccines create immune responses to develop the antibodies necessary to fight what you’re being vaccinated for. Even the flu vaccine has the potential to develop these reactions.

If you’re concerned or have a history of allergic reactions, discuss your feelings with your doctor.

What Should I Expect if I Do Experience Side Effects?

Again, know that side effects are rare. What you can expect, though, is possible facial swelling or redness. If you do react, make an appointment with your doctor. Your physician will most likely treat you with a combination of antihistamines and steroids.

What the Experts Are Saying

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery issued guidance for dermal factors and the vaccine:

  • Delayed dermal filler inflammatory events very rarely occur with both hyaluronic acid and non-hyaluronic acid fillers.
  • Evidence suggests these reactions can be immunologically triggered by viral and bacterial illness, vaccinations such as the influenza vaccine, and dental procedures.
  • These rare adverse events are temporary and respond to treatments such as oral corticosteroids and hyaluronidase, and often resolve without treatment.
  • Given currently available data, patients already treated with dermal fillers should not be discouraged or precluded from receiving vaccines of any kind. Similarly, patients who have had vaccines should not be precluded from receiving dermal fillers in the future.
  • Specifically, with regard to the Moderna mRNA-1273 trial, there were a total of 3 reactions possibly related to dermal fillers out of 15,184 vaccine recipients. It is unknown how many subjects in the trial had previous treatment with dermal fillers.
  • ASDS encourages its members to continue their current practices with regards to dermal fillers including obtaining a pertinent medical history on all patients.

As a final note, do your research but rely on your doctor and injector to give you the most accurate information. Sometimes media sensation can cause undue panic, and you’ll save yourself a lot of time and energy reaching out to someone familiar with the research!

If you’re still feeling a little iffy, feel free to reach out to us to discuss your options.


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