As COVID-19 vaccinations increase and medical aesthetics practices reopen, this brings up a good question for both patients and providers. When is it safe after vaccinations for injection treatments with neurotoxins or dermal fillers?
It’s not a coincidence that medical aesthetics practices will be reopening in June. Well over half of Canadians have been vaccinated now, and already some people are getting their second doses.
At the same time, we will be seeing a surge in demand for treatments. But should we, as practitioners, be cautious about doing treatments too soon after a patient has a shot of vaccine?
The answer is yes.
There’s very little to worry about, actually. But a degree of caution and delay on treatments is a good thing.
There have been no official warnings about this from public agencies like Health Canada or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A lot has been written about treatments after vaccines. Including this recent article from Prevention.com, a leading provider of health information in the U.S., that digs deeper into the question and helps provide some understanding of the science involved here.
In regards to fillers, the only data released by the FDA suggests a possible link between the COVID-19 vaccine and facial swelling. Two people had swelling after receiving their second dose of the Moderna vaccine during clinical trials.
Fillers remain safe and effective. But we are reminded by Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai in New York that fillers are foreign substances. And fillers may cause swelling in some patients who have been vaccinated because of an immune response that the vaccine stimulates when it interacts with fillers, he says.
This kind of swelling in people with fillers is very rare, but not abnormal. It’s happened with flu vaccines, too.
Is it safe to get neurotoxin injections after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?
Neurotoxin injections that weaken or paralyze muscles to smooth the appearance of wrinkles or manage a chronic health issue are obviously different from fillers.
Post-vaccine results are different, too.
“There have been no cases of patients previously getting Botox having an adverse reaction to it after getting the COVID vaccine,” says infectious disease expert Dr. Amesh A. Adalja at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
Overall, experts agree that it’s fine to get neurotoxin injections after you’re vaccinated. But it’s a good idea to be mindful of the timing and take a small cautionary measure.
Considering the medical science and the studied response of many experts in medical aesthetics, here’s what we advise:
Wait one week after vaccinations to do neurotoxin treatments. Wait at least two weeks to inject dermal fillers if the patient has not had an adverse reaction to the vaccine. Wait four weeks post-vaccine otherwise.
For the same reason that we will continue to mask, scrub and social distance, patient safety is always paramount.
Please also note that science in regards to COVID-19 pandemic is still evolving and reactions to conditions and treatments are subject to more research. That includes potential interactions between dermal fillers and the vaccine as the immune system is hyper-stimulated following vaccination.
Also read these studies:
Cutaneous adverse effects of the available COVID-19 vaccines – Science Direct
COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein-related delayed inflammatory reaction to hyaluronic acid dermal fillers: a challenging clinical conundrum in diagnosis and treatment – Munavalli, G.G., Guthridge, R., Knutsen-Larson, S. et al.