Covid Considerations

Coronavirus and Aesthetic Treatments – What do you need to know?

Covid precautions for any medical or beauty treatment must involve meticulous hygiene of hands and equipment.

Cleaning between patients needs to be thorough and ventilation needs to be adequate.

Waiting areas need to allow social distancing.

Masks must be worn and no unnecessary time taken over the close contact parts of examination or treatment.

Vaccines will also help – although not to be relied on – and many health care professionals (myself included) have now had both doses of the vaccine.

Wrinkle relaxing injection with Botulinum toxin 

I am not aware of any extra risk regarding these in the light of Covid except for the risk of attending the procedure and close contact.

It is possible to social distance for the consultation and virtual consultations are also available.

The procedure itself is for a short time and for ‘Botox’ injections as they are mostly upper face it can be possible for both patient and practitioner to keep masks on.

To help monitor what is going on and to separate any after effects of the vaccine from any treatment after effects, I do not schedule a treatment either within a week before or after a coronavirus vaccination appointment 

Dermal Fillers – Extra risks due to Vaccination or Virus infection immune responses

Coronavirus vaccine interactions with fillers mean that, to be safer, it is best to avoid having filler within the two weeks before a vaccine or the three weeks afterwards. This is because the vaccine causes the immune system to react and it may respond to the presence of filler as a foreign material in the human body. In some cases this can cause inflammation, swelling or nodules at the filler site. There are only a few cases reported so far but it’s something that it is worth being vigilant and aware of. It is possible that there may be cases now that the age groups of patients who are more likely to have fillers are being vaccinated.

Having actual coronavirus infection or other viral illnesses can cause a similar problem.

Another thing to be aware of is that the treatment, if the filler inflammation occurs, is with medication (steroids) to dampen down the immune response and this could potentially make the  body more vulnerable to an infection such as catching a virus.

I am a member of the Aesthetics Complications Expert (ACE) group who have produced guidance for practitioners and patients.

The ACE Group emphasises that, although the incidence is very low, it is important that patients are fully aware of any risks related to Covid infection or vaccination and soft tissue fillers. 

Although there is limited evidence and only a very small number of cases, there is a risk of inflammatory reactions and soft tissue swelling in patients who have previously had soft tissue fillers, or plan to have treatment, after receiving COVID-19 vaccination.

Do not undergo soft tissue filler procedures within 2 weeks of your planned vaccination date or within 3 weeks having received it.

Do not attend for treatment if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or are suffering from ongoing symptoms from previous infection.

If you develop any reactions following your treatment, it is imperative you contact your healthcare practitioner at the earliest opportunity.

If you develop any reactions following your treatment, you may require medication to manage the complication. This may include oral steroid medication which may lower your immunity to COVID-19 if you have recently been vaccinated.

This information should be included in the consent process:The take home point is to get informed and have your fillers done by a health professional who is aware of the risks and how to mitigate them. Hopefully all will go smoothly without any problems but make sure it is not only a treatment you are getting but follow up with an expert who has the skills to recognise and treat any potential concerns or complications.