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Dr. Mamelak is moving!

In Accordance with §165.5 of the Texas Administrative Code, Dr. Mamelak is informing all patients that he is leaving Sanova Dermatology. His last day in the clinic will be May 10, 2024.

If you heard the reports that the COVID-19 vaccine had adverse reactions in people with dermal fillers, you probably have a lot of questions and concerns. The short answer is that you should still get the vaccine if you have fillers, but here is everything you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine in relation to facial fillers:

What Happened

During the clinical trial for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, the FDA reported three instances of patients reporting swelling around the site of their facial fillers. One of the patients received filler 6 months prior to her vaccine. All three instances were resolved quickly with oral antihistamines, steroids, or no treatment at all. The Pfizer vaccine did not report any similar cases involving facial filler reactions. The FDA will continue to monitor this potential risk, but it is considered very rare and easy to resolve if a reaction were to occur.

Why Reactions Can Occur

Dermatologists use fillers to give the skin a more youthful appearance, enhance certain facial features, or help reduce acne scarring. Facial fillers are made from FDA-approved ingredients like hyaluronic acid or poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) which promotes collagen production. Even though fillers are safe to use, they are technically a foreign substance in the body. Doctors explain that vaccines work by fighting threats to the body’s immune system, which is why it is possible for vaccines to potentially cause inflammation in areas of your body with foreign material. It is also important to note that not everyone with facial fillers will have a reaction. It is unknown how many people in the clinical trial had facial filler, but given that there were only three reactions, it is highly unlikely that everyone who has filler will have a reaction.

Even though the reaction in relation to the COVID-19 vaccine is in the news right now, this idea is not unique to the COVID-19 vaccine. After receiving other vaccines including the flu shot, the FDA has reported some cases of slight inflammation in patients with facial fillers.

How Was It Treated

All three cases involving facial swelling around the site of dermal fillers after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine were resolved quickly and easily with oral antihistamines, oral steroids, or resolved with no treatment necessary. None of these cases required the use of an EpiPen or hospitalization. It was not considered life-threatening and did not lead to long-term complications. Similar incidents from other vaccines, like the flu shot, are resolved in a similarly quick and easy way.

My Recommendations

Under the guidance of the CDC, FDA, and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, it is recommended that you get the COVID-19 vaccine when you can. Any concern or hesitation after hearing this report is complete understandable. However, the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the rare possibility of reaction in people with fillers. Remember that even if a slight reaction does occur, treatment will be easy and no long-term complications have occurred. If you have a reaction, contact your doctor, and they will help you quickly resolve any facial swelling. You may also be wondering if you can still get facial fillers after receiving the vaccine. Yes, you can.

If you are interested in facial fillers or a dermatology appointment, please contact me to schedule an appointment.