There has been an astronomical surge in the number of people seeking cosmetic treatments like dermal fillers and Botox due to a combination of Zoom-face, the stress of lockdown and the inability to get our usual beauty treatments.
Cosmetic doctors across the board have noticed the rise in demand. "We've had a huge surge in people requesting appointments for Botox and fillers," says Dr Benjamin Kauffholz, co-founder and partner at Dr Dray Clinic London, and Dr Tijion Esho, founder of The Esho Clinic, has noticed a 30 per cent increase in the requests for lip fillers. “In fact, they have never been so popular,” he says.
While we may be tempted to jump at the opportunity to book in for the next available appointment at our usual cosmetic clinic, experts are urging us to plan a little more carefully around when we receive injectable treatments, specifically referring to whether or not we have recently had our Covid-19 vaccinations, booster jab or the infection itself.
“Since the Covid 19 pandemic began and the consequent release of new vaccines on the market, questions have arisen among the medical community regarding whether or not it is safe to have cosmetic injections before or after getting COVID-19 vaccine, and how long to wait,” says Dr Anne Mendelovici, expert cosmetic doctor and founder of the Dr Anne Mendelovici Clinic.
Dermal fillers involve injecting a specific area to increase volume and alter the natural shape. They're usually made of hyaluronic acid, which is naturally found in the skin. Botox is a trade name for Botulinum toxin, a neurotoxic protein that temporarily paralyses muscles when injected and is used to smooth out the appearance of wrinkles as well a number of other therapeutic uses, such as to treat excessive sweating.
As with any cosmetic treatment, Botox and fillers can have side effects, including swelling and inflammation of the treated area. One preliminary study has suggested that there might be an increased risk of an inflammatory reaction to hyaluronic acid dermal fillers following exposure to the Covid-19 spike protein, either as a result of catching the infection or from receiving a vaccine that contains the protein, such as Moderna or Pfizer.
“This is a new topic and very few studies have been done so far, but the general guideline is that patients should wait two weeks between Botox treatment and Covid vaccination and three weeks for fillers, simply because practitioners don’t have enough knowledge on potential risks or reactions someone could have from the jab."
According to Dr Mendelovici, this time frame should allow the immune system enough time to process the vaccine. “It takes 2 weeks after the second dose of Pfizer or Moderna for the vaccine to take full effect, which is why in order not to overwhelm the body, it is recommended to allow enough time between vaccination and cosmetic injections.”
To reduce the risk of an adverse reaction, it's important to make your practitioner aware of any recent medical incident, which includes infection or vaccination. “It is important for a doctor to know its patient's full medical history and to be made aware of past or scheduled medical procedures in order not to miss any contraindications, and to avoid possible side effects."
You should also only book into an injectable treatment with a qualified practitioner, and make sure to see them in a clinical setting to reduce the risk of complications like infections. Plus, it's always a good idea to know where to go back to if things do go wrong.
This was originally published on Glamour UK.