WHAT TO KNOW: Covid vaccine can cause swelling of facial fillers

WHAT TO KNOW: Covid vaccine can cause swelling of facial fillers
Posted at 5:10 AM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 05:10:37-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Data released from the FDA Moderna vaccine trial reveals that a total of three participants out of 15,184 patients who received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine developed facial or lip swelling.

The swelling is presumed to be related to dermal filler, and begs the question: What should you do if you have facial filler and are going to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

To answer that question I went to the Derm Institute of West Michigan in Caledonia to interview someone who injects filler on the daily, Dr. Kristi Hawley.

"Sometimes swelling can be really shocking," says Dr. Hawley.

"If you have lip filler and you wake up and your lips are huge, it can be really scary!"

This sometimes scary swelling after a vaccine isn't a new phenomenon, people who have facial fillers have also reported swelling after receiving the flu and pneumonia vaccine.

I asked Dr. Hawley what she believes is causing this swelling with filler and the Moderna vaccine.

She replied; "We're not sure why we only see it in the Moderna vaccine."
"Basically, anytime you have a lot of inflammation in your body, you can start to swell. The goal of hyaluronic acid filler is to hold water in to give you a little bit of swelling and lift. So it's kind of doing its job, in a sense, except it's just doing too much when you have that much inflammation."

FDA data shows that the swelling is temporary and typically lasts one to two days if you swell at all.

I tracked down a West Michigan woman who has filler and has received the COVID-19 vaccine, Jeana Elhart.

Days after receiving the vaccine, Elhart says, "I honestly had no reaction, I did really well. I'm one of the good percentages that didn't have any side effects, which is awesome."

Bottom line, if you do swell, don't freak out.

The swelling is temporary and easily remedied.

"I do suggest that if you have filler, please go get the vaccine," shares Dr. Hawley. "Do not be afraid of it. It probably wouldn't hurt to take antihistamines and then just be mindful that it is possible to swell. Have your doctor's number on hand in case you do want to call to get any treatment if it's too uncomfortable."

Dr. Hawley also says if you have minor swelling you can simply ice your face and your symptoms will fade within one to two days.