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Adverse reactions in aesthetic injections – Prevent and Treat

There are risks with any kind of procedure. The key to high-quality patient care is to know how to prevent adverse reactions and what to do if they occur.

Prevent adverse reactions to aesthetic injections:

All of these things should be done prior to administering the injection.

  • Purchase products from reputable organizations (i.e. be suspicious of any products that are significantly cheaper than they “should be” as they could be fake)
  • Remember it is illegal to inject products that are not FDA approved for use in the U.S.
  • Confirm the patient is a good candidate for the procedure and that the injection fits their desired outcome(s)
  • Discuss allergies and any previous adverse reactions
  • Discuss the timing of recent vaccinations
  • Educate the patient on risks
  • Ensure all staff are qualified and fully trained on how to safely administer injectables they’ll be working with, update their knowledge as necessary
  • Regularly review your clinic’s cleaning and sterilizing practices, update as necessary
  • Know the potential side effects and adverse events for the injection beforehand so you and your patient will know what to watch out for

Tips to treat adverse reactions to aesthetic injections:

Swelling, bruising, tenderness, redness, and small bumps are common and sometimes even expected side effects of aesthetic injectables, but there are often clear signs that something isn’t right.

Before implementing any of these tips, review the specific case and confirm the correct course of action. When in doubt, seek other professional help.

  • Eyelid ptosis (droopy eyelid): When caused by an aesthetic neurotoxin injection, it’ll usually correct itself within four weeks of the procedure. If that doesn’t happen or your patient wants quicker results, there are specific eye drops to recommend that stimulate the levator muscle and help raise the eyelid or stimulating the area with an electric toothbrush can help.
  • Nodule formation: Common treatments for nodules caused by aesthetic injection are intralesional steroids and hyaluronidase.
  • Infection: Depending on the type and severity of the infection, possible treatments are topical, oral, or intravenous antibiotics; hyaluronidase; and removing the filler or other fluid that has developed in the injection area.
  • Inflammation: It becomes a concern when it starts well after the injection or lasts much longer than expected. Due to the delayed manifestation and other factors such as a systemic illness, inflammation can be difficult to diagnose and treat. In general, massage is not recommended. The most common treatments are oral steroids and hyaluronidase. 

Patient trust is a valuable thing. To earn and maintain it is not only good for the patient, but also good for business.