Late inflammatory reactions in patients with soft tissue fillers after SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination: A systematic review of the literature

Yara Bachour, Marcel W. Bekkenk, Thomas Rustemeyer, Jonathan A. Kadouch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Soft tissue fillers are used for cosmetic and reconstructive purposes, and soft tissue filler procedures are among the most common nonsurgical procedures in the USA. Although soft tissue filler procedures are relatively quick and safe, adverse events such as late inflammatory reactions have been reported with every filler product. Infections and vaccinations have been proposed as potential triggers for late inflammatory reactions (LIRs), and it is therefore not surprising that these adverse events have been reported after SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination. Therefore, this review aims to give a detailed overview of these cases. Materials and methods: A literature search was undertaken on LIRs in patients with a history of soft tissue filler use after SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination. This systematic review was reported according to the PRISMA guidelines. We searched the electronic database PubMed from January 2020 to August 2021. Data on patient characteristics, filler characteristics, clinical findings, and treatment options were included. Results: This review included 7 articles with a total of 19 patients with LIRs after SARS-CoV-2 infection or vaccination. Three patients with postinfection LIRs and 16 patients with postvaccination LIRs were reported. These LIRS mainly occurred in females who had HA injections for cosmetic purposes. Three patients with postinfection LIRs had symptoms of facial swelling and/or lip angioedema in a matter of weeks. Sixteen patients reported reactions after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination (13 following Moderna vaccination and 3 after Pfizer vaccination, after both the first and second doses) from 13 hours up to three weeks. These patients presented with similar clinical symptoms as patients with postinfection LIRs. All patients were treated in a conservative manner. Discussion: This review shows a relationship between LIRs and SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination. In the case of vaccination, these adverse events have been reported only after Moderna and Pfizer vaccinations. The reported adverse events are generally minor and self-limiting, and we encourage patients with soft tissue fillers to participate in vaccination programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1361-1368
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of cosmetic dermatology
Issue number4
Early online date2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • adverse events
  • soft tissue filler
  • vaccination

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