Aesthetic fillers tied to infections

fillersNew findings, published in the journal Pathogens and Disease, indicate that fillers act as incubators for infection, which in isolated cases, can lead to lumps and lesions which don’t heal.

“Previously, most experts believed that the side-effects were caused by an auto-immune or allergic reaction to the gel injected,” said Morten Alhede, of the university’s Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology. “Research involving tissue from patients and mouse models has now shown that the disfiguring lesions are actually due to bacteria injected in connection with the cosmetic procedure.”

Co-researcher Thomas Bjarnsholt noted some lumps and lesions are treated by cosmetic practitioners with steroids, which can exacerbate the condition.

“The problem will become very serious when the treatment becomes so widespread that people are able to walk in off the street to have their wrinkles smoothed out,” he added.

“Experts recommend keeping facial skin free from make-up for a month before undergoing a treatment involving fillers. [But] even when you abide by all the rules and regulations, it is difficult to avoid bacteria completely as they are often buried far below the surface of the skin.”

Researchers estimate that as many as one in every hundred patients who undergo such procedures develop an infection, depending on the type of filler used.

“Most people are unlikely to have any problems undergoing a filler treatment to smooth their skin,” said Bjarnsholt. “However, it’s a bit like driving a car: There’s nothing wrong with not wearing your seatbelt as long as you don’t hit anything. If you do have an accident, however, it’s almost impossible to walk away unharmed.” To ensure the best aesthetic process, it is best to speak to a reputable aesthetic specialist or doctor, who can guide you as to your filler options and what will work best for you. Ensure you give your doctor your full medical history before undergoing any procedure.