Study Finds Board Certified Dermatologists Safer Choice for Performing Injectable Filler Procedures

Every medical procedure – including a dermal filler injection – carries risks. However, a new study shows those risks are extremely rare when that procedure is performed by a board certified dermatologist.

The study, “Serious Adverse Events with Injectable Fillers,” published in the February 2022 issue of Dermatologic Surgery provides a retrospective analysis of 7,659 patient outcomes spanning 11 years for three board certified dermatologists. Only four serious adverse events were identified between January 2009 and August 2020, and all resolved after treatment without long-term effects.

“This research is important because we know patients are increasingly turning to non-physician injectors at med spas or dangerously attempting to inject themselves with questionable substances purchased online,” says Sue Ellen Cox, MD, President of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association (ASDSA). “As an organization, we've developed new model legislation aimed at making med spas safer and thereby reducing the risk of adverse events from procedures performed by non-physicians.”

Where ASDSA Stands:

In February 2021, ASDSA issued an official press release alerting the public about children buying and using “hyaluron pens” to inject hyaluronic acid filler into the epidermal and upper dermal layers of the skin. Later that year, as a result of this advocacy effort, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a safety communication to "never buy dermal fillers on the internet. They may be fake, contaminated or harmful."

ASDSA's position statement on delegation further notes that any non-physician providers should be directly supervised by an on-site physician. Board-certified dermatologists have an extensive understanding of cutaneous medicine along with:

  • Knowledge of the various FDA-approved injectable products and their indications
  • Experience in injection techniques appropriate to the products
  • Knowledge of pre- and post-procedure care involved in treatment

Additional Information: