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[4 min read] Top tips for safe cosmetic injecting

Hyaluronic acid fillers and anti-wrinkle injections have become so commonplace that patients have a huge choice of practitioners and locations to receive these treatments. Whether it be their GP, plastic or cosmetic surgeon, dermatologist or nurse practitioner, it seems everyone is “injecting” these days. Crucial to being a trusted injector is safety, sterility and planning.

Injecting isn’t necessarily as simple or straightforward as most people believe. And, nor should it be. Injectables are still a reasonably invasive treatment with short to long term results and accompanying risks.

Safety and confidence

As a medical practitioner, due diligence and evidence-based techniques make for a safe experience. Some adverse outcomes are easily treated like swelling, localised erythema or bruising. The more serious adverse events such as late onset inflammatory response can be scary and highly inconvenient for the patient but can still be successfully treated with steroids, anti-inflammatories and antihistamines, depending on what the practitioner thinks is clinically needed.

Patient word of mouth referrals grow with a reputation for being safe and thorough. So, what steps are helpful to minimise risks, achieve a pleasing aesthetic outcome and have patient and practitioner safety safeguarded as much and possible?

Read on for a handy checklist to ensure sterility, minimal bruising and safe injecting.

  • Always have a clearly written injecting plan during the consultation. This helps to plan the procedure, gather the required equipment and help the patient feel reassured.
  • Keep needles and cannulas inside their covering – never let them sit on top. Removing only when needed ensures better sterility.
  • Having an open rubbish bin nearby is handy for disposing of non-sharps easily without touching.
  • Ensure the patient doesn’t wear makeup to the appointment and has their face thoroughly cleansed in your practice. Clean the face thoroughly with chlorhexidine.
  • Keep cleaning the face with alcohol wipes as the injection session goes along. Do not inject after palpating with gloved fingers.
  • Do not ever inject if there is a current or ongoing infection in the patient. The infection can be taken into the filler through the bloodstream.
  • Unless the gauze is specifically labelled as sterile – it is not.
  • To minimise bruising, apply cold compresses for 10 minutes before and after injecting.
  • Ask the patient to avoid any non prescribed medication or supplements for one to two weeks prior to injecting. These include but are not limited to aspirin, ibuprofen, fish oil, vitamin E and Chinese herbal teas and green teas.
  • Ask that the patient doesn’t have dental work for at least two weeks before and after the cosmetic injections. This can minimise the risk of infection, particularly the harder to treat encapsulated biofilm infections.


Source: Dr Jake Sloane, Spa and Clinic Blog; Dr Steve Weiner Facial Plastic Surgeon Blog

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