Delayed Inflammatory Reactions to Hyaluronic Acid Fillers: A Literature Review and Proposed Treatment Algorithm

This article was published in the following Dove Press journal: Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology

Background and Objectives:

There is a wide diversity of opinions regarding the management of delayed inflammatory reactions (DIRs) secondary to hyaluronic acid (HA)-based fillers. The plethora of approaches has led the authors to conduct a review regarding management and treatment of DIRs as well as establish therapeutic guidelines for this purpose.

Materials and Methods:

A review of the literature was performed through databases such as PubMed using keywords including HA-fillers and complications, delayed HA filler sequelae and therapy, soft tissue and dermal filler reactions and management. Additionally, a survey comprised of questions regarding the management and treatment of DIRs was sent to 18 physicians highly experienced with soft-tissue filler injections in 10 countries. Their answers and recommendations were analyzed and debated amongst these panelists.


Sixteen panelists favored antibiotic therapy as first-line treatment for DIRs, specifically dual antibiotic therapy consisting of a fluoroquinolone along with a tetracycline or macrolide for a period of 3–6 weeks. The majority refrained from the use of intralesional (IL) or systemic steroids except in the case of disfiguring or recalcitrant reactions. IL hyaluronidase was recommended by 13 panelists; however, some preferred a watchful waiting approach for a period of 48 hours to 2 weeks prior to IL hyaluronidase, and in cases where antibiotics did not lead to improvement.


A consensus was reached and summarized to propose a clear, easy-to-follow, stepwise algorithm for the treatment of DIRs.


cosmetic techniques, dermal fillers/adverse effects, hyaluronic acid/adverse effects

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