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Complications in the Cosmetic Dermatology Patient

A Review and Our Experience (Part 1)

Vanaman, Monique MD*; Fabi, Sabrina Guillen MD, FAAD, FAACS†,‡; Carruthers, Jean MD, FRCSC, FRC§

doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000000569
Review Article

BACKGROUND Over recent decades, the options available to patients for cosmetic rejuvenation have expanded dramatically. The range of options commonly available to patients now includes neuromodulators, fillers, sclerotherapy, chemical peels, liposculpture, lasers, and lights and other energy devices and continues to grow. As with all therapeutic interventions, these cosmetic dermatologic procedures are not without risk. Timely recognition of complications and intervention are paramount for optimal patient outcomes.

OBJECTIVE Part 1 of this review will focus on the common complications of injectable cosmetic procedures, such as neuromodulators, fillers, and sclerotherapy. The second part will discuss the complications of chemical peels, lasers, light and energy devices, and fat removal procedures.

MATERIALS AND METHODS A MEDLINE search was performed on cosmetic dermatology complications from 1989 to 2015, and results are summarized. Practical considerations of these complications are also provided.

RESULTS Reports of complications after neuromodulator, injectable hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite, poly-L-lactic acid, polymethylmethacrylate, sclerotherapy, fat transfer, liposuction, cryolipolysis, chemical peels, lasers, and light sources, such as Q-switched laser, intense pulsed light, nonablative and ablative resurfacing lasers, were found.

CONCLUSION Review of the literature revealed multiple management options for potential complications of the multitude of cosmetic dermatology procedures now available to patients.

*Department of Dermatology, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois;

Cosmetic Laser Dermatology, Goldman, Butterwick, Fitzpatrick, Groff & Fabi, San Diego, California;

Department of Medicine/Dermatology, University of California;

§Department of Ophthalmology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Monique Vanaman, MD, Department of Dermatology, University of Illinois, 808 S., Wood St., Suite 380, Chicago, IL 60612, or e-mail:

The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters in regard to this article.

© 2016 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.
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