At certain times of the year, changes in weather and our surrounding plant life can be quite dreadful for seasonal allergy sufferers. If you also happen to live in an agricultural area, as we do here in Camarillo, industrial activities such as grading, plowing, spraying of pesticides and harvesting can expose you to a variety of allergens that can wreak havoc on your head, neck and chest. It is important to consider these factors, on both the patient’s and the provider’s part, when receiving aesthetic treatments as they can have some effect on the outcome. Let’s discuss some of the treatments and considerations we come across in practice.

How Seasonal Allergies Can Affect The Way You Look Prior To Treatment

Because of inflammation and fluid retention caused by seasonal allergies, you may one day look in the mirror and feel like you don’t look like your normal self. Areas of the face and neck that can be visually askew during bad allergy periods are throughout the upper face (sinus cavities), around the ears (pre and post auricular), the jawline (mandibular), under the chin (submental), and sides of the neck (lymph nodes). Some of the visual characteristics can include:

  • Heaviness 
  • Droopiness
  • Puffiness
  • Lumpiness

These changes might prompt you to seek a cosmetic treatment, especially when the eye area is affected. Your aesthetic provider should ask you about your seasonal allergies and which medications you take to control them.

Botox and Seasonal Allergies

First, let me say that there is no contra-indication to Botox for those with seasonal allergies. In other words, having seasonal allergies is not reason to not get Botox, or any other neurotoxin, or any other aesthetic treatment for that matter. These treatments are still safe and efficacious, but certain considerations may be taken in designing a treatment plan.

As mentioned above, visual manifestations of seasonal allergies can include heaviness and droopiness in certain areas of the face. Improper treatment with Botox can potentially lead to heaviness and droopiness in areas of the face, so seasonal allergy symptoms can exacerbate these problems. Conversely, in some cases treatment can be mis-interpreted as being done improperly when allergy symptoms come on post-treatment. 

Luckily, the heaviness or droopiness that accompanies allergies and Botox is short lived. Without treatment, the feeling dissipates in 2-3 weeks after Botox. Taking allergy medications such as Claritin or Zyrtec can help speed that process along. Some patients may want to postpone their Botox treatment until their allergies are under control but, more often, knowing that these feelings will typically be gone quickly makes them feel comfortable in moving forward with treatment.

Filler and Seasonal Allergies

There are also no safety issues with having a filler treatment in the presence of seasonal allergies, however there are more considerations. A few questions to ask and discuss with your provider are: 

  • How is my face potentially being altered by my seasonal allergies?
  • What will the filler look like once the allergies have subsided? 
  • Will areas look over-filled/under-filled once the fluid from seasonal allergies causing puffiness is reabsorbed by the body?

Sometimes filler can swell ever so slightly months, or even years, after injection due to accumulation of fluid on the product. You may notice this more in thinner areas of the face such as the lips and tear troughs, but it can technically happen anywhere product is placed. Newer hyaluronic acid fillers in the Juvederm Collection of Fillers are engineered to attract less water to its molecules once the product is integrated into the skin. Voluma, Vollure, and Volbella by Juvederm are made with Vycross technology and may be the preferred filler for allergy sufferers as there is less potential for unwanted swelling or puffiness.

Another thing to keep in mind is that it may take longer for filler product to settle in those who suffer from seasonal allergies after it has been injected. While it can be understandably unnerving to have less than ideal visual results immediately after treatment, it is important to remember that your body may respond differently from treatment to treatment. This can be due to a variety of factors including seasonal allergies. Be patient and allow the product and your body time to properly settle into place before judging your results.

The art of Aesthetics continues to be refined through the practice of medicine. Providers cannot always simply rely upon “standardized treatment protocol” because no two faces are alike. Herein lies the difference that comes with experience and continued education. Find a provider you trust and be sure to discuss aspects of your lifestyle and general health so they may consider those factors in crafting your treatment. Seasonal allergies are a real pain, so try to avoid adding to them with these missteps in your aesthetic treatments.

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