Are fillers and Botox/Dysport okay with chemotherapy?

Is it alright to have Botox and fillers with chemo?

The short answer to this is yes… generally. And here are some things to do that will help to keep these safe!

Check with your oncologist (cancer doctor)

Why? Because she/he may know things about what’s coming up that you don’t. Most oncologists are conservative on these questions, which is a good thing! Many chemotherapies affect your immune system temporarily. Your immune system may be more or less reactive to all sorts of things. Think of this as a temporary period in your life, and visualize yourself as strong and beautiful at the end of it. As soon as it’s safe, fillers and Botox/Dysport can then play a role in helping create a sense of confidence for you.

Sometimes you may need to educate your cancer doctor

  • Most oncologists are unfamiliar with the newer technology in the prevention of aging world.
  • It’s fine to bring some science for him/her to read on this. For example, an article on these procedures and cancer. Do a web search or bring in the ingredient lists on what your interested so they can see.
  • Have your oncologist help you understand if your healing times may be about the same, slower… or a lot slower. For lasers, this is particularly important.

Some general safety thoughts

  • During and for 3-6 months after most chemos, laser healing times are generally a little slower. We’ve been surprised though at how fast our patients DO heal, especially from less invasive lasers like the IPL, or lighter Fraxels.
  • Radiofrequency devices like Thermage, Ultherapy, etc. are safe, as long as no pacemaker is present. As importantly though, it may NOT be a good time to do these because you won’t build as much collagen, if your cells that make collagen aren’t very active. It may be a waste of money.  Wait until 6 months after generally.
  • Hyaluronic acid fillers are generally very safe during this time as long as the skin is sterilized very thoroughly. This is usually done with Hibiclens and/or alcohol, after cleansing. This is because hyaluronic acid is already present in our skin. Immune reactions are almost unheard of as long as FDA approved fillers are used.
  • Sculptra it’s best to wait for 6 months after because, like the radiofrequency, it’s a collagen stimulator. It’s relying on your own body to produce collagen, while it goes away.
  • Botox/Dysport are generally safe, because they are large molecules that bind very specifically to certain nerve tissue. Ask your cancer doctor though!
  • Lasers that are more invasive will often have delayed healing times. Best to wait until 6 month after.
Hope this helps,
Dr. Brandith Irwin
Founder, SkinTour
Director, Madison Skin & Laser Center
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Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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