Skin Deep

Before getting any injectable filler, make sure doctor has cleansed your skin properly

Before getting any filler, make sure your doctor has cleansed your skin. .
Before getting any filler, make sure your doctor has cleansed your skin. . MIAMI HERALD FILE PHOTO

We all know how important cleanliness is at any doctor’s office or hospital, but you probably didn’t know how crucial it is for your skin to be clean before filler injections. It’s standard protocol to wipe any injection site with alcohol, but at times this might not be enough.

When patients receive injections of hyaluronic acid or longer-lasting fillers on unclean skin, they’re at a higher risk for cysts, hard nodules, and, of course, infection.

Whether we have acne or a crystal clear complexion, we all have P. acnes bacteria on our skin. While this bacteria is responsible for breakouts, did you know that it’s also a main cause of wound infections? In fact, orthopedic surgeons will not perform shoulder replacement surgery on a patient with severe back acne due to the high risk of joint infection.

Injectable treatments are so fast that patient can duck out of the office on their lunch break and be back in an hour. But odds are these patients are coming into my office with makeup on. I always recommend that patients do not wear makeup to their appointment, but if you must, make sure you are given a cleansing product designed specifically for pre-procedure use.

Cleansers like Hibiclens and chlorhexidine are used to clean skin before surgery, but they cannot be used on the face due to risk of eye injury. These cleansers also compromise the skin’s barrier, leading to dehydration, redness, roughness and scaling. I use GCP Skincare in my office because it is highly effective, and our practice just did a study that showed it does not damage the skin’s barrier or cause any side effects — even in patients with sensitive skin.

With all of these benefits (and none of the risks or drawbacks), you’d think any doctor who performs injections would use GCP Skincare as well. But that’s not the case, simply because this product is more expensive than others on the market. We all know how important it is to choose an experienced, reputable doctor to get the best results, and it’s equally (if not more) important to select a provider that doesn’t compromise patient safety to keep costs down.

You should be aware of your surroundings any time you’re in a doctor’s office. If you have any doubts about cleanliness when it comes to the exam room or the staff, it’s time to find a new physician because it’s not worth putting your health at risk.

Dr. Leslie Baumann is a board-certified dermatologist and CEO of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute in Miami.