Chronic eyelid edema and xerophthalmia secondary to periorbital hyaluronic acid filler injection

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2020 Apr;19(4):824-826. doi: 10.1111/jocd.13111. Epub 2019 Aug 23.


Background: Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a popular, nonsurgical, temporary technique that is commonly used in the periocular region to restore volume in areas that have undergone volume loss, as well as adjusting the height and contour of the eyebrow.

Aims: Due to the location of glands, nerves, and vasculature, the facial anatomy should be well understood to avoid injections into areas that may result in complications.

Patient/methods: A 54-year-old woman presented for a cosmetic consultation to address "puffy eyelids". She states she had HA filler injected along the orbital ridge inferior to the eyebrow and medially at the glabellar crease two years prior. Two months after her injection, she began to notice upper eyelid edema, xerophthalmia, and dryness of her nasal mucous membranes. Extensive evaluation and imaging were done by physicians of different specialties with a negative workup.

Results: A total of 60 units of hyaluronidase were injected into the areas of previous filler placement over a three-week period. This resulted in complete resolution of the patient's presenting symptoms.

Conclusion: Familiarity with potential adverse events is arguably the most important aspect of treating patients with HA filler. The anatomy of the orbit and lacrimal system are important to keep in mind when evaluating symptoms related to possible long-term complications of retained filler injections. Reporting this case should raise awareness about this potential adverse event and further explain the delicate anatomy of the periorbital area.

Keywords: hyaluronic acid; periorbital edema; periorbital filler; xerophthalmia.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Dermal Fillers / adverse effects*
  • Edema / chemically induced*
  • Edema / diagnosis
  • Edema / drug therapy
  • Eyelid Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Eyelid Diseases / diagnosis
  • Eyelid Diseases / drug therapy
  • Eyelids / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / adverse effects*
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Rejuvenation
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Xerophthalmia / chemically induced*
  • Xerophthalmia / diagnosis
  • Xerophthalmia / drug therapy


  • Dermal Fillers
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Hyaluronoglucosaminidase