Noninvasive and minimally invasive cosmetic dermatology procedures – such as laser treatments, neurotoxin injections, and soft tissue augmentation – are associated with an aggregate adverse event rate of less than 1% when performed by experienced, board-certified dermatologists, based on data from a multicenter prospective cohort study of more than 20,000 procedures.

Researchers used a web-based data collection system to record relevant procedures and adverse events at eight private and institutional dermatology outpatient clinical practices. They identified a total of 48 adverse events from 20,399 procedures, representing an overall adverse event rate of 0.24%.

The most common adverse events were hyperpigmentation after laser or energy treatments and lumps, nodules, or beading after treatment with neurotoxins or fillers, with adverse events most commonly occurring after procedures on the cheeks, nasolabial folds, and eyelids. No serious adverse events were reported.

“Patients seeking such [noninvasive and minimally invasive] procedures can be reassured that, at least in the hands of trained board-certified dermatologists, they pose minimal risk,” wrote Dr. Murad Alam of Northwestern University, Chicago, and associates. The findings were published online November 5 in JAMA Dermatology ( doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.2494 ).

The study was supported by departmental research funds from the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Dr. Alam declared consultancies with Amway and Leo Pharma, and has been principal investigator on studies funded in part by Allergan, Bioform, Medicis, and Ulthera. There were no other conflicts of interest declared.