Liquid silicone 'magical' for HIV-associated facial lipoatrophy

Nov 07, 2014, 5:00am

“It works, it’s very natural, and so far it seems to be permanent with no side effects. It’s currently the benchmark treatment in our clinic,” Alastair Carruthers, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., a clinical professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, told attendees at the Leadership in Innovation Lecture during the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

Injectable silicone oil - liquid silicone - has been a “magical” treatment for facial atrophy (HIV-associated facial lipoatrophy) due to AIDS/HIV drugs, an expert told the audience at the Leadership in Innovation Lecture at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery.

READ: More coverage of the ASDS 2014 meeting

“It’s a relatively straightforward treatment with great results,” says Alastair Carruthers, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., a clinical professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. “It works, it’s very natural, and so far it seems to be permanent with no side effects. It’s currently the benchmark treatment in our clinic.”

Patients with facial atrophy need several treatments, but that allows for individualized molding of the face, he says. “They can tell you what they want so you can tailor it to the individual,” Dr. Carruthers adds.

The best thing about the treatment is how it combats the stigma of facial atrophy, Dr. Carruthers says. Surveys of the patients revealed “there was a dramatic change in how they felt about life.”

Even though facial atrophy due to HIV medication is less common, Dr. Carruthers says it’s important to consider the lessons of the condition. “Drugs can do some really funny things,” he says. “Who would have ever thought a drug, which was making these people well, would make them look unwell?”

Dr. Carruthers and fellow researchers reported on treatment of 20 male facial atrophy patients in the May 28, 2013, issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology