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Dermal fillers are a great, nonsurgical and minimally invasive option for patients who are seeking additional volume, facial rejuvenation, hydration, and wrinkle reduction without undergoing a more involved procedure. After getting dermal fillers, patients should expect to experience some degree of swelling in the chin, cheeks and nose area, but in these areas swelling is usually relatively minimal. Areas of the face more prone to swelling after dermal fillers are under the eyes and the lips.

For 20% of patients, or about 1 out of 5, swelling can be vastly more pronounced. Therefore, if a patient is getting fillers for the first time and is not yet sure how their body will respond to them, it is best they be able to allow themselves between 2 and 7 days if need be for the swelling to subside and bruising to disappear before returning to work. Drastic swelling and bruising are rare but we do recommend having this window of recovery time available for first time dermal filler patients.

The majority of swelling and bruising from dermal fillers should subside within 4 days, and then be gone fully in 2 weeks at the outside, at which point patients will see the full and final beautiful results of the fillers received.

What to avoid after getting dermal fillers:

The following suggestions will help to reduce swelling and bruising and speed the healing process after dermal fillers. These suggestions apply to all brands of injectable including Juvederm, Restylane, and Volbella.

  • Avoid touching the treated areas for 3 to 6 hours after getting fillers. This includes not applying foundation or makeup to the injection site, and not covering it with a spray tan or other type of solution.
  • Refrain from itching, disturbing, massaging or picking at the injection site.
  • Try not to get too hot for 48 hours after getting fillers, as excessive sun or time spent in the sauna will increase the risk of swelling and bruising.
  • Let your lips rest by not puckering and not using a straw or a spoon for 24 to 48 hours. Before the filler has had the chance to settle, we want to keep lip motion down as much as possible to avoid clumping.
  • Avoid alcohol and strenuous cardio exercise while swelling is present.

How to reduce swelling and bruising from dermal fillers:

  • Be prepared for the possibility that swelling may occur; this is a natural response of the body and isn’t something to be alarmed about.
  • Because swelling may not be an immediate reaction but a delayed one, it is best to take action before swelling develops if possible.
  • Use ice compresses immediately after the procedure, and as often as is comfortable for the first 24 hours even if swelling isn’t yet noticeable. Don’t apply the ice for more than 15 minutes at a time, but aim instead for applying it for 3-5 minutes roughly every half hour.
  • When swelling does become noticeable, you may switch instead to a warm compress to increase the circulation in the area and thus reduce the swelling.
  • Keep your head elevated as much as possible for the first 24 hours. The more the head is kept above the level of your heart, the more the fluid will come down and settle in place.
  • As much as possible, refrain from sleeping on your face the night that you receive your filler injections.
  • Eating fresh papaya and pineapple in the days leading up to your filler will help reduce bruising and swelling
  • Avoiding alcohol and aspirin both before and after the injections will also help keep bruising and swelling from developing.
  • In the rare case that significant swelling doesn’t subside in 5 days, or if all swelling doesn’t subside in about 2 weeks, please reach out to us at the office.

Our practitioners will be very happy to answer any additional questions you may have and we look forward to helping you accomplish your beauty goals.


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