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Can You Smoke After Getting Lip Fillers?

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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Full, plump lips are all the rage these days thanks to the rise of social media and a certain family of pouty superstars. 

While some are blessed with naturally full lips, many have turned to lip fillers to get that pillowy, camera-ready pout. 

Lip fillers can plump up your lips and fill those pesky fine lines in just minutes with a quick series of injections. Who wouldn’t want to flaunt a set of perfect, envy-inducing lips after a simple and relatively painless lunchtime appointment?

But before you race off to snap your duck-face selfies, it’s important to learn how to care for your new lips during the healing process.

One of the biggest questions on a lip filler newbie’s mind might be “Can I smoke after getting injections?” The answer isn’t quite as satisfying as lighting up a celebratory cigarette after your treatment. (Sorry!)

Let’s learn why experts advise avoiding smoking as you recover from your filler.

Why Puffing is a No-Go After Lip Filler

We all know smoking is a nasty habit for your health, but lighting up is an especially bad idea after getting lip injections. Here’s why experts recommend keeping cigarettes away during your recovery:

  • Smoking can damage the delicate healing tissue and compromise your treatment results. The chemicals and carcinogens in cigarette smoke can irritate your tender lips and potentially cause complications. It’s like dousing a fresh wound with poison!
  • Every inhale of a cigarette reduces oxygen levels in your blood, delaying healing. Your poor lips need all the oxygen they can get to repair properly after being punctured by multiple needles! Depriving them of oxygen will slow the process.
  • Smoking also raises your risk of developing an infection around the injection sites. And you definitely don’t want your new pillowy pout turning into a swollen, infected mess!
  • Some experts believe smoking may impact the longevity of lip fillers over time. The habit is linked to degrading collagen and elastin, compounds that help maintain plumpness. Meaning you may need touch ups sooner.
  • Repeatedly pursing your lips while smoking also puts pressure on the delicate filler, potentially causing it to migrate. Then you’re left with uneven or unnatural-looking lips – not cute.

So for the health of your new lips and the longevity of your results, don’t even think about smoking during the recovery process! Protect your investment in that perfect pout.

Follow Your Provider’s Advice for Smoothest Recovery

Okay, so no puffing on cigarettes after your lip filler appointment. But how long should you stay away from smoking? And what other precautions should you take during the healing process?

The recovery recommendations may vary slightly between providers, but here are some generally accepted guidelines:

  • Avoid smoking for at least 24-48 hours after your injections. This gives your lips crucial time to begin mending properly. Lighting up too soon increases the risk of complications.
  • Steer clear of secondhand smoke too. Limit exposure to smokers so you don’t indirectly inhale the same harmful chemicals.
  • Follow your provider’s instructions precisely for cleansing, icing, avoiding makeup, and more. These measures all help minimize swelling, irritation, and potential side effects.
  • Hold off on alcohol as well, as it can thin blood and increase bruising. An ice-cold beer may be tempting after your appointment but hold out for just a day.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers as recommended by your provider if you experience any tenderness. Just avoid blood thinners.
  • Most importantly, ask your provider when it’s safe to smoke again! Everyone heals differently. They’ll give you a personalized timeline.

While an occasional cigarette here and there likely won’t completely ruin your results, adhering to these aftercare instructions will help ensure your new lips heal beautifully. A few days of restraint leads to enjoying your plump pout for months!

The Long-Term Impact of Smoking on Lip Fillers

Avoiding cigarettes for a couple days after your injections is crucial. But what about the long-term effects of smoking on your filler results?

Unfortunately, smoking may end up shortening the lifespan of your lip fillers over time. Here’s how:

  • Smoking accelerates the aging process, including the breakdown of collagen and elastin, proteins that keep skin firm and plump. This can cause a loss of volume in the lips faster than normal.
  • You may end up needing touch-up appointments more frequently than someone who doesn’t smoke. One syringe of filler could last 6 months in a non-smoker but just 3-4 months for a regular smoker.
  • Each cigarette introduces a barrage of free radicals that damage skin cells, promoting premature aging. Your lips will likely lose their youthful quality much quicker.
  • All the puckering and sucking motion with smoking may continue shifting your filler, diminishing the results.
  • Secondhand smoke can cause the same accelerated aging effects. So spending time around other smokers may impact your lips too.

While an occasional cigarette now and then likely won’t ruin your lip filler results entirely, regular smoking will take its toll over time. For the health of your lips and to protect your investment, it’s wise to keep smoking to a minimum or quit entirely after lip injections. Your provider can offer personalized advice on maintaining your smoochable pout!

The Takeaway: Protect Your Pout by Avoiding Smoke

While the research is still ongoing into precisely how smoking impacts lip fillers, the general consensus is that lighting up is not advised for those seeking plump, smooth lips from dermal fillers.

By avoiding cigarettes for at least the first 24-48 hours after your injections, you allow the delicate tissue of your lips to heal properly and lower the risk of complications like infection or filler migration.

Be sure to follow your provider’s personalized aftercare instructions closely to minimize swelling, irritation, and other side effects during your recovery period. This lays the groundwork for beautiful, long-lasting results from your treatment.

And in the long run, regular smoking can speed up the breakdown of the fillers through collagen degradation as well as repeated lip puckering and pressure on the injection sites. So quitting smoking is the healthiest choice to help your new pout last.

While an occasional cigarette here and there likely won’t ruin your lip filler results, abstaining as much as possible after the procedure is wise. By avoiding smoke, protecting your lips from pressure and trauma, and caring for them diligently in the weeks after injections, you can flaunt your gorgeous, plump pout for many months to come!

Dr. Hardik Soni

MD, Founder/Lead Physician

About Dr. Hardik Soni

Dr. Hardik Soni is the founder and Medical Director of Ethos Aesthetics + Wellness. His primary focus is on minimally invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures including botulinum injection (Botox and Dysport), dermal fillers (Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse), laser hair removal, chemical peels, and laser skin rejuvenation. Dr. Soni believes in a more conservative approach and his first goal is education. Clients are able to determine the ideal treatments after discussion with Dr. Soni regarding the expected outcomes, cost, as well as risks.

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