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Tips to Reduce Swelling and Bruising After Lip Fillers

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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Filler treatments are a great way to add volume to your lips. A small injection, which usually contains a small amount of hyaluronic acid, is administered into your lips which then gives you a softer, fuller look. However, as with any dermal filler injection, there are potential side effects – the most common ones being swelling and bruising. There’s no need to worry as these are typically short-lived.

So how can you reduce swelling and bruising after a lip filler treatment? There are actually many remedies such as applying a cold compress, not touching the treated area, drinking water, eating nutrient-rich foods, keeping your head elevated, skipping intense workouts, and taking herbal remedies. When you follow the aftercare instructions, you’ll be able to achieve the best possible results with minimal downtime.

How to Reduce Swelling and Bruising After Lip Fillers

Some patients experience moderate bruising and swelling after their lip filler procedure, while others don’t. Even though the needle is thin and the filler injection is administered precisely, the body can still see the puncture as a form of trauma. Your lips should start to look better after a few days and fully heal in a couple of weeks.

The minor side effects you experience are signals to your brain that your lip needs to heal – the same way a twisted ankle tells your brain to avoid walking on that specific foot. Here are some aftercare tips to help you alleviate swelling and bruising:

1) Use Cold Compress

The cold temperature constricts blood vessels, which can reduce inflammation and minimize the appearance of bruises. To create a cold compress, you can either wrap a few ice cubes into a clean cloth or use a gel ice pack. Apply the compress to the treatment area for 10 to 15 minutes. Take breaks in between to prevent any further trauma to the skin.

2) No Touching

It’s only natural to want to touch and examine your newly enhanced lips, but we highly recommend that you resist the temptation. Touching your lips can introduce bacteria, which can result in infections and an increased risk of bruising and swelling.

3) Drink Plenty of Water

Hydration is key. Drinking plenty of water helps flush out toxins from your body, supports your skin’s elasticity, and aids in reducing inflammation. Drink 8 to 10 glasses per day, especially in the first few days after your treatment.

4) Avoid Salty Foods

Salty foods can contribute to fluid retention and exacerbate swelling. Instead, opt for fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, as these are nutrient-rich that can promote healing and reduce inflammation around your lip area.

5) Keep Your Head Elevated

Keeping your head propped up on a pillow, especially while you’re sleeping, can help reduce swelling and bruising. It encourages proper blood flow and reduces fluid accumulation around the treatment area.

6) Skip Strenuous Activity

Skip the gym for at least 48 hours. Intense workouts can increase blood flow to the face and thus makes bruising and swelling more pronounced. After the 48-hour mark, you can gradually ease back into your exercise routine, but make sure to always listen to your body and prioritize comfort.

7) Take Herbal Remedies

Certain herbal remedies are known to reduce swelling and bruising after cosmetic procedures like lip fillers. Some popular options include arnica montana and bromelain. Consult with your medical provider before consuming any herbal remedies to ensure that they are suitable for you and do not interfere with any medications you may be taking.

How Long Does Lip Filler Swelling and Bruising Last?

Unlike plastic surgery, a lip injection comes with less risk of adverse reactions. The duration of swelling and bruising after a filler procedure can vary from person to person, depending on factors such as individual sensitivity, the type of filler used, and the injection technique. Take note that as long as your lips seem to be getting better – not worse – it’s a good sign that your body is recovering from the filler injection.

Here’s a general timeline to give you an idea of what to expect: The first 24 to 48 hours after the treatment often see the most significant swelling. This is a completely normal response to the injections. Some patients may then experience bruising that starts to fade within 3 to 5 days, although it can last up to 2 weeks in some cases. There may also be residual swelling for up to 2 to 4 weeks after the treatment.

Having said that, we recommend that you get your lip filler appointment at least 2 weeks before a special event. This gives your lips enough time to gradually settle into their final shape and size.

Why Do the Lips Swell and Bruise After a Lip Filler Injection?

While a filler procedure is generally safe and well-tolerated, it’s not uncommon for patients to experience swelling and bruising after having the injection. This is due to different reasons:

  • Inflammatory response: Swelling is a natural part of the body’s inflammatory response to any injury or trauma, including needle punctures created during lip filler injections. 
  • Filler material: The type of filler material used can impact the degree of swelling and bruising that a patient experiences. Some fillers, such as those containing hyaluronic acid, can draw water to the injection site, leading to increased swelling and bruising.
  • Injection technique: An experienced injector will be more adept at minimizing tissue trauma and blood vessel damage. This reduces the likelihood of significant swelling and bruising.

Other Possible Side Effects of Filler Treatments

Keep in mind that getting a lip filler treatment is a personal decision. It comes with a lot of advantages such as longevity of results, reversible procedure, and self-esteem boost. Whatever your reason is for wanting to enhance your lips, it’s also essential to be aware of the other potential risks and complications associated with the procedure:

Ethos Spa: Achieve Your Lip Goals with Custom Treatment Plans

A little bit of swelling and bruising following your lip filler procedure is normal. Due to the mild trauma caused by the injection, it may take your body a few weeks to completely recover. If you want to expedite the healing process, make sure to religiously follow your doctor’s aftercare instructions.

At Ethos Spa, we understand that every individual is unique, which is why we pride ourselves in creating personalized lip filler treatment plans tailored to each patient’s specific needs and aesthetic goals. You can trust that you’re in the hands of medical professionals who prioritize your safety, comfort, and desired outcomes above all else. Request a consultation today and learn more about our custom approach to lip augmentation.

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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