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Uneven Swelling After Lip Filler

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Dr. Hardik Soni

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Navigating Post Lip Filler Treatment Concerns

Uneven swelling after lip fillers is generally a normal response to the treatment and should resolve on its own as the healing process progresses. 

Why Is My Lip Filler Uneven and Swollen?

It is very normal for lips to look uneven and swollen after receiving lip fillers:

  • Swelling is common after lip fillers and the lips may appear uneven during the healing process.
  • One side of the lips is often more swollen than the other, which can make them look asymmetric in the days following treatment.
  • The swelling peaks around 2-3 days post-procedure and gradually decreases over 1-2 weeks as the filler settles into place.
  • Lumps and bumps may be felt as the filler moves around beneath the skin during this settling period.
  • Within 7-10 days most swelling should go down and the lips will start to look more even and defined.
  • Applying ice packs can help reduce swelling in the short term.

Unless infection or an allergic reaction is present, unevenness and swelling are normal responses as the body adjusts to the lip filler. See your provider if swelling increases or lasts more than 2 weeks.

Is Immediate Unevenness After Lip Injections a Concern?

Immediate unevenness after lip injections is a common and expected concern. It is rare for lips to look perfectly symmetrical immediately after injections as swelling can cause one side to look larger than the other. 

This is usually temporary and the lips will even out within a few days as the swelling goes down.

What Causes Uneven Swelling After Lip Filler?

A Woman Getting Lip Filler Treatment

Swelling is the body’s natural inflammatory response to the minor trauma of injections. It can cause the lips to look uneven during the healing process.

One side may be more swollen than the other in the first few days after treatment. This asymmetry is usually temporary and should improve within a week.

The swelling peaks in the first week as the body adjusts to the filler. Lumps and bruising can also make the lips appear uneven initially.

Swelling and potential unevenness do not necessarily indicate a problem, as they are normal parts of the body’s healing response.

How To Fix Uneven Swelling After Lip Filler

To help reduce uneven swelling after lip filler faster, you can apply an ice pack or cold compress to your lips for 10-15 minutes multiple times a day for the first 2 days.

You can also:

  • Drink plenty of water to help the body reduce swelling faster by staying hydrated.
  • Massage the lips gently to encourage even distribution of the filler
  • Be patient as the lips will continue to settle in the first week after injections

If the unevenness persists after 1-2 weeks, see your doctor who may recommend a touch-up procedure to even things out.

Unevenness After Lip Injections: Swelling Progression Over Days

The swelling progresses through different stages over the course of days and weeks as the body responds to the injections.

In the first few days, the lips can look quite swollen, bumpy, bruised and uneven. This is because swelling may occur more on one side of the lips than the other, causing temporary asymmetry. The swelling peaks within the first 2-3 days and can make the lips look enlarged.

By about a week after the injections, the swelling usually begins to go down but the lips may still appear a bit uneven. At the two week mark, there is generally no visible swelling remaining.

How Many Days Does Swelling Last After Lip Filler?

Swelling after lip filler is most significant in the first 2-3 days post-treatment.

  • Swelling will be at its peak in the 1-3 days following lip filler.
  • Redness and swelling don’t usually last more than just a few hours after the treatment for most people.
  • Swelling should go down within 2–3 days after your lip filler treatment, and should subside completely within 2 weeks post-treatment.
  • Swelling is starting to disappear between days 5-7.

The swelling should disappear and the final results will be visible within about a week of treatment.

What To Expect Day by Day Swelling After Lip Injections

A Woman Getting Lip Filler Treatment

Here is what you can generally expect on a day by day basis after lip injections:

Day 1: Immediately after the treatment, your lips will be swollen and may appear bruised. Swelling peaks within the first 24 hours.

Day 2-3: Swelling may worsen or remain the same during this time period as the body continues to respond to the injection. Lips may feel firm or look bumpy.

Day 4-7: Swelling should begin to subside but your lips may still feel tender. Some small bumps under the skin may be visible or feelable.

Week 1-2: Most swelling and bruising should be gone by 1 week post-treatment, but lips may still feel slightly fuller than normal. Final results will be visible after 2 weeks as any remaining swelling subsides fully.

Keep in mind the timeline can vary slightly between individuals. Applying ice, avoiding touching/massaging the lips, and taking over-the-counter medications can help reduce swelling more quickly. Contact your provider if swelling worsens or does not start improving after a few days.

When To Seek Help for Swelling After Lip Filler

Swelling should begin to subside after 2-3 days and be gone within 1 week for most people.

Swelling may last up to 2 weeks in rare cases, but a fair amount of swelling for 3-4 days is considered normal.

You should seek help from the clinician who performed the treatment if the swelling does not improve or gets worse after 1-2 weeks.

Other signs that warrant contacting the clinician include pain, redness, or discharge from the injection sites.

In summary, mild swelling for the first week is common and expected. But if swelling persists or worsens after 2 weeks, or other symptoms arise, it is recommended to consult the clinician.

Signs To Get Medical Attention Post Lip Filler Swelling

This table provides a clear and concise guide for patients to understand when to seek medical attention after experiencing swelling from lip fillers. 

It outlines the potential signs of complications and the recommended actions to take.

Sign to Watch ForAction to TakeReason for Concern
Severe AsymmetryContact your practitioner or seek medical attentionCould indicate improper filler placement or an allergic reaction
Persistent SwellingSeek medical adviceSwelling should typically subside within a week; if not, it could be a sign of infection or other complications
Increasing PainConsult with a healthcare providerPain should decrease after the procedure; increasing pain could suggest infection or hematoma
Unusual Patterns of BruisingGet medical evaluationCould be a sign of vascular occlusion or hematoma
Fever or ChillsVisit a doctor or emergency roomMay indicate an infection that requires immediate treatment
Difficulty Breathing or SwallowingSeek emergency medical careRare but serious allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, need urgent treatment
Prolonged Redness or Heat at Injection SiteContact your practitionerCould be signs of inflammation or infection

Best Practices for Lip Filler Swelling Management

A Woman Getting Lip Filler Treatment

The best practices for managing swelling after lip filler injections are:

  • Apply an ice pack or ice cubes wrapped in a clean cloth to the lip area. This should be done immediately after the procedure to help reduce inflammation.
  • Apply ice for 10-15 minutes, 4 times per day for the first day only. 
  • Keep your head elevated above the level of your heart to minimize swelling.
  • Avoid hot drinks, spicy foods, and strenuous activities for the first 24 hours as these can increase swelling.
  • Take over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications as recommended by your provider to help reduce discomfort.

Expect some swelling, bruising, and tenderness for the first 3-5 days as these are normal side effects of the procedure as your body responds to the filler. 

Swelling generally peaks at 24-48 hours post-treatment. 

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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