Swelling and bruising are common concerns among surgical patients, but some nonsurgical patients should anticipate a certain degree of post-treatment swelling too. That’s especially true for lip filler, facial filler, and nonsurgical liquid facelift patients here in Washington DC. The good news is that most swelling after fillers is temporary, and you can take some simple steps to prevent and minimize puffiness after your injections.
In this post, we’ll look at how long you should expect swelling to last and offer some tips to reduce it.
How Long Does Swelling Last After Fillers?
Post-filler swelling may last a few hours or days, possibly longer, depending on multiple factors. Delayed swelling may also occur after the initial injection due to water attraction from the filler. A majority of fillers, such as JUVÉDERM® and Restylane®, are made of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a gel that attracts and holds water, similar to a sponge.
Fortunately, this swelling after nonsurgical office treatments usually resolves quickly and is only noticeable to the patient. Facial filler patients often return to work very soon after treatment, even the same day in many cases.
How To Reduce Swelling After Facial Fillers
Anything that is generally good for your health is also good for your skin and helps reduce swelling after facial fillers. Be sure to follow your plastic surgeon’s specific guidelines after your office treatment.
- Hydrate: Maintain hydration by drinking plenty of fluids, such as water and juices.
- Supplement: Consider taking certain herbal supplements, such as arnica montana and bromelain. Both are believed to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bruising properties, which can reduce swelling and bruising after filler treatments.
- Eat Healthfully: Focus on eating fresh fruits and vegetables to support your body’s overall health.
- Elevate: Keep your head elevated to allow gravity to reduce swelling.
- Consider Antihistamines. Antihistamines block the release of histamine, a chemical your body produces during an allergic reaction that can lead to symptoms like swelling. While some believe antihistamines minimize post-treatment swelling, scientific evidence on their overall effectiveness for this specific use is still limited. As with any medication, consult with a healthcare professional before using antihistamines.
- Apply Ice: Gently apply a cold compress or ice pack wrapped in a soft cloth to the swollen area for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. This can help to constrict the blood vessels, reducing inflammation and swelling. Avoid pressing too hard to prevent further trauma to the area.
Most people find that taking these few aftercare steps are well worth their great results, as you can see in our patients’ before-and-after pictures below:
What To Avoid To Minimize Swelling After Facial Fillers
Patients may help minimize swelling by proactively avoiding the following:
- Processed foods or fast foods
- Excess salt
- Most herbal teas and supplements
- Spicy foods
- Blood thinning medications, including aspirin and ibuprofen
- Smoking and smoke exposure
What Are Other Methods To Reduce Facial Filler Swelling?
Rest is important after facial fillers. We recommend avoiding heavy activity or exercise for the first day or so after treatment.
Gentle massage of the treated area may improve the swelling in some patients. Sometimes the area just expands a little too much with edema and needs to be gingerly flattened back down. Hard pressure should be avoided. Ask your injector if massage is allowed.
Lastly, swelling may be due to factors other than the treatment itself, such as allergies, a thyroid condition, hormones, medication side effects, or other medical conditions. As always, speak to your injector to determine methods to help reduce swelling that are appropriate for you.