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How to Reduce Swelling After a Filler Treatment

Blog post - before after photo facial filler Juvederm Volume Restylane cheek lip swelling liquid lift

Before and after liquid facelift and sculpting with facial fillers to the cheeks, lips, and under eye areas. This patient also had nonsurgical jaw reduction by Dr. Chaboki.

Swelling, along with bruising, are common concerns among surgical patients. While swelling, also called edema, is expected after surgery, nonsurgical liquid lift patients here in Washington DC who are treated with JUVÉDERM® or Restylane® fillers should anticipate a certain degree of swelling too.

Swelling after facial filler injections may last a few hours or day, 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 can attract and hold water similar to a sponge.

Fortunately, this swelling after nonsurgical office treatments usually resolves quickly and only noticeable to the patient. Facial filler patients often return to work very soon after treatment, even the same day in many cases. A majority of the swelling resolves soon after visiting the plastic surgeon’s office. Typically, only the patient may notice residual swelling, as the treated area doesn’t normally draw attention from friends, family, or strangers after the initial recovery period.

The plastic surgery swelling guidelines below generally apply to most procedures, including facelift or eyelid surgery. Cosmetic surgery patients are typically proactive and often already using some of these natural methods to reduce swelling.

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 the specific guidelines of your plastic surgeon or dermatologist after your office treatment.

  • Maintain hydration by drinking plenty of fluids, such as water and juices
  • Consider taking certain herbal supplements, such as arnica montana and bromelain
  • Focus on eating fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Apply ice to treated area
  • Keep your head elevated to allow gravity to reduce swelling
  • Consider taking antihistamine tablets

What to avoid to minimize swelling after facial fillers

Cosmetic surgery 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. Plastic surgeons will recommend avoiding heavy activity or exercise for the first day or so after treatment.

Gentle massage of the treated area may improve the swelling on 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 factors other than the treatment itself, such as allergies, a thyroid condition, hormones, medication side-effect, or other medical conditions. As always, speak to your plastic surgeon to determine methods to help reduce swelling that is appropriate for you.

Have other tips to help reduce swelling after facial filler injections? Share your thoughts below.

26 Responses to How to Reduce Swelling After a Filler Treatment

  • Robert says:

    Hi thx 4 tips, just had restalyne fillers 4 vials, first time so be gentle with me!, i’m doing ok, nothing too weird, NP told me would have jaw pain after, how long does it last? A day or so?, any tips to alleviate pain/speed up recovery process? Thx,

    • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

      Thank you for reading the blog. The degree of swelling will vary on the extent of the facial filler procedure, as patients with multiple treatments may more likely have additional swelling. A majority of the swelling after nonsurgical aesthetic procedures, such as filler injections, resolves pretty quickly. Patients may notice swelling in the recovery procedure for several days. However, others may not notice.

      As always, speak with the expert injector who provided the treatment to review pre and post care and maximize recovery.

      Best,
      Dr. Chaboki

  • Lisa collymore says:

    I enjoyed the article.. I did a filler my face for acne marks.. Now my cheeks are really fat and swollen.. Its been four days and they’ve reduced a little but not much… I dont like this look at all.. My friends and family don’t even recognize me.. What can I do to get my face back to its normal size and look,?

    • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

      Thank you for reading the blog. This website has extensive information for those learning about cosmetic treatments, surgical or nonsurgical. Facial fillers are very popular in plastic surgery offices, after the extreme popularity of treatments such as Botox or Dysport, for rejuvenation.

      Best,
      Dr. Chaboki

  • Kem H says:

    Hi,
    I had pdo threads in lower face also had fillers on cheeks and Botox. Had all done at same time. I have extensive swelling around the filler area and some swelling on lower jaw, I also have a small bump on one side at the bottom of my jaw. It has been 2 days. I look deformed! This is my first experience with any of this will it get better and how soon ??

    • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

      Thank you for reading the blog. Swelling is variable and can occur for many reasons. Patients who have multiple procedures, such as Botox, facial fillers, thread lifts, PRP, laser, etc, are more likely to have greater swelling as compared to those who have a single procedure. Top plastic surgeons communicate with their patients on various aspects of aesthetic procedures, including recovery. Patients should keep in close communication with their plastic surgeon

      Best,
      Dr. Chaboki

  • Mary Fernandes says:

    I had filler two months ago and the left side swollen hard to the touch feels hot.my dr has given me 2 rounds of steroids. Its gets better but in a few days it’s swelled up again help

    • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

      Thank you for read this website. Swelling is variable after filler treatment, but a majority of swelling resolves relatively quickly. Facial filler injections have often been described as soft and natural in our patients. Patients should speak with their injector (ex. plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon, dermatologist, etc) if there are any concerns. A variety of options are available after facial filler injections.

      Best,
      Dr. Chaboki

  • Kim says:

    I just had Juvederm ultra plus done and after 6 hours I’ve swelled up in my upper lip. This is my second time getting my lips injected. The first time I did just jevederm and no swelling, now my lips don’t hurt and they didn’t bruise this time it’s just swelling that’s the issue..
    Is there any medication I could take as an option to help reduce this swelling ?

    • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

      Thank you reading our plastic surgery blog. While plastic surgeons may give medications to reduce swelling after cosmetic surgery (ex. facelift or rhinoplasty), many don’t routinely prescribe medications after facial filler injections. As always, patients should consult with their surgeons to review appropriate treatment options after filler injections.

      Best,
      Dr. Chaboki

  • Kathy says:

    I had fillers injected into the muscle of my face lines by my mouth and cheeks and it’s been 4 days and I still am sore and my face muscles do not allow me to smile I look like a monster. Will this resolve in a week?

    • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

      Thank you for reading the website. All filler injections have a variable degree of swelling, which will vary based on many factors such as specific filler, volume of filler injected, and treatment area. Most plastic surgeons agree that it typically takes several days for tissue to settle after filler treatment. Patients should speak with their plastic surgeon or dermatologist regarding any concerns they have.

      Best,
      Dr. Chaboki

    • Kathleen says:

      I am feeling 5he same way. Just had fillers in my cheeks to lift the nasolabial folds. I look better in the before and after but when my face isn’t stationary I look ridiculous. I’m hoping you can tell me your symptoms cleared up and your face settled in. I can’t stand not being able to smile normally at m6 kids. feeling fat faced too

      • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

        Thank you for reading the blog.

        Injectors often advise that it may take some time for the facial tissue to settle after filler injection. After waiting an initial period of time, patients have the option of dissolving some fillers as appropriate with hyaluronidase injections. As always, patients should speak with their injector to review potential options.

        Best,
        Dr. Chaboki

  • Louise Page says:

    Hi, I had cheek fillers in April 2018, they were fine for a while but then suddenly under my eye and along cheeks it was hard and then my face swelled up. This happened on and off for weeks. Went back for dissolve and nothing happened since until now it’s all hard on one side and swollen again. I’ve tried prednisolone steroids and alsorts of ice/hot compress. It’s now also left bruising on my cheeks that hasn’t gone down for months. What can I do!!

    • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

      Thank you for your question.

      Most plastic surgeons don’t routinely give medications after filler treatment. Exceptions may include a desire to dissolve the filler or treat scar tissue. Learn more in our blog about injections for scar tissue and hyaluronidase injections to remove filler. Patients should consult with their plastic surgeons or dermatologist to review appropriate treatment options after filler injections as all treatments may have side effects.

      Best,
      Dr. Chaboki

      • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

        For those reporting possible issues with facial fillers, some may consider hyaluronidase injections to remove filler as appropriate. Patients consulting with their plastic surgeons or dermatologists can review potential treatment options.

        Best,
        Dr. Chaboki

  • Latefa says:

    Hi
    Ijust have chin volume by hydronic acid filler but I feel pain after the injection is it normal and can I wear makeup

    • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

      A certain amount of discomfort with filler injections is expected, especially during the office treatment. Pain, however, generally should not be present. As always, speaking with a plastic surgeon or dermatologist who performs injections frequently can help determine appropriate options.

      Best,
      Dr. Chaboki

    • Houtan Chaboki, M.D. says:

      Fillers generally have a period of time when tissue settles. Typically, plastic surgeons recommend waiting for this period of time after injection, which may possibly vary from hours to weeks. Swelling after filler treatment will vary based on multiple factors. As always, speaking with a plastic surgeon or dermatologist who performs injections frequently can help determine appropriate options.

      Best,
      Dr. Chaboki

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    Houtan Chaboki, M.D.