The Lip Filler Roller Coaster of Emotion
Getting lip filler can be an amazing experience that enhances your look and boosts your self-esteem. It can create better facial balance and overall harmony and even take years off of someone’s overall appearance.
On the flip side it can also be a nightmare that makes you curse yourself and wish you never had anything done. You might find yourself praying that you’ll never think another insecure thought about your lips or face again if they would just go back to how they were before.
Or the experience might be both! You might love them, then hate them, then love them again. It can seriously be a roller coaster of emotions.
This article will talk about that roller coaster and what to expect when getting injections. It will talk about ways to cope with the highs and lows and be assured that everything will be ok. It will also talk about when to worry and when you need to seek an intervention or a 2nd opinion.
The normal experience after lip filler
Finding the right injector:
Here are some tips and things to ask BEFORE getting lip filler. If you already have someone great or already did the injections feel free to skip this section. Or if you’ve had lip filler and are not happy consider these things as well.
- What are the qualifications of the injector, i.e. what kind of license do they have?
- Is that license a medical license? i.e. Registered Nurse (RN), Physician Assistant (PA), Nurse Practitioner (NP), Medical Doctor (MD)
- How much experience does the injector have?
- Does their website or business look legit?
- Do they have before and after photos?
- Do they have good reviews?
- What kind of vibes do you get after meeting them?
To learn more about Medical Spas and finding the right injector read What to Look for in a Medical Spa.
On the day of your appointment you will likely feel excited and nervous at the same time. You should get some pre-treatment instructions from your injector so you know how to prepare and what medications and such to avoid prior to your appointment. Here are some general tips before your appointment to prepare.
- Try to schedule a few days off of work after your injections if possible. A Friday is a good time to get your lips done so that you have the weekend to deal with the worst of the swelling.
- Plan to not want to be around anyone the first 24-48hrs, maybe even family and friends. So have your grocery shopping and meals planned in case you don’t want to leave the house.
- If you live with anyone talk to them about your procedure and that you will be swollen but that they will go down. If they know what to expect as well it will not freak you out when they say something like “OMG your lips are huge”. This one is from personal experience (see video below) 😉 .
- Have small ice packs ready that have been cleansed with rubbing alcohol (ice helps with swelling, cleaning them will help prevent infection).
- Consider going to the health-food store ahead of time to get Bromelain (a supplement that helps with swelling) and Arnica (a supplement that helps with bruising) if approved by your injector.
- Prepare for some pain, even with numbing agents you will still feel it at times and it’s better to be over-prepared than under prepared.
- Try to relax, if you are going to a talented and qualified injector they’ll make it as comfortable as possible for you and you’ll get a great result.
The night after your injections
After you leave the office you might start feeling a little self conscious as your lips begin to swell more and more.
I always show people their lips immediately after injections, before they get crazy swollen, and tell them that they will go back down to that level or less. I often take a picture as well to give to them. This helps immensely when swelling really kicks in and they are likely freaking out around 6-12 hours later.
Know how to get in touch with your injector as well if you are worried or think you might need some reassurance. All of my patient’s have my email and cell-phone number in case they have any concerns. Most of the time they have been well prepared and feel ok when the swelling kicks in.
Some tips for the first night after injections:
- Ice off and on as much as possible, try 5 minutes on and 10 minutes off
- Take Bromelain and Arnica as directed and also use an arnica ointment on your lips
- Avoid salty foods and alcohol as they can increase swelling
- Refer to your post-treatment instructions for medications to avoid such as aspirin and ibuprofen that might increase bruising (unless otherwise approved)
- Know that you will get a bit sore after the numbing agents wear off and this is normal
- Some areas or hardness, lumps and bumps are normal from swelling and bruising as well as the product itself (it will get softer)
- Areas of numbness are normal from the numbing agents in the product as well as swelling
- Sleep on your back and elevated if possible to prevent swelling from worsening
- Remember not to love them or hate them until 14 days when the product is settled.
These photos are before, immediately after and 12 hours later after 1/2 (0.5 ml) of lip filler
Day 1, the morning after injections
Swelling is usually the worst in the morning, especially if not sleeping on your back. Don’t panic. It will go down more and more throughout the day. The first 24-48 hours is almost always the worst. Try icing first thing in the morning and taking your Bromelain and Arnica again.
Your lips WILL go down and if done well they will look amazing and natural. Also if you love them swollen this may be an indication that you will want more filler 2-4 weeks later when they are fully settled.
Day 2, expect to still be pretty swollen and bruises may be standing out more. Bruising may also migrate away from the lips and up towards your nose or down towards your chin. This is normal, it’s just the blood working it’s way out. Soreness is still normal as well.
The swelling should be down a bit since day 1 but it’s still noticeable. If you got your lips done on a Friday and are returning to work on day 3 it may or may not be noticeable. Note that younger patients also may experience more swelling or a more dramatic change. This is likely due to tight supple skin that doesn’t have as many wrinkles or stretch to it. So even 1-syringe may give Kylie Jenner lips for the first 1-3 days. It will go down though.
Bruising will definitely still be there but may be fading a bit if just on the lips and maybe looking worse if it has spread beyond the lips.
When applying make-up find a good concealer and you can wear lipstick if you want by day 3 to help cover things up if you want to.
Check out this video to see how to cover bruises after filler.
Things are really coming down and you should start to feel a little more confident that you will look normal and not have to live with giant swollen lips. They will still feel firm and may look a bit uneven if you are bruised but you should be able to see their potential at this point.
You should be looking mostly normal at this stage and enjoying your new lips. You may want to start trying new lipsticks and might find yourself taking more photos than usual. They may still feel a little firm as the filler is still integrating with your normal tissue.
2-4 weeks later
This is considered a final result. So you are allowed to love them or hate them at this point. This is the period that you can do touch ups if needed or if you got a poor result somewhere you can also get them dissolved.
It’s not usually recommended to get lip filler dissolved before 14 days because the final result is not apparent yet.
When to get more lip filler
The longevity of lip filler is different for everyone and can depend on many factors such as:
- Skin elasticity
- Type of filler
- Amount of filler
As a general rule, if they still look good, don’t get more. You don’t want to look over-filled or like you obviously have had lip filler. A good injector may even tell you no if you come in too early or are wanting more filler than you can pull off.
My rule of thumb is that if you want big lips you have to look like you could’ve been born with them, so they are still natural appearing on you, even if you were born with small lips. I also only inject 1ml or 1 syringe at a time and then build them up once every month until you get the result that looks best.
On average lip filler lasts 6-14 months for most people. There are always exceptions to this however.
When to worry or when to have lip filler dissolved
Most people are thrilled with their filler but unfortunately poor results can happen and that’s usually a result of technique. Check out the first paragraph or refer to What to Look for in a Medical Spa to find an injector if needed, or to find a new injector if your filler needs to be dissolved and re-done.
Some reasons you may want to dissolve your filler include:
- Being over-filled
- Poor shape or aesthetic result
- An uneven result (though a good injector may know how to fix this)
- Filler migrating (above the vermillion border usually, the white above the pink of the lips)
- Generally unhappy with the result
When to worry:
If you have any worrisome signs at any time throughout the process contact your injector right away or go to the Emergency Room if you are having a severe reaction.
Some warning signs may include, but are not limited to:
- Signs of an allergic reaction: immense swelling, itching, hives, swollen tongue, scratchy throat; difficulty breathing (this is a 911 call).
- Signs of infection: Warm, red areas or drainage from your lips; fever, chills or altered levels of consciousness (911 call)
- White or purple areas that appear they are not getting blood flow (this may be a vessel occlusion and you need to get ahold of your injector, or any injector right away that can treat this, the ER is unlikely to know how to treat this)
- Pain out of proportion to the procedure, also concern for occlusion and contact your injector immediately
In general, trust your instincts and respond if you feel something is truly wrong. Also know that while you are swollen you may feel a little panicky so also try to determine if you are simply having some anxiety or if there is a true problem.
It’s always a good idea to get in touch with your injector if you have any worries and they should be able to tell you when it’s ok to wait it out at home, if you need to go in to see them right away or if you need more advanced intervention.
Outside of any of the scary things mentioned, what you’re going through is likely normal. Everyone feels the highs and lows after injections and I even went through it myself the first time I did lip filler. Video to come 🙂 .
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