Tips To Reduce Lip Filler Swelling and Bruising
If you’ve done research about lip filler and are considering the procedure, you’ve probably seen some of the common side effects. In many cases, lip filler injections will cause swelling and bruising. While these side effects can be expected, there are many things you can do to reduce them and shorten your recovery time.
In this post, we’ll cover types of lip filler and their uses, why lips swell after lip filler and a timeline of lip filler swelling. We’ll also go in-depth on things you can do to reduce swelling and bruising after lip filler.
What is lip filler used for?
Lip filler is used in lip augmentation procedures. Lip augmentation is a procedure that alters the structure, shape, and overall size or volume of the lips. It is utilized to make the lips appear more plump and full or to simply maintain the lip shape and volume as one ages.
Based on where your injector is placing the filler, it can also alter the shape of your lips if desired. Typically it lasts for roughly 6-12 months and the results need to be kept up with additional treatments.
Why do lips swell and bruise?
Swelling with lip filler is very normal and to be expected. Most lip fillers are made from a substance called hyaluronic acid (HA) that looks the most natural in the lips. HA molecules exist in our bodies and are responsible for retaining water and making our skin look hydrated (among other things). Because they are water-loving molecules (hydrophilic), they tend to pull water into the tissue causing swelling. After a few days the fluid starts to work it’s way out as the tissue and filler balance together.
Another major reason for swelling and lip filler bruising is an injury to the tissue. This might sound scary but it’s a normal physiological response to have swelling after an injury- like a needle puncture from a procedure. The body is doing its job responding by sending healing cells to the area which causes the swelling.
These little needle punctures are also what causes the bruising. The lips are very vascular, which means they have a lot of blood vessels that are easy to poke through. The good thing is that the body will take care of the bruising naturally. The vessels will either be repaired or replaced so bruising is considered entirely normal in most cases and not a cause for concern.
Please note that even when using a cannula (an object that is not sharp) for lip filler, bruising and swelling can still occur. Needle technique is more common in the lips because injectors want to be able to be incredibly precise in this area for the best shape and aesthetic result.
Final results from either technique are usually seen between 2-4 weeks.
Types of lip filler
There are a few different types of fillers that are priced differently and are best suited for different needs. Please consult with an expert like Ali at EMA to make sure you are making the best choice. Below are some of the most popular brands of fillers used for the lips. The first two have several different consistencies of HA filler that can be used depending on your goals. A professional injector can help you decide which is best for you.
A timeline of lip filler swelling
Post-procedure you will experience swelling and bruising in your lips and they may feel hard and tender. This is common and may vary based on how your body reacts to the filler, the quality of your injector, and the use of ice during and after the procedure.
You will begin to see the swelling reduce and will get the first views of what your filled lips will look like but they are still swollen. The swelling can be managed and reduced by following some of the tips below. The pain at the injection sites should start to subside during this day as well.
The swelling and bruising should be mostly gone, leaving you with a full preview of your filled lips.
Depending how quickly you heal you may be able to see full results after 1-2 weeks. If any lumps or hardness is still felt you can start massaging your lips (if directed by your injector). For some people full results are not seen for 2-4 weeks.
Read more about lip filler swelling and how it can be an emotional rollercoaster HERE.
10 tips to reduce swelling and bruising
1.) Ice Your Lips
Icing after your procedure helps to reduce swelling and lip filler bruising. Ice immediately after the treatment to help with discomfort and swelling. Icing for 10 minutes, several times a day, for the next few days can help tremendously. 24 hours after your procedure has passed, you can begin alternating between ice and a warm compress. The warm compress can help the bruising resolve faster.
2.) Take Arnica
Ask your injector or primary care provider (PCP) for Arnica, it is also possible to buy it over the counter at most health food stores. Arnica is an herb that is commonly used to treat swelling, pain, and bruising. It can be taken 24 hours before your injections and for 2-3 days afterward. It should be noted that you should check with a healthcare professional to ensure your body will not react poorly to the herb.
3.) Avoid Heat for 24 Hours
Make sure to avoid heat on your lips for the first 24 hours. High heat can make the swelling increase or seem more pronounced. After 24 hours it may be soothing, especially for any bruising present.
4.) Avoid Exercise for a Bit
Make sure to avoid strenuous exercise for 24-48 hours after your treatment. An elevated blood pressure can increase swelling in your lips.
5.) Enjoy Some Pineapple
This is going to sound a bit crazy but eat a bit of pineapple before you come in and a bit after. Get a fresh cut pineapple and eat half the day leading up to your treatment, a quarter just before your treatment, and another quarter after. This is due to the fact that pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme found in the pineapple juice that is thought to reduce swelling and inflammation. Alternatively, you can also buy the bromelain supplements over the counter to decrease swelling even faster. It should also be taken in the 24 hours before your injections and can be used for 2-3 days afterward. These should only be taken by individuals without health risks related to the kidneys or liver.
6.) Take the Right Pain Relief Medicine
Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen even if it hurts as it can increase bruising, Tylenol is ok to take as directed
7.) Keep Your Head Elevated
Elevate your head when sleeping to reduce swelling, sleep on your back, and do not roll over onto your face
8.) Don’t Paint Those Popping Lips
Avoid makeup and lipstick for at least 24 hours, arnica ointment is ok and can help speed up the healing
9.) No Touching!
Do not rub or massage the area unless your injector specifically says to
10.) Chug! (Water)
Drink water but not alcohol. Keeping your body hydrated by drinking 2+ liters of water a day will ensure your swelling is reduced and the area heals well. Alcohol, on the other hand, has a tendency to cause inflammation which can lead to increased bruising and swelling. It is also a blood thinner that may be unsafe following a medical procedure. It is best to avoid alcohol on the day of your appointment and for the following 2-3 days.
11.) Stay Away from Salt
Bonus tip! Avoid salty foods. The hyaluronic acid in the filler attracts water, when you reduce excess salt intake you are able to lessen the swelling.
The results of your lip filler procedure
Within 7 days of your injections, you will be able to see close to the final result but remember it can take 2-4 weeks for some people. Especially for them to feel natural. These results will last on average 8-12 months. To ensure the most natural results possible consult a trained injector.
If you’re in the Lone Tree, Colorado area, Elite Medical & Aesthetic is a great choice to work with you on all of your dermal filler needs. Ali is a trained Nurse Practitioner (NP) and an artist that has numerous years of experience. She has expertly administered filler to countless happy clients that have achieved natural-looking results. EMA offers Juvederm, Versa , Radiesse, Belotero and Restylane to treat everything covered in this post. Check our services page to find out more or book an appointment.
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Lone Tree, CO 80124