Bruising and Swelling After Fillers

August 1, 2018

If you have had a lip filler, you may notice some bruising or swelling the day after. Is that normal? What can you do?

First of all, let’s see what a filler is and how it is injected.

The filler is a thick material formed mainly by hyaluronic acid. Some compositions contain lidocaine, to ease the pain and the pressure during the injection. This is a biological substance already present in our bodies that disappears slowly as a consequence of the aging process.

The injection itself is seen by our body as a trauma, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise if you notice some bruises or swelling. This is how your body reacts to a trauma. What may surprise you is seeing a large bruise that covers your whole lip.

There are two main arteries (and relative veins) running through your lips: one inside the upper lip and one inside the lower.

When your practitioner administers the injections, there is no way to know if any of these blood vessels have been damaged. They follow a different path in everyone, so this risk is strictly correlated to your anatomy. You might have noticed your practitioner slightly drawing the syringe’s plunger before injecting. This is the only method he/she has to make sure the filler is not going inside a blood vessel.

How can we decrease the risk of bruising before the procedure?

There are two things you can do before your filler:

8 hours prior to filler injections, refrain from alcohol, garlic, and aspirin, or any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain, swelling and/or fever (like ibuprofen or diclofenac). All these things make your blood thinner and make you more prone to bruising.

Try to avoid herbal remedies; some of them, especially a plant called Hypericum, have the same action as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, making your blood thinner.

Some practitioners suggest taking arnica tablets for a few days before the procedure, while others suggest applying ice right before it, but there isn’t enough data about these practices to consider them clinically valid.

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