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Minimizing Bruising and Swelling After Dermal Fillers with Injectable Treatments

We love the way dermal fillers rejuvenate our appearance by smoothing out lines and wrinkles, but in many cases, they may also cause temporary bruising and swelling. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize this unfortunate side effect, and possibly even avoid it altogether.

While there is never a guarantee that dermal fillers won’t cause bruising and swelling, obviously you face a much lower risk of complications when you trust your care to an experienced facility such as Glamour Plastic Surgery and Med Spa, headed by a reputable physician like Dr. Olga Bachilo.

You may also want to schedule your injections at least 2 weeks prior to any significant event you plan to attend, such as a wedding or special function, so as to ensure that any potential bruising has cleared up completely, since bruising may take between 1 to 2 weeks to subside as your face adjusts to its new, firmer contour.

Side effects such as bruising and swelling may be more or less likely depending on the type of dermal filler that you use. For example, bruising is less common when using Botulinum toxin injections such as Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin; while dermal fillers such as Juvederm, Radiesse, or Sculptra, formulated with collagen and hyaluronic acid, typically produce more bruising due to more injections and thicker gel formulations.

In order to enjoy the spectacular results that these injectable treatments provide with as few side effects as possible, we recommend preparing for your treatments properly, and following our recommendations for post-treatment recovery.

Preparing for Dermal Injection Treatments

Dr. Bachilo recommends that you consult your primary care physician for approval to suspend or reduce the use of any blood thinning medications for a day or so during treatment. For a week pre- and post-treatment, avoid the use of NSAIDs such as Naproxen, Aleve, Advil, Midol, Excedrin, and certain cold medications, as these may disrupt the body’s natural coagulation process, significantly increasing the risk of bruising. Substitute with Tylenol if you require pain relief.

Natural Remedies: Do’s and Don’ts

Certain natural supplements should also be avoided in preparation for treatment because they increase the body’s propensity to bruise when consumed regularly or in high doses. While many powerful antioxidants actually help to protect the body against free radicals and signs of aging, and are generally beneficial to take regularly, we recommend that you suspend the use of these for one week pre- and post-treatment because they also affect the viscosity of the blood and may increase the risk of bruising.

Certain herbs may also affect blood viscocity and your body’s sensitivity to dermal injections. To be on the safe side, it’s best to avoid most herbal supplements for one week pre- and post-treatment.  If you are curious about how an herbal tea or herbal supplement may affect your blood viscosity and risk of bruising, consult a qualified herbalist to inquire whether certain herbs are safe to use when undergoing dermal injections.

Naturally, you must also avoid things that increase circulation to the face and cause flushing, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, as both of these greatly increase the risk of bruising and swelling with treatment.

Overall, here is a simple list of things that you should avoid for at least a week pre and post treatment.

  • Green Tea
  • Fish Oil
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids
  • Vitamin E
  • Ginko Bilboa
  • Gingseng
  • John’s Wart
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Smoking

On the upside, there are two natural remedies that we actually encourage you to take, as these have been shown to reduce inflammation, pain, swelling, and bruising, as well as encouraging more efficient healing after treatment.

Arnica is an herb that may be purchased in various forms, including as homeopathic pellets that you can take orally under the tongue, or as a gel that you can apply directly to the skin.  This supplement is recommended when undergoing any type of surgery or cosmetic procedure to help the body process any mild trauma.  This remedy has no contraindications and is best taken beginning 4 days prior to treatment and continuing for an additional 4 days after treatment.

Digestive enzymes such as Papain and Bromelain are used by natural health practitioners to alleviate swelling and inflammation anywhere in the body and may be useful to aid in preventing swelling and bruising in dermal filler patients. These natural fruit-sourced enzymes are available in most health food stores and you may begin taking them one week prior to the procedure, and continue for at least one week afterward.

Other recommendations on the “Do” list include:

  • Topical Numbing Cream: on the day of your scheduled treatment, come in early and request a topical anesthetic to be applied about 20-30 minutes prior to your treatment, as this medication helps to prevent bruising
  • Ice Packs: applying an ice pack to the treatment area before and after treatment is also known to reduce the likelihood of bruising and inflammation.
  • Rest: It’s best to take it easy for one to two days after treatment to prevent any increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and circulation.
  • Sunscreen: It is essential that you protect your delicate skin from sun damage before and after treatment to optimize the results of your treatment while also reducing the risk of inflammation and bruising. We recommend using a product with minimum SPF 30 every time you go outdoors.


 To learn more about dermal injections at Glamour Plastic Surgery and Med Spa, contact our friendly Houston area office, serving residents of nearby areas in Texas.

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