Tips on how to minimize the chances of bruising and swelling after injectables, and what to do if they happen.
Minimize bruising and swelling when receiving injectable treatments.
Treat Swelling after Dermal Fillers with the lymphatic drainage technique
Schedule your appointments with potential downtime in mind.
No one likes to bruise or swell, but with any injectable procedure you must take these risks in mind when scheduling. At Well Medical Arts we take many precautions to minimize these side effects but will never be able to eliminate the possibilities. DO NOT SCHEDULE A FILLER APPOINTMENT LESS THAN 2 WEEKS PRIOR TO ANY MAJOR EVENT. Keep in mind that everyone resolves bruises and swelling differently. As a rule of thumb expect a bruise to last 5-10 days and swelling a little longer.
If you have experienced swelling it is advised that you give your body at least 2 weeks to heal before scheduling a follow up appointment. This gives the swelling time to resolve so that the dermal filler work may be accurately evaluated.
What you can do before your treatment to minimize the chance of bruising.
To a large extent your results will depend on how well you and your injector are communicating about what you want and expect. If you are both clear and realistic, treatments tend to go well.
AVOID BLOOD THINNING MEDICATIONS
Medications to possibly discontinue 7 days before treatment. Some of these may be needed for medical reasons so check with your doctor first. The reason to stop these is that they make your blood less likely to clot (“thinner”) which makes it easier for you to bruise. If you are on warfarin/Coumadin or Plavix, stay on it!
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Aleve, Advil)
- St. John’s Wart
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- Vitamin E
- Ginko Bilboa
If you need pain medication, Tylenol is always fine to use.
- Stop drinking alcohol 1-2 days prior to injections. (Red wine is the worst offender)
- No garlic 1-2 days before injections.
- Try eating pineapple 2-3 times for 1-2 days prior to injections (anecdotal evidence only). Bromelain supplements (pineapple extract) can have some serious side effects so we don’t recommend this.
- If you have ever had a cold sore around the mouth or near the injection site be sure to talk to your injector before treatment. They may want to prescribe you Valtrex or another anti-viral medication to prevent an outbreak.
Arnica Montana is clinically proven to reduce the chance of bruising and swelling
Arnica Montana is one of our most effective pre treatment options for reducing the risk of bruising. Arnica Montana is a Homeopathic remedy and can be found in low dosage strength at most health food stores (the purple vial). If you know you are someone that bruises a lot Well Medical Arts sells a surgical strength version used by many plastic surgeons called SinEcch (the Blue Box). For all of our dermal filler patients we included a complimentary 1 day dose of Sinecch (the yellow box).
Start to take Arnica Montana starting one-day prior to any injections.
* Don’t take Arnica Montana if you have high blood pressure or heart problems.
Vitamin D can help minimize swelling, and as Seattleites we should all be taking it anyway.
Researchers have discovered specific molecular and signaling events by which vitamin D inhibits inflammation. Low levels of vitamin D failed to inhibit the inflammatory cascade, while levels considered adequate did inhibit inflammatory signaling.
Well Medical Arts stocks a high quality liquid Vitamin D that you can pick up at your next appointment.
Post injection treatment instructions
Warm compresses to reduce swelling and ice to minimize bruising.
Some common injection-related reactions may occur, such as swelling, bruising, redness, tenderness, itching, and discoloration at the injection site. The intensity and duration of your filler or Botox side effects will depend on the treatment aggressiveness and your individual healing characteristics, but normally can last for one to two weeks after the treatment.
- Remember it can take from 1-7 days for the results of cosmetic treatments to fully evolve (“settle in”). Unless something is really off, most minor problems will resolve in that time by just being patient.
- Remember it takes Botox/Xeomin 3-7 days to fully take effect.
- Try to avoid alcohol for 24 hours after treatment.
- No exercise except for walking for 24-48 hours after the procedure. Keep your heart rate under 100. Do not do any inversions in yoga or do hot yoga. Follow any instructions your injector gives you.
- No excessive sun or heat until any initial swelling and redness have resolved.
- Avoid squeezing or massaging the treated areas for several hours after treatment as this could subtly change the results. (If you were treated with the injectible Sculptra, please disregard this note and massage as you were instructed.)
- Proper and frequent use of sunscreen is always important. The sunscreen should offer broadband protection (UVA and UVB) and have a sun protection factor of SPF 30 or more. Wear a hat when outdoors. I have created a list of some of my favorite sunscreens to help you find a good quality product.
- No aspirin, Exedrin, ibuprofen, Aleve or Advil for 2 days after treatment. (Tylenol is always fine.)
- If you have swelling, apply warm compresses to the treatment area for 5-10 minutes every hour and watch the lyphatic drainage video linked above to learn how to speed up the process of removing the swelling.
- If you have any pain, you may take Tylenol as necessary.
- Occasionally, a treatment can trigger an acne flare. These side effects usually resolve naturally within 1-14 days after the treatment. Call your doctor if you need medication for acne.
- If you do get a bruise or redness, try to:
– Find good makeup to cover up, if the bruise is on your lip then lipstick should do the trick.
– Call your injector and ask if they have a pulse dye laser, as often this can help speed up the healing time after a bruise has formed.
If you have any more questions about how to avoid bruising with fillers please fell free to call the clinic at 206-935-5689 to schedule a consultation.
10 Tips to Minimize the Risk of Bruising After Wrinkle Reducers & Dermal Fillers
Cosmetic injectable treatments, such as wrinkle reducers and dermal fillers, can work wonders in filling out lines and wrinkles, but they can cause temporary bruising and swelling. Many patients ask us how to minimize or prevent bruising and the good news is that there is a lot you can do before and after your appointment to minimize any unsightly coloring– and in some cases prevent it all together.
No injector can guarantee that you will not bruise from injectable treatments, but to avoid having any serious side effects it is always best to go to the most expert injector in your area. Also, to be on the safe side, please don’t plan any special events for at least 2 weeks after your injectable appointment. Remember, treatments can take anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks for results to fully settle in, so unless something is really off, most minor problems will resolve in that time by just being patient.
If you are just having a wrinkle reducer treatment (Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin) these suggestions are still good to follow even though bruising is less common. However, dermal fillers like Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse, Sculptra and Bellafill are slightly more invasive and following these instructions will help to prevent bruises or reduce the appearance, quicker. Please visit https://wellmedicalarts.com/pre-and-post-injectable-instructions/ for additional information and videos.
Here are a few pre and post treatment tips that can help you avoid any unnecessary bruising:
Avoid Aspirin & NSAIDS
Aspirin, NSAIDS (Motrin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Aleve, Advil), and NSAID-containing products (Midol, Excedrin, cold medicine) are the most potent of the “bruisers”. All of these medications stun your platelets, which are the cells in your bloodstream that stop bleeding and bruising when your blood vessels and capillaries are damaged. If your platelets can’t do their job in sealing off the tiny capillaries that are disrupted during injectable treatments, your likelihood of getting a bruise is much higher than normal. Avoid all of these medications for at least a week prior to your treatment. If you need pain medication, please consider Tylenol as a substitute.
Avoid Wine & Alcohol
Wine and alcohol also have some anti-platelet effects and increase your chances of bruising in the same way that Aspirin and NSAIDS do. We hate to ruin any fun plans, but avoiding alcohol the night before and the night you have your injectable treatment really helps to prevent bruising.
Avoid Green Tea, Vitamin E, and Herbal Supplements
High doses of Green Tea, Vitamin E, Fish Oil, Gingseng, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Ginko Bilboa, Flaxseed Oil, and herbal supplements like St. John’s Wart, Garlic, Red Yeast Extract and many others, act like mild versions of prescription blood thinners and definitely increase your chances of bruising. In particular, Green Tea Extract is known to be one of the most potent “bruisers” on the market, so make sure you curb it well before any injectable treatment. Because there are so many herbal supplements that have unpredictable effects on bleeding and bruising, we recommend stopping ALL supplements at least one week before your treatment.
Skip the Gym
No exercise except for walking for 24-48 hours after your treatment. Keep your heart rate under 100. Do not do any inversions in yoga or do hot yoga. Damaged capillaries need two things to repair themselves after an injection; functional platelets and minimal blood flow. Exercise and physical activity increases your heart rate, blood pressure, and the flow of blood through arteries, veins and capillaries, including the ones that get damaged during injectable treatments. Also, avoid squeezing or massaging the treated areas for several hours after treatment as this could subtly change the results. If you were treated with the injectable Sculptra, please disregard this note and massage as you were instructed.
Choose a Qualified Injector
This seems like a no-brainer, but be careful. There are no enforceable regulations on who is allowed to inject wrinkle reducers and dermal fillers, so there are tons of unqualified injectors out there. Be particularly cautious about getting injected in clinics offering extremely low prices because they tend to rely heavily on counterfeit products.
Apply a cold pack to the treatment area before and after your injection. Cold applied to the skin constricts blood vessels and constricted blood vessels are smaller and less likely to get in the way of the needle. An added bonus, the cold will desensitize the area so you will feel less pain.
If your injector applies numbing cream about 20-30 minutes before starting the injections, it will help prevent bruising and make you more comfortable during the treatment. Some anesthetic creams constricts blood vessels slightly making bruising less likely. When you make your appointment, ask if you should come in early if you want to get numbing cream.
You can try taking two supplements that have been shown to prevent bruising; Arnica and Bromelain. Take Arnica pills 4 days before and after the procedure to aid in potential bruise reduction. Arnica is an herbal dietary supplement that has been used for centuries to reduce bleeding and inflammation. Place four pills underneath your tongue, twice a day. If you do bruise, you can take it each day until bruising has subsided. Bromelain is helpful in reducing any swelling after the procedure and may be taken three days prior to your treatment and continue for one week after. Bromelain is a pineapple-based enzyme that also helps to reduce inflammation and bruising.
Arnica and Bromelain are both available in our clinic for purchase, and there is enough in the bottle for several treatments. If you have ever had a cold sore around the mouth or near the injection site be sure to talk to your practitioner before treatment, so that they can properly prescribe you Valtrex or another anti-viral medication to prevent an outbreak.
No excessive sun or heat until any initial swelling and redness have resolved. Proper and frequent use of sunscreen is always important. The sunscreen should offer broadband protection (UVA and UVB) and have a sun protection factor of SPF 30 or more. Wear a hat when outdoors. I have created a list of some of my favorite sunscreens to help you find a good quality product.
Another important part of getting injections is timing. Try to make your appointments at least two weeks prior to a big event just in case you have swelling or bruising. You should also make sure they are within your budget when you do get the treatment. There are times you might need more areas treated and sometimes less, depending on how your body responds. Injectables work differently on everyone, so you may not get the same results in terms of how long the treatments last as your friend.
What happens if you bruise?
If you do bruise, there is help. First of all, continue icing the bruised areas once you get home as long as you can. Next, take your Arnica as directed. A high-level concealer will also come in handy to hide those temporary bruises. If the bruise is on your lip, then lipstick should do the trick. The intensity and duration of your filler or Botox side effects will depend on the treatment aggressiveness and your individual healing characteristics, but normally can last for one to two weeks after the treatment.