Swelling after dermal fillers: What’s normal, why it happens and how to reduce it
Dermal fillers can be used to enhance a variety of areas of the face including the lips, cheeks, jawline and tear trough as well as to soften lines and wrinkles and add structure to the face. While fillers are a non-invasive procedure, all cosmetic treatments will come with some side effects, namely, swelling. Whilst post-filler swelling is entirely normal and should be expected, it can be worrying if you’re new to the world of injectables. Fortunately, we’ve spoken to Dr Sophie Shotter about how you can prevent or reduce swelling as well as what’s normal and when to seek advice.
Why do dermal fillers cause swelling?
Dermal Fillers commonly cause swelling and sometimes even bruising. The injection process disturbs the skin and soft tissue, causing minor trauma to the area, and swelling is a natural bodily response whilst the area heals.
What sort of swelling should be expected after a dermal filler procedure?
It’s normal to experience a degree of swelling after any injectable treatment. The amount of swelling varies significantly from patient to patient, but as a general rule filler placed in the temples, chin and cheeks are placed deeper, directly above the bone or cartilage. Due to this, the majority of swelling is camouflaged by the overlying tissue, and minimal swelling is evident.
More pronounced swelling is likely to occur with lip fillers. This is due to the delicate nature of the tissue. In most cases, swelling is mild to moderate, but this has significantly reduced with the introduction of more advanced filler products such as Juvederm Volift. It’s entirely normal for the lips to look very slightly overfilled for the first one to two days after treatment. By the third day, this has usually improved.
How long does swelling usually last?
Swelling subsides, typically, within a few days. It’s most apparent 24 to 72 hours after treatment before starting to subside gradually. Very occasionally, swelling can last from several days to four weeks.
How can swelling be reduced?
There are many different steps your practitioner will take during treatment to help keep any swelling or bruising to an absolute minimum. However, if you’re concerned, avoid aspirin and ibuprofen for two weeks before treatment. You can also use an arnica cream or gel on the area before and after treatment, to help control bruising.
It’s advisable to avoid exercise and alcohol for 48 hours. You can resume ibuprofen immediately if you’re experiencing any discomfort and ice can minimise swelling and bruising, especially if implemented immediately. Avoid touching the treated area and resist the temptation to massage as this can create asymmetries in the filler product.
What to do if you’re worried about swelling?
If you’re concerned about anything after your treatment, consult your practitioner for advice. They may be able to prescribe something if you’re experiencing excessive swelling or ask you to come in for an earlier follow-up. If for any reason, your practitioner isn’t giving you the help or advice that you need, contact Save Face who will be able to help.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.