FILLER AFTERCARE INSTRUCTIONS 

One of the most common side effects associated with aesthetic injections is bruising. Even if you have never bruised before, it is always a possibility. Why? Because bruises are just a small hematoma; they occur when small blood vessels get punctured leaking their contents into the surrounding tissue. It is perfectly normal to bruise from injections.

All aesthetic injections should be done at least one month prior to any special event such as wedding, engagement, anniversary, birthday, major holiday, or photo shoot. Bruising and swelling after injections can last up to 14 days in some cases. Please refrain from drinking alcohol, and taking pain medications (NSAIDS) such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aspirin or Advil, as well as vitamins, fish oil and other herbal supplements for 3-5 days prior to your visit, to minimize the chances of bruising. Some herbal supplements may increase risk of bruising. Herbs including gingko biloba, ginseng, ginger, glucosamine, turmeric, angelica and clove all have the potential to thin the blood slightly. This can make bruising more likely, especially if more than one of these herbs are taken together.

 

Return to your normal activities

Filler injections do not require any recovery time. Therefore, you will not have to take off work or school. You can resume your usual activities right after the procedure.

Wait 24 hours to exercise

If exercise is part of your daily routine, wait at least 24 hours to work out. Physical activity increases blood flow, which may increase the risk of bruising and swelling.  

Go makeup-free

Take a break from makeup for 24 hours. 

Do not drink alcohol

Wait at least 24 hours after your injection before consuming alcohol.

 

Do not touch your face

Don’t touch your face for at least 1 day. This includes professional massages on the treated areas. 

 

Avoid other skin treatments

For the first 24 hours, avoid other skin treatments like:

  • Facials

  • Facial massages

  • Exfoliating scrubs

 

Getting these treatments too soon may reduce the effectiveness of your injections.

Do not shower right after the treatment

We recommend refraining from washing your hair and showering right after filler treatment. The heat from a shower increases blood flow to your face and causes the filler to shift, leaving you with unnatural results. You should avoid soaking in a hot tub, sitting in a steam shower, and cleansing your face with hot water.

Sit up

Sit up for the first 4 hours after getting filler injections. Bending or lying down might promote bruising and swelling.

 

Do not sleep on the treated areas

Try your best to avoid sleeping on the injected areas. 

 

Stay out of the sun

Avoid sun exposure for at least 4 hours. The heat can promote flushing and increase your blood pressure, which may encourage bruising and swelling. To be extra safe, avoid the sun for 24 to 48 hours.

It’s also best to avoid other forms of heat exposure, such as:

  • Tanning bed

  • Hot tubs

  • Hot showers or baths

  • Saunas

Pain, swelling and bruising relief

Pain is usually mild-moderate after filler injections. Tylenol may be taken as directed for pain relief. You should avoid NSAIDs (Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Motrin, and Advil) as they can increase the chance of bruising at the injection site. Gentle massage may be used to help reduce swelling and inflammation. In addition, over-the-counter Arnica cream or gel and also Arnica tablets can be used after the treatment to reduce bruising and swelling.

 

While some doctors recommend the use of cool compresses with fillers, we generally do not recommend applying cold packs or cool compresses to the treated area after the procedure, as some fillers can become hard upon cold exposure creating undesired lumps and bumps under the skin. 

 

Some patients take Bromelain supplements as a preventative for bruising and swelling. Bromelain is a group of enzymes found in pineapple juice and in the pineapple stem.

Staying well hydrated keeps the flow of fluid around your face and is the key in preventing lumps and bumps associated with facial fillers.

Cold Sores 

Filler treatment may induce an outbreak of cold sores in patients with a previous history. It is a rare but troublesome complication, caused by herpes virus reactivation. Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and herpes zoster (HSZ) virus reactivation can be observed 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. Some patients with known previous history of herpes infection take preventative antivirals such as Acyclovir to help reduce the risk of cold sores. 

Treatment during menstrual period

We advise against having any kind of aesthetic procedures done during menstruation, as the injections tend to be more uncomfortable despite local anesthetic and there are far more episodes of patients feeling faint or nauseated following the injections during this time. 

Post-treatment follow up and aesthetic review

Reviewing the results of dermal filler should be performed at 4 weeks. Reviewing prior to 4 weeks is not helpful, as there is often a small amount of swelling still present, so the results cannot be judged until this has resolved. This is particularly important with regards to symmetry. Symmetry should not be reviewed prior to 4 weeks.

Retreatment

Retreatment should occur at any time between 1-6 months after a first treatment. Once optimal results of the filler treatment have been achieved, and the patient is on maintenance injections, they might continue getting filler treatment once per year.

For any questions about aftercare instructions, please call or text Dr. DuBuske at:

  • 703-345-0000 if you are a patient in our McLean, Virginia practice

  • 617-965-0000 if you are a patient in our Newton, Massachusetts practice