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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 caffeine, alcohol, and taking pain medications (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen, motrin, aspirin or advil, also vitamins, fish oil and other herbal supplements prior to your visit, to minimize the chances of bruising. Please also review “aftercare instructions” on our website.


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. This includes sunblock, moisturizing cream, lotion, foundation, makeup remover, and other skincare products.

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:

  • Facial treatment

  • Facial massage

  • Exfoliating scrub


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 tub

  • Hot shower or bath

  • Sauna

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. 


Lip fillers

  • Avoid lipstick or lip balm for 24 hours after the injections.

  • Refrain from touching your lips or puckering them. This includes kissing or drinking from a straw.

  • Be careful when brushing your teeth.

  • Drink plenty of water and maintain a balanced diet.

  • Refrain from exercise for 24 hours.


Lip filler swelling stages

  • Lip filler swelling is normal and will occur during the first 24-72 hours after the procedure.

  • Expect that the size of your lip filler will decrease 30% by day 3. 

  • Day 1 (the day after treatment): this is typically when your swelling is the worst. When you wake up, your lips may look swollen and sensitive. First-time patients to lip fillers may worry that they are experiencing a negative reaction or that the swelling is permanent. However, it should subside over time.

  • Day 2 (48 hours after treatment): your lips may be inflamed, which leaves them sensitive and bruised. Your lips may even feel bumpy to the touch. This is normal.

  • Day 3: the swelling and inflammation in your lips will start to decrease. Each day, your lips should improve in how they feel and look. This is a process that takes time.

  • Day 7: within a week of treatment, the swelling should decrease and you will be able to notice the benefits of your lip filler. It is normal for the swelling after lip filler to last up to 2 weeks. 

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 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

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