Facial fillers normally don't cause any serious adverse reactions that you need to worry about - but facial swelling is an ever-present side effect that almost all patients go through. While this inflammatory reaction is perfectly natural, some people might not enjoy the prolonged swelling shortly after injectable treatment. Fortunately, there are ways that you manage the swelling from filler injections, as well as other injection site reactions.
How do you treat facial swelling from dermal filler? While the swelling goes down within a week for most injection sites, there are some things you can do at home to shorten this period like applying topical creams or ice packs. If you want to prepare for your facial fillers, there are also some things you can avoid like sun exposure or taking certain types of medicine to make swelling less likely to occur.
Your body experiences swelling after facial filler injections because the needle often has to make its way through the skin and its connective tissues to deposit the filler material beneath. It's a normal immune reaction that your body does because it treats these needlepoint injections as an injury.
Here's what you can do after your treatment to keep the swelling from becoming worse.
For cases of inflammatory reaction, few things are as tried-and-tested as an ice pack and a tea towel in cold water. Bringing your body's temperature down disrupts blood flow and blood pressure, which lowers any swelling in the localized area. This can be particularly handy for some treatments like lip filler injections, which can often swell prominently.
If you're using cold packs and ice, make sure to not apply it too much to the skin. Temperatures that are too low can irritate your skin and may cause it to move or contract involuntarily. This can possibly nudge your dermal filler placement the wrong way, which can affect your results long-term.
Arnica is a natural substance that's long been trusted as a traditional cure for conditions like swelling, especially if it's topically applied to the skin. All you need to do is apply arnica cream to your injection site, and you should see some visible improvements in swelling in the next few days. Arnica can be bought at your local pharmacy, though you can also check if a wellness store nearby offers it.
However, you should be careful when using arnica cream since this product isn't too regulated - it's possible to get a solution with too low of a concentration to get the effects that you want. Likewise, arnica should only ever be taken as a topical solution for swelling - oral arnica can be toxic to your body if it hasn't been processed properly.
Aside from waiting it out, two other things you can do to keep swelling from getting too obvious are to hydrate and elevate. Elevating the injected area can help limit the blood supply to the injection site since it's working against gravity. For facial fillers, simply propping an extra pillow under your head when you lie down can be more than enough to elevate the area.
Hydration is also another thing you can do to make sure that your tissues heal faster from the needle injection. Since well-hydrated tissues can remove excess fluids faster throughout the body, being hydrated can also help with swelling long-term. However, you should consult with your provider if you're thinking of using topical solutions like moisturizers on your skin.
If you have time to prepare or want to make sure that you experience as little swelling as possible for your dermal filler injections, you can prep your body so it can start healing more efficiently after your treatment. Here are some things you should do (or avoid) before facial filler injection:
Alcohol in your system works as a vasodilator - which means it can widen and expand your blood vessels, potentially increasing your heart rate and boosting the flow of blood through your system. Combined with the body's natural reaction to the filler injection, this can make any swelling or bruising look more apparent even with a single injection site.
Avoiding alcohol can also help with the actual filler material itself since there's some evidence that suggests frequent alcohol intake can interfere with the benefits of filler injections. Some types of filler are more prone to this than others, but the bottom line is that alcohol should be off-limits if you're thinking of getting regular facial filler appointments.
For the same reasons above, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications should also be a consideration if you're looking to keep swelling down after your treatment. Since they're supposed to thin your blood, any procedure that penetrates the skin (like an injectable treatment) can have worse side effects as long as these compounds remain in your system.
If you are taking any NSAIDs for a pre-existing condition, always inform your doctor and facial filler before you get your procedure done. They may be able to recommend alternatives or work out a treatment plan that can accommodate your medications without having to compromise on the results of your filler injection.
Sun exposure is one of the most significant stressors on the skin, damaging it and preventing it from repairing itself properly. If you're going for a facial filler treatment, avoid the beach or tanning beds for a few weeks before your treatment to make sure that your skin is in the best possible state for an injection.
While this doesn't directly affect the amount of swelling you experience, not putting your skin through any additional stress can improve the rate it recovers from your injectable treatment - and that includes any swelling you may experience. For best results, you should also avoid sun exposure after your facial filler injections.
Dermal filler injections will always come with some degree of swelling, no matter the type of fillers used in the treatment. But for anyone worried about how long the swelling from dermal filler treatments will last, there are a few things that you can do about it. Unless they're an allergic reaction to the filler material, you can always just wait out the inflammatory reaction of your body until things come back to normal.
Dr. Lanna Aesthetics has plenty of experience using soft tissue fillers and hyaluronic acid filler treatments to help restore lost facial volume without the need for plastic surgery. Our dermal filler patients can enjoy the benefits of all types of fillers like lip injections without going through too many adverse effects. Combined with our other treatments like Botox injections, we can help you look your best without putting your body through stress.
For more information about our cosmetic procedures, concerns about discomfort after your treatment, or other product factors in your dermal filler injections, book a consultation with us now.