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Is It Normal to Have Swelling and Tenderness After Cheek Fillers?

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There’s no cosmetic procedure that’s complete without side effects. Even if they aren’t as invasive as plastic surgery, aesthetic procedures, such as laser treatment, lip injection, or dermal filler, may still cause temporary discomfort that can last for a few days. If you want to get a cheek filler, you should prepare yourself for the possible aftereffects.

So how common are swelling and tenderness after cheek filler injections? Swelling and tenderness are two of the most common side effects of dermal filler treatment. They normally show up immediately after the procedure but they’re usually not a cause for serious concern. These side effects can resolve independently within a few hours and rarely last for more than a week. 

How Common Are Swelling and Tenderness After Cheek Fillers?

Dermal filler injections are a very popular treatment choice for facial rejuvenation today, especially for cheek augmentation. Instead of having to go through cosmetic surgery, dermal filler patients will only have to undergo a minimally invasive procedure to improve their cheek volume, enhance midface contour, and reduce facial wrinkles and fine lines.

If you’ve done your research about dermal fillers, you’d know that it doesn’t require as much preparation before the treatment session. It also doesn’t need any downtime which is why it’s one of the best procedures if you’re looking for an instant fix or immediate improvements for your facial concerns.

But like most cosmetic treatments, there are still several side effects that may occur. The most common cheek filler side effects are swelling and tenderness. They’re a normal reaction after receiving the injectable filler. Most cases of swelling also aren’t serious, ranging from mild to moderate, and can easily be managed with home remedies.

In particular, swelling after cheek fillers is usually minimal since the material is placed deep into the tissues or above the cheekbone. With this method of injection, much of the swelling and tenderness aren’t that noticeable. Moderate cases of swelling may be more visible after a lip filler treatment since the lips have soft, delicate tissues.

What Causes Swelling and Tenderness After Hyaluronic Acid Filler Injections to The Cheek?

cheek filler treatment

There are several reasons why you experience swelling and tenderness after any kind of dermal filler treatment—may it be a lip filler, chin filler, jawline filler, or cheek filler. Here’s a list of possible causes of swelling and tenderness that happen after facial fillers:

1. A natural response to skin trauma from the cheek or lip filler injection

Swelling and tenderness can be a result of the injection process itself. During the procedure, providers typically use a syringe and needle to place the hyaluronic acid filler into the cheek area.

The needle breaks through the skin barrier and disturbs the tissue, which causes minor pain and trauma that signals the body to start an inflammatory response. Swelling is usually the first stage of the inflammatory process. As the skin continues to heal, it will eventually subside and you’ll see the plumping effects of your cheek or lip fillers.

2. A possible infection or allergic reaction to the dermal filler

If you experience prolonged or delayed inflammatory reactions to your dermal filler, it may be a sign of an allergic reaction. It’s rare but some people may develop a late hypersensitivity reaction or infection from the dermal filler injection. It can be characterized by persistent swelling, redness, tenderness, itchiness,  cold sores, and rashes. If this happens, you may need to consult with your plastic surgeon or healthcare provider to discuss possible treatment.

3. Too many soft tissue fillers were placed in the injection site

Another reason for post-filler swelling and tenderness is that too much material was placed in the treatment area. Overfilling the cheeks area may lead to unexpected puffiness and it could obstruct the lymphatic drainage channels. When this happens, fluid may begin to accumulate in the cheeks and result in pronounced facial swelling.

How Long Do The Swelling and Tenderness Last For? 

The good thing about post-filler swelling and tenderness is that they’re only temporary. Mild cases of swelling and tenderness can resolve by themselves within 24 to 72 hours, while moderate cases may last up to a week. It’s rare for hyaluronic acid fillers to cause cheek swelling that lasts up to a month but if they continue to persist, you may need to check in with your provider.  

Aftercare Tips to Manage Swelling and Tenderness After Cheek Fillers

After a cheek or lip filler injection, your doctor will discuss some aftercare reminders to help manage the expected side effects. Here are some best practices to help reduce the severity of swelling and tenderness at home:

  • Apply a cold compress over the treated area for 5 to 10 minutes every 2 hours after the procedure
  • Keep your head elevated and avoid bending down to minimize swelling and bruising
  • Avoid any strenuous activity or exercise for at least 48 hours
  • Stop taking blood thinners and other supplements, such as vitamin E or fish oil, that may increase the risk of bruising and tenderness
  • Gently massage the treated area to reduce the swelling
  • Avoid using skin care products with harsh chemicals
  • Avoid going to sauna rooms or hot showers
  • Wear sunscreen when going out to minimize skin and dermal filler damage from the sun 

For Safe and High-quality Cheek Fillers, Trust the Experts at Dr. Lanna Aesthetics

Dr. Lanna and her team

Dermal fillers are an excellent non-surgical solution for addressing cheek volume loss, deflated contours, wrinkles, and fine lines around the nose and mouth. However, if you do want to get the cosmetic injectable, you should be aware of the possible side effects, such as swelling and tenderness.

Dr. Lanna Aesthetics is a trusted med spa that offers a variety of safe and effective injectables like cheek filler, chin filler, and lip filler. We have a team of experienced specialists who can expertly administer the treatment to minimize your discomfort and side effects. We also offer other cosmetic services like skin tightening, Botox treatment, body contouring, and medical weight loss. Call us today to know more about our procedures or book your first appointment.

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