The bad news is that there is no sure-fire way to prevent bruising and swelling. The GOOD news is there ARE ways to minimize the risk of bruising and swelling.
Avoid Blood Thinners. Anything that thins your blood will cause you to bleed more beneath the skin during treatment, as your blood is not able to coagulate. This causes unsightly bruises and can increase swelling. Avoid these things1-2 weeks prior to and one week after your appointment.
Common blood thinners are:
• Green tea
• Alcohol - including wine
• Aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen Tylenol is ok, but stay away from of Tylenol Arthritis or Tylenol Migraine as they contain blood-thinning agent
• Vitamin E, Ginseng, Red Clover, Fish Oils, Gingko, Biloba, Flaxseed Oils, Omega-3, Garlic, and other herbal supplements
• Certain prescription medications such as Heparin and Coumadin
REMEMBER: NEVER stop taking a prescription medication without first consulting your doctor; these medications could be preventing deadly blood clots from forming, so always consult your MD before stopping any prescribed medication!
• Choose the right injector. Make sure he or she isn’t rushing through a session. Increasing the speed of the injections correlates to increased swelling.
• Exercise is NOT your friend post-treatment. Increasing your heart rate will cause increased blood flow thereby increasing the chance of both swelling and bruising. Plus, sweating excessively post-treatment may cause Botox/Dysport to migrate to unwanted areas.
• Do NOT rub the injection sites…even if you think you are “smoothing a lump” 1.) A well-trained injector will not leave you with lumps or bumps. You may think you have a lump when it is simply uneven swelling. Also, a lot of first-time filler patients do not know that the injected areas will be firm for 3-5 days (not noticeable to others) and try to massage the firmness out. Massaging or excessive touching, after your injector has completed your session, will only leave you with a higher rate of bruising and swelling. 2.) You could move some of the carefully placed product to other parts of your face. (Please note there is an exception for Sculptra injections so adhere to your providers instructions.)
• Ice can be your friend, as it will help alleviate pain and reduce swelling. Make sure you have gauze or soft cloth between the ice pack and your skin to avoid ice burn.
• Sleep with your head at a 45% angle by propping up on some pillows the first night after filler injections. If you lie, your blood is flowing more slowly from your head to your feet and this can increase swelling.
As a final note, always plan ahead. Most people don’t have the luxury of taking a few days off to “hide out” after a treatment, but if you plan right, you shouldn’t have to call in sick or miss out on a night out because of swelling. I always suggest first time filler patients book on a Friday so that you have the weekend to recover. Some people just simply swell or bruise more easily than others and it is better to take just-in-case precautions. Hey, who couldn’t use a weekend “stay-cation” to rid themselves of any lingering swelling?!