Lip filler has become a common procedure because it provides great results with limited downtime. However, there is still a bit of a recovery time to consider after lip filler. We heard from experts on how to take care of your lips post-filler for a faster, smoother recovery, so you can show off your perfectly plumped lips sooner.
You may have heard about the various benefits of bromelain—an anti-inflammatory derived from pineapple—one being that it can reduce swelling. Scottsdale, AZ, facial plastic surgeon Kelly Bomer, MD says you should begin taking bromelain the morning of the procedure and continue until the swelling is diminished.
Across the board, experts advise using arnica, another well-known anti-inflammatory ingredient. Arnica can be taken orally or used topically to help speed up healing from bruising, says Dr. Bomer.
Washington D.C. dermatologist Tina Alster, MD routinely recommends OcuMend Arnica Patches ($40) to reduce bruising. New York dermatologist Jody Levine, MD recommends taking Arnika Forte ($40) tablets for a week.
Ice your lips
Like you would with any other bruise, ice your lips. Dr. Levine actually recommends using ice on the lips both before and after treatment. Icing lips before the procedure will help shrink blood vessels while icing them after the injection will minimize swelling, she explains. Dr. Bomer suggests using a cool gel pack for several days, as needed, to reduce swelling and minimize bruising.
All of these great anti-inflammatory actions would quickly be canceled out by inflammation-causing alcohol. Dr. Bomer suggests avoiding drinking alcohol the night before and the day of your appointment to decrease bruising.
Dr. Liebertz advises taking a dose of Benadryl before bed after the injection. If patients can tolerate the pill, it can help reduce post-treatment swelling, he explains.
Take a load off the day you get your lips filled and enjoy some R&R. Dr. Bomer advises avoiding exercise the day of the injection.
Stop using anti-inflammatory medications
Some steps for a better recovery come before the procedure even happens. “It’s best to prepare your body for filler injections,” explains Dr. Bomer. “To minimize bruising and swelling, stop all non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications which increase bleeding; stop Aspirin and all ibuprofen-like products for one to two weeks prior to injection date.”
Dr. Liebertz is even more strict, telling his patients to avoid all blood-thinners for a week or two ahead of the procedure, including NSAIDs and all supplements and vitamins. Talk with your doctor to see what they suggest.
Avoid excess salt
Put the chips down. Dr. Levine recommends avoiding excess salt intake for 24 hours following getting your lips filled.
Eat dark leafy greens
Eating your veggies is always important, but ahead of your lip filler appointment it becomes even more crucial. Dr. Bomer says increasing your intake of dark leafy greens and celery will help naturally decrease your tendency to bruise, thanks to all the vitamin K in them.
If you have excessive swelling, ask about Prednisone
Since Prednisone is a prescription steroid, whether or not you need it is up to your doctor. If you experience excessive swelling, which Dr. Levine says is rare but happens occasionally, talk to your doctor about taking Prednisone for a few days to bring it down.
If you get cold sores, take antiviral medication
If you’re prone to cold sores, you should get ahead of the possibility of getting one during the procedure. Trying to heal the swelling of lip filler while also healing cold sores is a big headache. To avoid this, Dr. Liebertz suggests those who have a history of oral cold sores due to Herpes Simplex Virus I start on an antiviral medication two days before the injection.
Invest in makeup that covers bruises
Admittedly this won’t physically help you heal, but it can make you feel better about going in public. Dr. Bomer says if you do get some stubborn bruises, you should invest in a dark matte lipstick to help conceal them. She advises that “if you have bruising of the white lip or any other area on your skin, Colorscience Mineral Corrector Palette ($42) really works to cover bruises.”
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