According to The Aesthetic Society, fillers are the second most popular nonsurgical procedure (neurotoxins still reign supreme), with nearly 2 million procedures performed each year in the U.S. alone. However, as common as they are, they are still medical procedures that come with risks. Here, leading facial plastic surgeons share the top things you should never do before getting filler to ensure optimal comfort and results.
Avoid Blood Thinners
“To minimize bruising, avoid taking blood-thinning products such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Advil/Motrin, and herbal supplements like fish oils, gingko, ginseng, etc. for about one week prior to your filler appointment,” says Short Hills, NJ facial plastic surgeon Alexander Ovchinsky, MD. Austin, TX facial plastic surgeon Yula A. Indeyeva, MD agrees, noting that alcohol and caffeine also thin the blood. “I recommend for my patients not to consume alcohol for three days before their scheduled procedure. If they do have it, it will increase chances for bruising and swelling. For caffeine, I suggest avoiding it during the three hours beforehand. Caffeine intake right before filler will increase sensitivity and may increase discomfort with injections.”
Put Your Botox on Hold
Scottsdale, AZ facial plastic surgeon Kelly V. Bomer, MD says, “Don’t get neuromodulator injections—Botox, Dysport, Xeomin—in the areas that your filler will go for three weeks before the filler. The filler could cause the neuromodulator to spread, potentially leading to undesired results.”
…And Other Facial Treatments
Aside from neurotoxins, having other in-office facial rejuvenation treatments done in the week or two before filler could create an issue. “Avoid thread lifts in areas filler is to be placed, as the needles could potentially weaken or cut the threads,” Dr. Bomer says. “You should also avoid facial treatments such as medium peels or lasers that cause the skin to peel or become inflamed. The compromised epithelial barrier increases the risk of infection after filler.”
Schedule Vaccines Accordingly
According to Palo Alto, CA facial plastic surgeon Jill L. Hessler, MD, you should not get the COVID-19 vaccine close to the time of any filler injection. “We recommend waiting at least two weeks after a vaccine to get a filler injection,” she explains. “The vaccine can rev up the immune response and cause a dramatic swelling reaction to the filler. This is seeming to occur less as more people are exposed, but still use caution.”
…And Dental Work
“Don’t schedule any dental work in the two weeks before or after your filler injections,” says Dr. Ovchinsky. “Avoiding dental work prevents the spread of mouth bacteria and infection.”
Cancel If You Are Sick
“Never attend your appointment while sick, or if you have a local infection in the area of planned filler use,” Dr. Ovchinsky explains. “This will help avoid infecting the filler and all potential problems that may arise from this.”
…Or You Have an Active Acne Breakout
Dr. Hessler recommends avoiding filler injections in an area where there is an active acne breakout. “This could possibly spread and infection or cause the filler to get infected.” However, if you are unsure and attend your appointment anyway, your dermatologist or expert injector should advise you either way during their examination of your skin prior to injection.