Injections then “Now What?”: Lip Filler Aftercare and Expectations

Thanks to modern lip fillers, you can achieve the perfect plump pout in just a few minutes. You not only immediately see the results of your lip injections but also don’t have to go through downtime. How long do these fillers last?

The “life” of your fuller, more voluptuous lips will depend on the formula, from Juvederm Ultra (for even more volume) to Restyane Silk (for augmentation and lines). Typically, it takes about a month for the fillers to settle in and display your final and desired look. The results last about six months. Restylane reportedly lasts about 10 months whereas Juvederm about a year.

But like all other cosmetic treatments, lip fillers require practicing a set of routines to minimize the side effects and ensure optimal results. You may experience some tenderness and bruising; you may also have a swollen upper lip after the non-invasive procedure.

An aftercare routine promotes a smooth recovery after a lip plumper procedure.

General Lip Filler Aftercare Routine

putting on lipstick
Hold off on applying lipstick after your lip filler procedure. Using lip balm is OK after 12 hours. Photo by Juliana Malta on Unsplash
  • Since your lips will be bruised or swollen, apply ice to it after the procedure. Use an ice pack or ice cubes covered in cloth (so they won’t stick and cause pain). The ice helps with the itching, swelling and bruising.
  • Your doctor may recommend you take acetaminophen for the pain or discomfort.
  • Avoid strenuous exercises for 24 to 28 hours after the lip filler. Elevated heart rate and blood pressure from a workout can worsen the bruising or swelling. Ask your doctor if you can take Arnica for bruising. Engage in lighter exercises such as walking.
  • Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated helps your body heal.
  • An option to hydrating with water is eating fresh fruits; watch your sodium consumption because salt could easily dry out your lips.
  • If you’re getting lip fillers for a specific occasion, make sure you leave plenty of room in between your procedure and the event you’re attending, so your lips can recover adequately.
  • Ask your doctors which painkillers are OK to take after your treatment. Tylenol is often recommended. Avoid blood-thinning medication, like ibuprofen.
  • Be gentle when washing your face, taking care not to massage the lips.
  • Avoid wearing makeup on your lips for up to one day.
  • As long as there are no open areas, putting on lip balm or chapstick is OK some 12 hours after the lip plumping procedure.

What Not to Do After a Lip Filler Procedure

woman drinking from a straw
Drinking from a straw is a “don’t” after your lip filler treatment. Photo by Laura D Vargas on Unsplash

To guarantee optimal results from your lip plumper, your doctor will recommend avoiding the following after your procedure:

  • Smoking increases your risk of infection, so avoid smoking immediately after getting your lip fillers. Avoid being around others who smoke, as well, as they can also increase the risk.
  • Drinking alcohol should be avoided, too. Alcohol acts as a blood thinner, which can cause inflammation, as well as increase the likelihood of bruising and swelling.
  • Doctors often discourage patients from taking trips immediately after a procedure. The pressure in the plane can worsen the swelling and bruising. Wait at least a week before you fly.
  • Eating while the numbing agent hasn’t subsided isn’t recommended. Eat only when you’re able to feel your lips again, and when you do, don’t go for hard-to-chew, messy food.
  • Drinking through a straw will put pressure on the lips, so avoid drinks that need one.

When Should You See the Doctor Again?

lip filler injection
Lip fillers, like any cosmetic work, are going to come with side effects. Watch for excessive pain, swelling and other symptoms that need immediate medical attention.

Minor side effects are typical of any cosmetic procedure; a skilled and experienced doctor should also prevent any long-term adverse effects, which include the following:

  • Bumps and irregular surface
  • Asymmetrical lip due to improper injection technique
  • Bleeding and bruising beyond what is normal
  • Lip necrosis, when too much filler has been injected and it has obstructed blood vessels. Symptoms will vary from severe pain to discoloration.

When you experience any excessive swelling, bleeding or pain, see your doctor as soon as possible to prevent further complication.

Side effects are likely, no matter what type of cosmetic treatment you get. Because everyone’s body is different, reactions to medication or procedures are also going to be different. What you experience may not be the same as a friend who also went in for a lip plumper.

So always pay attention to your doctor’s instructions and follow the lip filler aftercare routine to the letter to ensure a smooth recovery.

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