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Dermal Filler Aftercare
dermal fillers

Dermal fillers continue to grow in popularity, as they can effectively help you roll-back the clock on facial aging effects. Preparing for a dermal filler treatment session is very simple. But what steps should we take after a treatment session? In this article, we look at important dermal filler aftercare steps.

Immediately after your dermal filler treatment you may notice a few of the following things:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Needle puncture marks
  • Asymmetry
  • Tenderness
  • Itching

These issues above are common side effects from dermal filler treatment, and should resolve themselves over the next few days or weeks. Your final treatment result will be seen at about 4 weeks after treatment, after which time many patients will return for a short visit with their doctor to determine if further treatments are required to achieve the planned results.

During your treatment session, your face will be cleaned immediately after your injections. After that, you should not touch your face for 6 hours. After this time, you may clean your skin gently with water and a cleanser.

If you would like to apply makeup after 6 hours, there are special brands like Oxygenetix, which have been created for this purpose. However, it is ideal to avoiding makeup on the day of your procedure.

Things to avoid:

  • Do not expose the area to intense heat (eg. sauna)
  • Avoid pressure on the treated areas for the first few nights (eg. sleep on back of possible)
  • Avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours
  • Avoid alcohol for 24 hours
  • Do not use AHA, Retinols/Vitamin C therapy or oil based make-up for 24 hours
  • Avoid facials, facial waxing, AHA peels, IPL or energy based treatments and microdermabrasion for two weeks after treatment

Pain relief

After filler injections, pain is usually mild, but sometimes moderate. There are specific areas which can be quite painful, such as the chin and the lips. Pain relief such as paracetamol may be taken as directed by your physician – definitely consult with your physician before selecting a pain killer.

Swelling relief

To reduce swelling, you can apply a cool compress for 10 minutes every hour on the day of treatment. Always use a cold compress or wrap your ice in cloth – do not apply ice directly on your skin. A cool compress applied regularly for the first 24 hours after injections can be a great help to reduce the amount of swelling. Some patients use the supplement arnica before and after treatment to reduce the swelling.

Bruising relief

Patients who are on aspirin, fish oil or other drugs associated with increased bruising may find their risk of bruising increased. For the treatment of bruising, there are over the counter treatments available, such as Bruderm and Hirudoid. Also, some patients take Bromelaine as a preventative for bruising.


Massaging of the treatment areas may or may not be advised by your doctor. Gentle massage may be used once the pain and tenderness has resolved, but only if advised by your doctor.

Cold sores and dermal filler

There is a small chance that a dermal filler treatment may induce an outbreak of facial cold sores in patients with a previous history. Some patients find it effective to take preventative Lysine or antivirals to help reduce the risk of cold sores. If you get cold sores after a treatment, you should definitely see your doctor.

Aesthetic review

Returning to your aesthetic physician 4 weeks after your dermal filler treatment session is an important step, to review how your fillers have settled. Important to note – if you experience cosmetic emergencies such as infection or vascular occlusions, you should see your doctor immediately.

Reviewing results with your physician prior to 4 weeks is not useful as there is often a small amount of swelling still present, so the results cannot be properly judged until this has resolved. This is particularly important with regards to correcting symmetry issues. Symmetry treatments should not be reviewed prior to 4 weeks.


Cosmetic complications are rare, but can include vascular occlusion and infection. Vascular occlusions mostly occur in the treatment chair, during the treatment session, and doctors are able to see that they are developing and treat them. An area may go white, or there may be an area of skin that has the appearance of fishnet stockings, or there may be skin discoloration in a distant area where the skin wasn’t injected. After an occlusion, there also may be an area that has small blisters on the skin.

Early infections might occur after a few days after your treatment session. The patient might notice increasing redness, tenderness, swelling, heat, nodules or pus. Patients should visit their doctor if this occurs.

Lip filler After care

Lip dermal filler aftercare has some special considerations. When the lips are injected, the upper lip tends to swell much more than the lower lip, and patients often think that their upper lip has had too much filler injected into it. But once the swelling reduces, patients will realize this is not the case. The typical ratio that most people choose for their lip proportion is 40% in the upper and 60% in the lower lip, so most likely the upper lip will be smaller than the lower lip once the swelling resolves.

Wrapping Up

Dermal filler treatments are non-invasive, non-surgical injectable treatments that can help remove wrinkles, skin creases, and other unwelcome signs of aging. However, your there are some simple (yet important) aftercare steps that should be followed to ensure a safe recovery.

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