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Last Updated On: February 1, 2024

All That You Needed To Know About Lip Filler Aftercare

Published on: Jun 14, 2023

Lip filters have been gaining popularity in recent years, as many individuals are seeking fuller and more defined lips. For some people, lip augmentation is just a fad and following fashion; for others, it is an opportunity to eliminate various lip defects and imperfections including upper lip wrinkles and feel better about their appearance.

So with increasing demand for lip enhancement procedures, it becomes essential to emphasize the significance of proper aftercare for lip fillers.

Post-treatment care is crucial in ensuring optimal results and a smooth recovery process for patients who have undergone lip filler augmentation.

Preparing For The Lip Filler Treatment

To optimize lip injections aftercare, doctors provide patients with pre-treatment instructions to minimize the risk of bruising or excessive bleeding during and after the lip augmentation procedure. These instructions include the following:

  • Avoid coming in if you have a flu or cold.
  • Refrain from doing sports one hour before the procedure.
  • Don’t drink coffee for at least five hours because caffeine constricts blood vessels.
  • Avoid blood-thinning medications (like aspirin or certain supplements) before the procedure. 
  • Women are recommended not to undergo the procedure during PMS and on the first day of menstruation because it is when blood coagulation is reduced. Tissues become more prone to bruising, swelling, and pain during the injection.

Additionally, doctors should offer guidelines to ensure that the patients have realistic expectations regarding the recovery process, including discussing the expected timeline for swelling, bruising, and any potential discomfort. Informing patients about these aspects helps alleviate unnecessary concerns and prepares them mentally for recovery.

By thoroughly preparing patients for lip fillers aftercare through the initial consultation and pre-treatment instructions, doctors can lay the groundwork for a successful treatment outcome.

Lip Filler Aftercare

Here are the vital aspects to focus on after the lip filler procedure to promote proper healing and minimize potential complications:

  • Applying cold compresses to the lips in the first 24 to 48 hours minimizes swelling and alleviates discomfort after the procedure.
  • To allow the filler to settle properly, avoid touching, tapping, or applying pressure to the lips immediately after the procedure.
  • Refrain from excessive exercise or any activity that increases blood flow to the lips for the first 24-48 hours, as increased blood flow can potentially exacerbate swelling. 
  • Avoid hot environments, such as saunas or steam rooms, as heat can cause the blood vessels to dilate and prolong swelling. 
  • Avoid consuming hot liquids or foods that may irritate the lips. Additionally, try to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and spicy foods during the initial recovery period, as they can potentially increase swelling, discomfort, or inflammation and disrupt the healing process.
  • For maintaining overall lip health, keep the lips hydrated by drinking plenty of water and using a lip balm with moisturizing properties. Regular hydration and avoiding excessive lip licking can help preserve the integrity of the lip fillers and promote overall lip wellness.
  • Using a broad-spectrum SPF lip balm is vital for preventing sun damage to the treated area. UV radiation can lead to premature aging and degradation of the lip fillers. 
  • Use arnica, a natural herb known for its anti-inflammatory properties, to reduce swelling and bruising. 
  • Topical creams or ointments containing ingredients like vitamin K or chamomile can help accelerate healing and reduce bruising.

It’s essential to give enough time for the swelling and any other expected initial symptoms to subside. It also may take from a few days to a couple of weeks for the final results to be visible, so patients need to adjust their expectations accordingly.

Potential Complications and Warning Signs

While lip filler treatments with products like Fillmed are generally safe, there are still some potential complications that can arise after the procedure, so it’s essential to be aware of these and monitor for any alarming signals. Here are some potential risks and their associated warning signs after lip filler treatment:

  1. Allergic reactions.

Warning signs: Severe itching, rash, hives, swelling beyond the treated area, difficulty breathing, or bouts of wheezing.

  1. Infections.

Warning signs: persistent swelling, redness, warmth, and discharge.

  1. Vascular occlusion is a rare but serious complication. It occurs when the filler inadvertently blocks a blood vessel, potentially leading to tissue damage. Early intervention is critical to prevent further complications.

Warning signs: Sudden severe pain, blanching (turning pale) or mottling (blotchy appearance) of the lips, or a change in skin color.

  1. Underskin formations, or asymmetry.

Warning signs: Palpable or visible nodules, lumps, or unevenness in the treated area.

  1. Tissue damage or necrosis occurs when the blood supply to the treated area is compromised. It is a rare but dangerous condition that requires prompt evaluation and careful management.

Warning signs: Persistent pain, blanching or darkening of the skin, ulceration, or tissue breakdown.

It’s important to emphasize that these complications are relatively uncommon, and most individuals undergo lip filler treatments without experiencing significant issues.

However, being aware of the potential risks and recognizing the warning signs is essential for the patient’s safety. Doctors must inform the patients to seek immediate medical attention in case they experience any of the more serious symptoms. 

Conclusion

Proper lip filler aftercare is essential for optimizing patient outcomes and satisfaction. By following the guidelines in this article, doctors can play a pivotal role in educating patients about the importance of aftercare and ensuring they are well-informed about what to do after lip filler treatment.

A comprehensive aftercare approach is vital, from managing immediate recovery and discomfort to addressing long-term care and potential complications. By prioritizing patient safety, education, and realistic expectations, doctors can contribute to successful lip filler outcomes and promote overall patient well-being.

FAQ

How to relieve pain after lip fillers?

There are a few methods to relieve pain after lip augmentation:

  • Applying cold to the treated area can help reduce pain and swelling. Wrap an ice pack or something very cold in a clean fabric and apply it to the lips gently for short intervals (about 10 minutes at a time). Taking breaks between applications is vital to avoid prolonged exposure to cold temperatures.
  • Over-the-counter pain-relieving medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) can help alleviate discomfort. But it is crucial to follow the recommended dosage instructions on the packaging and consult with the doctor or pharmacist if the patient has any concerns or medical conditions that can affect the use of these medications.
  • Avoid rigorous physical activities for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.
  • Follow lip filler post-care instructions provided by the doctor, which may include avoiding certain foods or activities that can irritate the treated area. Adhering to these instructions can help minimize discomfort and promote proper healing.
  • Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated can contribute to overall comfort and facilitate the healing process. Moisturized lips may feel less dry or uncomfortable.

If a patient experiences severe or persistent pain that is not relieved by these measures or if you have any concerns about their post-treatment recovery, it is important to schedule a consultation for further evaluation and guidance.

How long do lip fillers take to heal?

The healing time for lips after fillers can vary from person to person. Generally, the initial phase of healing, which involves resolving swelling and bruising, can take about two weeks. Patients may experience mild discomfort, tenderness, and temporary asymmetry during this time.

Within the first few days, swelling and bruising are typically at their peak. However, these symptoms gradually subside over the following days. Applying cold to the treated area immediately post-treatment can help reduce swelling.

Individual factors, like the specific filler used, the amount injected, and an individual’s unique healing response, can influence the healing duration. Some patients may experience a faster recovery, while others may require a slightly longer time for the swelling to resolve fully.

Ultimately, the final results of lip fillers are typically evident once the swelling has completely subsided. This can vary individually, but most people can expect to see the final effects of the treatment within a few weeks after the procedure.

Patients need to have realistic treatment expectations and allow their bodies adequate time to heal for optimal results.

Can a person smile after a lip filler?

Yes, people can smile after getting lip fillers because they are designed to enhance the appearance of the lips while maintaining natural movement and functionality. Smiling is a normal and natural expression that should not be hindered by lip fillers. 

In fact, one of the lip filler aftercare instructions for a patient is to smile and massage their lips carefully after getting lip injections to spread the filter more evenly.

In some cases, immediately after the procedure, patients may experience slight tightness or stiffness in the treated area. This is a common temporary effect due to the presence of the filler material. However, as the filler settles and any initial swelling subsides, a patient should be able to smile and move their lips normally.

References

Luthra, A. (2015). Shaping Lips with Fillers. Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, 8(3), 139-142. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-2077.167269

American Society of Plastic Surgeons. In the age of selfies, America’s love affair with lips is leading to a boom in cosmetic procedures.  Published 2016. https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/press-releases/in-the-age-of-selfies-americas-love-affair-with-lips-is-leading-to-a-boom-in-cosmetic-procedures.

Haneke, E. (2015). Managing Complications of Fillers: Rare and Not-So-Rare. Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery, 8(4), 198-210. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-2077.172191.

Sito, G., Consolini, L., & Trévidic, P. (2019). Proposed Guide to Lip Treatment in Caucasian Women Using Objective and Measurable Parameters. Aesthetic surgery journal, 39(12), NP474–NP483. https://doi.org/10.1093/asj/sjz026.

Philipp-Dormston W. G. (2018). Hyaluron-Filler in der Dermatologie [Hyaluronic acid fillers in dermatology]. Der Hautarzt; Zeitschrift fur Dermatologie, Venerologie, und verwandte Gebiete, 69(6), 491–509. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00105-018-4168-8.

Ablon G. Understanding How to Prevent and Treat Adverse Events of Fillers and Neuromodulators. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2016 Dec 14;4(12 Suppl Anatomy and Safety in Cosmetic Medicine: Cosmetic Bootcamp):e1154. doi: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000001154. PMID: 28018772; PMCID: PMC5172480.