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How to Avoid Bruising with Fillers and Botox

Firstly, please be aware that even the best injectors in the country can give a patient a bruise, red spot or temporary bump with any of the cosmetic injectables.

There are virtually millions of blood vessels beneath the skin of the face, and avoiding them is virtually impossible.

Plan Ahead

It is always best to avoid planning any important work or social events for 2-7 days after treatments. If you bruise easily, you may need to plan for 2 weeks to heal. Most bruises can be covered fairly well with make-up, but not all. If you have an extremely important event like a wedding or a reunion, we would recommend having fillers done 3-4 weeks before the big day, as sometimes bruises can last for up to 14 days.

Be sure to follow our tips for Before Treatment, During Treatment, and After Treatment.

Before Treatment

  • Discontinue the following medications 7 days before treatment. The reason to stop these is that they make your blood less likely to clot (“thinner”) which can cause bruising. If you are on warfarin/Coumadin or Plavix, stay on it!
    • Aspirin
    • Excedrin
    • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Aleve, Advil)
    • Any anti-inflammatory, such as Celebrex, Arthrotec, etc.
    • St. John’s Wort
    • Omega 3 fatty acids or any Fish Oil Product
    • Vitamin E
    • Ginkgo Biloba
    • Ginseng
    • Turmeric
  • If you need pain medication, Tylenol is always fine to use.
  • Stop drinking alcohol 1-2 days prior to injections, as it vasodilates.
  • No garlic 1-2 days before injections.
  • Try eating pineapple 2-3 times for 1-2 days prior to injections (anecdotal evidence only). Bromelain supplements (pineapple extract) can have some serious side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea, so take with caution.
  • Take Arnica Montana one-day prior or the morning of injections. (We sell kits on our G Store).
  • If you have ever had a cold sore around the mouth or near the injection site please request a prescription of Valtrex or acyclovir to prevent an outbreak.

During Treatment

If you are very prone to bruising, ask Dr. Griffin to apply a numbing cream about 20 minutes before starting the injections, that will constrict blood vessels slightly to make bruising less likely. You will also be more comfortable!

If the doctor sees a spot start to bleed during the injection, she will apply immediate pressure and then ice for a few minutes to help prevent bruising.

Ask for an ice bag to apply at the end of treatment.

After Treatment

Some common injection-related reactions may occur, such as swelling, bruising, redness, tenderness, itching, and discoloration at the injection site. The intensity and duration of your filler or Botox side effects will depend on the treatment aggressiveness and your individual healing characteristics, but normally can last for one to two weeks after the treatment.

  • Remember it can take from 7-14 days for the results of cosmetic treatments to fully evolve (“settle in”). Unless something is really off, most minor problems will resolve in that time by just being patient.
  • Remember it takes Botox/Dysport/Xeomin 2-7 days for its onset of action and 10-14 days for its full effect.
  • Try to avoid alcohol for 24 hours after treatment, since it vasodilates and may increase bruising.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise except for walking for 24-48 hours after the procedure. Keep your heart rate under 100. Do not do any inversions in yoga or do hot yoga. Increased body heat will cause vasodilation which will increase the risk of bruising and swelling.
  • No excessive sun or heat until any initial swelling and redness have resolved.
  • Avoid squeezing or massaging the treated areas for several hours after treatment as this could subtly change the results.
  • No aspirin, Excedrin, ibuprofen, Aleve or Advil for 2 days after treatment. (Tylenol is always fine.)
  • If you have swelling, apply cold compresses to the treatment area for 5-10 minutes every hour.
  • If you have any pain, you may take Tylenol as necessary.
  • Occasionally, a treatment can trigger an acne flare. These side effects usually resolve naturally within 1-14 days after the treatment. Call your doctor if you need medication for acne.
  • If you do get a significantly noticeable or large bruise, try to:
    • Find good makeup to cover up. If the bruise is on your lip then lipstick should do the trick. (We have many tester shades available in our office).
    • Call the G Spa and request either a laser treatment or a TempSure (radiofrequency) treatment, as either one can help speed up the healing time after a bruise has formed. Send us a “selfie” first so that we can better advise you.
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