Updated January 17, 2022
Have you received Botox or Juvederm and experienced bruising after the treatment? Or, are you scheduled for Radiesse or Sculptra and worried that you might bruise after these dermal fillers? Even if you’re a regular at your plastic’s or dermatologist’s office, it’s worth remembering a couple of key points when it comes to preventing bruising after these cosmetic treatments.
Firstly, the type of cosmetic treatment you receive has some influence over whether you’ll bruise or not. Hyaluronic acid fillers (Juvederm, Perlane, Restylane) along with Radiesse and Sculptra are more likely to cause bruising than wrinkle reducers (Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin) because the material is thicker and the needle is injected deeper into skin folds.
Also, while most people look fine after cosmetic injectable treatments, it is best to schedule a week or two before a special event in the oft chance that you bruise.
Follow our list of do’s and don’ts to minimize bruising after Botox and fillers:
Before Your Treatment
Avoid Supplements With Blood Thinning Effects. Supplements that have blood thinning effects including dong quai, fish oil, garlic, ginger, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, green tea, red clover, and vitamin E should be discontinued 7 days prior to getting fillers. These supplements may increase bleeding especially if you’re taking blood-thinning medications like warfarin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Avoid Blood Thinning Medications. A number of medications make your blood less likely to clot (“thinner”) including aspirin, Midol, Excedrin, and NSAIDs (Advil, Motrin, Naproxen, Aleve). These medications should be discontinued 7 days before and 1 day following your appointment. If you need to take something for pain opt for Tylenol (acetaminophen). Coumadin and Plavix also have blood thinning effects but it is not recommended to discontinue them due to their medical necessity. You should be aware of the increased risk of bruising if you’re taking them.
Don’t Drink Alcohol 24 Hours Prior. Alcohol has anti-platelet effects and increases your chances of bruising. So skip the glass of wine the night before and after your treatment.
During Your Treatment
Ice the Treatment Area. Applying ice prior to injectables/fillers helps to numb the area and constricts the blood vessels making bruising less likely. My dermatologist, Dr. Glynis R. Ablon, uses a contact cooling device which desensitizes the area so I get better pain relief and helps reduce the likelihood of bruising.
Start Homeopathic Arnica. Also known as the Mountain Daisy, Arnica Montana has been used for hundreds of years to safely treat bruising and swelling. Arnica is available in both topical and oral form. VitaMedica’s Arnica tablets come in a 2-week supply bottle, or travel-friendly 5-day blister pack. VitaMedica’s Arnica+K Cream is a great companion topical. For convenience and savings, get the VitaMedica Arnica Filler Kit which combines both Arnica products. Start the day of your procedure and continue for 5 days following your treatment.
Add a Bromelain Supplement. Extracted from the stem of the pineapple, bromelain is an enzyme that can be used for swelling and inflammation following fillers. VitaMedica’s Bromelain with Quercetin is formulated with the flavonoid quercetin which along with vitamin C helps to strengthen capillaries. Start the day of your procedure and continue for 5 to 7 days following your treatment.
After Your Treatment
Ice the Treatment Area. Applying ice following your procedure also helps to prevent bruising from occurring. A bag of frozen peas works nicely to keep the area cool. VitaMedica’s Recovery Gel Pack fits perfectly in the hand, comes with a comfort strap, and innovative “Pearl Beads” that effectively contour to your shape and deliver cold (or warm) therapy without the leaks or mess that other packs may cause.
No Exercise for 24 to 48 Hours. Exercise is great for your health and well-being but is not advised in the day or two following your cosmetic treatment. Physical activity increases your heart rate, blood pressure and blood flow. Minimal blood flow allows damaged capillaries to repair faster.
Prop With a Pillow. When going to bed the evening of your treatment, use an extra pillow to keep your head elevated.
While there is no fool-proof way to avoid bruising after fillers or wrinkle relaxers, by following these tips you’ll reduce the likelihood of more extensive bruising so you can get back to what you love faster!
David H. Rahm, M.D. is the founder and medical director of The Wellness Center, a medical clinic located in Long Beach, CA. Dr. Rahm is also president and medical director of VitaMedica. Dr. Rahm is one of a select group of conventional medical doctors who have education and expertise in functional medicine and nutritional science. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Rahm has published articles in the plastic surgery literature and educated physicians about the importance of good peri-operative nutrition.