Safe Lip Filler Aftercare; making the most of your treatment

LIP AFTER CARE (The short version).  The longer version is further down the page…

The main principles are

1 – infection control  (no touching at all for a minimum of 30 minutes post procedure)

2 – keep the product where it is put by your practitioner 

For 48 hours after treatment take special care of yourself.  Its sometimes easy to forget you have had a medical procedure.

It is absolutely critical that if you feel pain or if you see any discolouration or indeed if you’re worried in any way that you get in touch with Cat.

  • Do report any severe pain or unexpected changes in skin colour to your nurse practitioner.
  • Do expect some discomfort, swelling and/or bruising.
  • Do factor big events into your recovery time.
  • Do avoid touching where possible and always use clean hands.
  • Do avoid lipstick but its fine to moisturise gently with Vaseline.
  • Do gently ice, if you wish to, or press a cold can of drink against your lips gently afterward and use a cold compress gently later on.
  • Do sleep on your back with extra pillows.
  • Do avoid exercise and extreme heat for 48 hours.
  • Do take paracetamol if in mild to moderate pain.  Avoid ibuprofen.
  • Do take Arnica cream and/pillules to reduce your risk of bruising.
  • Do remember that the full settled effect will take two weeks.
  • Do text or call your practitioner if you are worried.
  • For more information, please read on below…

LIP AFTER CARE (The longer version)

Aftercare for Lips: Always prepare well too for best effects.

In advance make sure you know what to expect – use the initial consultation and tell your nurse all your concerns and history.  Ask questions.

Hyaluronic acid is a substance naturally found inside the human body so a reaction to this substance is extremely rare.  On average treatments will last between three and nine months.  You are welcome to come with ideas of what you would like and if you have photographs to guide us we are very happy to work with you to achieve a realistic result.  If it’s not achievable then we can talk you through why that is the case.  If your ambition is for a big increase in lip volume then we will talk to you about how this may need to be done over time.  Please don’t come for a treatment in the two weeks leading up to a big event -it may be that you would need a ‘tweakment’ or small touch up at the two week review.  It is wise to factor the review appointment into any important plans.

Swelling is the most common side effect and it happens for three reasons – the added volume of the product, the effect of having injections and the hydrophilic (water attracting) nature of the product.  Approximately 1 in 5 people will have swelling and bruising; there is always the risk of bruising and swelling because the lips are highly vascular, highly mobile and very sensitive and delicate. “Do ice afterwards! If you ice immediately after the treatment, it will help minimize any bruising.  If you ice later on in the day, it will help tremendously with swelling”.  Consensus is that if you ice well the downtime caused by swelling is likely to be approximately one day.   Some people like cold packs or a cold can of pop; you can use ice covered by something soft for five minutes or so each hour as tolerated.   Swelling is usually gone at three days. It’s worth considering whether your treatment would be best done on a Friday or Saturday so you have a day or two to recover if going to work on Monday, and let bruising and bruising settle, if you are concerned about discretion.  Try to sleep upright on the night after treatment using an extra pillow and be prepared for the maximum amount of swelling the morning after treatment.

Most clients won’t experience any pain after having dermal fillers but some people may find they have a little bit of soreness and/or mild bruising at the injection sites. Don’t forget there is a numbing agent in the product so avoid super hot drinks immediately afterwards.   We will talk to you about avoiding anti-inflammatory painkillers before and after the procedure as these can thin the blood and increase the risk of bruising, swelling and bleeding.  Ibuprofen and aspirin are the most well-known anti-inflammatory drugs; however, make sure we know about any medicines that you would’ve taken just in case.  Apart from anti-inflammatory painkillers please also avoid Saint Johns Wort and high doses of vitamin E and fish oils as these may cause worsening of bruising. It’s fine to take paracetamol at the time of treatment and – the following day, ibuprofen and an antihistamine can be taken to help with swelling and/or pain.

You may want to take arnica in the days before treatment, either as a tablet or cream and this can be continued in the days after treatment while the product settles.

General advice is to avoid intense exercise for up to a week after treatment because it can affect swelling in the area.

Although drinking alcohol won’t impact on the long-term results of having dermal fillers, it can increase bruising and swelling.  Consuming alcohol a day or two before or after a procedure could increase the likelihood of bruising and swelling in some patients. Excessive alcohol intake can also cause a level of dehydration which we would wish to avoid for a day or two around treatment.

Sunbathing, sunbeds and intense heat (such as saunas and Turkish baths) should be avoided for 1 week after treatment.  If you do go out in the sun, wear sunscreen at all times. You should also avoid exposing your skin to extreme cold for 1 week after treatment.

If you/re prone to herpes (cold sores), there is a risk, due to the insertion of the needle into the skin, that the virus may be activated. This may cause a first outbreak of a cold sore or another eruption of a previous cold sore. If you know you’re at risk, then please take your usual steps to prevent an attack or discuss taking prophylaxis with your GP.

Keep the lips moist with Vaseline. Avoid lipstick and keep your hands clean as it’s difficult not to touch even if trying not to. Do try to avoid touching the treated area for at least 6 hours after treatment. After that, the area can be gently cleansed and clean light make-up can be applied.

We’ve seen that one practice recommends that people don’t use a straw or smoke or drink directly from a bottle so the day avoid using the puckering motion but this doesn’t seem very evidence-based.

Please don’t massage the lips and if you are concerned about any little lumps and bumps, you’re welcome to text.  Please be mindful that these bumps are usually normal and can take up to 2 weeks to settle. Theoretically you can apply pressure between two fingers to smooth out lumps or swelling but we would discourage this.

On rare occasions filler can to be dissolved with further injections of an enzyme; if there is a complication for example or if at the end of two weeks you’re very unhappy with the result.  We will have allergy medicine available in case of any rare adverse event and we may need to prescribe additional medicines if they are needed.  We will always make sure you understand the processes.

Most of all, and we feel confident in this – enjoy those lips

It is absolutely critical that if you feel pain or if you see any discolouration or indeed if you’re worried in any way that you get in touch with us so that we can talk it through and make a plan for review more quickly if necessary.  If you are calling us to express a concern please text first and then try to FaceTime or Skype us or send photos so we can make a visual assessment.

Contact Cat directly by phone, text or email to arrange a consultation or to discuss any concerns.
cat@cathriona.com 07771883385