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Botox And Dermal Fillers: Recovery Tips + What To Expect

Written by Fareesa Sandoval, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist on May 11, 2017 56 Comments

botox and filler recovery

Injectables, including Botox and dermal fillers, are powerful and safe non-surgical cosmetic treatments that can reverse the common signs of aging. There are many types of injectables, each with the ability to address different problem areas, from smoothing forehead wrinkles to correcting hollow cheeks.

While injectable treatments are fast, relatively painless, and require very little recovery time, it is always beneficial for patients to understand how these treatments work before opting for them.

Procedure Basics

While injectable procedures may differ in terms of benefits and formulations, the overall process is fairly similar with the neurotoxin (i.e. Botox) or filler being administered into a targeted area via an ultra-fine needle.

Injectable treatments are partly art and partly science. The injector must use her past experience and aesthetic eye to determine variables such as the most appropriate injectable (there are currently many to choose from), amount, and locations to create the patient’s desired end result (and prevent overuse). As such, it’s extremely important for the patient to select a skilled provider with experience using a variety of neurotoxins and fillers.

How Soon Will I See Results?

Most patients will appreciate immediate results following their filler treatment. However, it can take anywhere from 7-10 days following injection to see the “final result” (when the treatment fully settles and any procedure-related swelling or bruising fully subsides). With Botox, results are not apparent right away; it can take anywhere from 3-4 days up to 2 weeks to see the final effect.

Potential Side Effects

Overall, the side effects of injectables are relatively minor (one of the reasons why injectables have become so popular). Common effects from filler include bruising, swelling, redness, or tenderness around the injection site, all of which will resolve after a few days to a week. It is recommended to allot a full week for recovery before attending any big event after filler. With neurotoxin, the patient is typically fine to attend social engagements the same day since the side effects are usually limited to 30-60 minutes of temporary swelling at the sites of injection.

Before Your Treatment

Many injectors will advise patients to stop taking the following medications and supplements one week prior to their procedure and to continue abstaining from them for 3-5 days after treatment:

  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen or related NSAIDs
  • St John’s Wort
  • Vitamin E
  • Fish Oil/Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Gingko Biloba
  • Ginseng

Here are some additional tips for first time injectable patients.

Recovery Tips

Common side effects associated with injectables can be minimized by following these tips:

  • Always follow the instructions provided by your injector, both before and after treatment.
  • Remain in an upright position for 3-4 hours following injection.
  • Avoid sleeping for 3-4 hours to avoid inadvertently rubbing or pressing the treatment area.
  • Arnica supplements can be taken to minimize bruising.
  • On the night following your treatment, sleep with your head elevated (propped up with an extra pillow) to help with swelling.
  • Avoid bending over, straining, and aerobic exercise for 3-4 hours post procedure.
  • Do not massage treated areas after treatment unless specifically instructed to by your provider.
  • Limit your exposure to sun and heat until swelling/redness fully subsides.
  • Address any swelling after filler by lightly applying a cold compress to the treated area for 5-10 minutes every hour.
  • Tylenol can be used to address pain/tenderness.
  • Avoid other treatments like facials or chemical peels for at least 24 hours following injection.
  • Call your injector if you experience persistent severe pain at the injection site or blanching of the skin.

Revisions

Some patients may need a slight touch-up or revision to their treatment in order to achieve their desired result. Patients should wait for 1-2 weeks before any revisions can be performed to allow the results of the initial treatment to settle and fully kick in.

Think About Maintenance

While they are long-lasting, the effects of neurotoxins and dermal fillers will eventually wear off. Typically results can last anywhere from four months to three years depending on the specific product used. However there are some simple ways to make Botox and dermal fillers last longer. Keep in mind that in order to maintain your desired results periodic maintenance treatments will be necessary.

 


Fareesa Sandoval, MD

Dr. Sandoval is Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is a member of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), the American Academy of Dermatology, the Dermatology Foundation, the Texas Medical Association, and the Travis County Medical Society. Dr. Sandoval’s interests include adult and pediatric medical dermatology, skin cancer management, and cosmetic dermatology.


56 Responses to “Botox And Dermal Fillers: Recovery Tips + What To Expect”

  1. Avatar Debra says:

    Great Blog. We tell our patients that lip injections are good for everyone and they are not painful.
    Thanks for sharing this blog.

  2. Avatar Jen says:

    I have always been self-conscious about the number of wrinkles that I have on my face. They are particularly deep and numerous around my eyes and mouth. I have been thinking about getting dermal fillers to try and help the problem, so I really appreciate this information. I found it really interesting when you said that most patients will see immediate results following their treatments, and more permanent results can settle in within 7-10 days. That really is incredible- I’ll have to check this out!

    Unfortunately I’m in Maryland so I will probably go to this provider (http://www.sollaylasercenter.com). However, if I was down in TX I would definitely see you guys 🙂

  3. Avatar Kylie says:

    Your site is awesome! I found it on Bing and couldn’t resist reading it. You have some good information here. Thanks for posting!

  4. Avatar Dr. Potter says:

    Just wanted to share some feedback, I showed this article to a perspective patient in-office and it really helped them understand how recovery will be. This is a great resource!

  5. Avatar Larry says:

    I appreciate how you pointed out that it takes about 7-10 days to see the final result for botox. My wife has been thinking about getting botox, and has been wondering how quickly she would see results from it. It’s also good to know that potential side effects include bruising and swelling around the injection site.

  6. Avatar Rebecca says:

    Thanks for sharing the information about Botox and dermal fillers. Great blog!

  7. Avatar Joy says:

    Thanks for letting me know what medications I should avoid before I undergo treatment. It is good to know that these procedures have minimal side-effects and the results could be seen in just a short time. I’m looking forward to a renewed me in just a bit!

  8. Avatar Dr. Kay says:

    Great post, thank you for sharing the information about Botox and Dermal Fillers.Keep posting.

  9. Avatar Sheila says:

    I’ve read that it may take weeks for side effects to show up. Is that true?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Sheila, thanks for reading our post and for submitting your excellent question! First, I’d like to point out that the most common side effect (bruising) tends to show up shortly after injection and resolve on its own. There is a small percentage of the population who may experience an allergic reaction to Botox (less than 5% per https://www.realself.com/question/the-chances-developing-sort-allergic-toxic-reaction-botox) but those symptoms also usually show shortly after the treatment.

      Are you experiencing any sort of issues after undergoing treatment? If so, please feel free to give us a call to discuss more in-depth.

      Thanks,
      WD Staff

  10. Avatar Kayla says:

    I didn’t know that dermal fillers are powerful and safe non-surgical cosmetic treatments that can reverse the common signs of aging. My aunt wants to have fewer wrinkles on her face. My mom suggested having dermal fillers and shared this article with her. It says to limit the exposure to sun and heat until swelling/redness fully subsides.

  11. Avatar Mitch says:

    Thanks for this information, we’ve sent patients to your blog for information on occasion. Keep on posting!

  12. Avatar Jenna says:

    It is nice that you can see results from botox fillers as soon as a week later. I am getting married this summer and want to look my best in the photos. I think that getting botox a couple of times before the big day might be a good idea.

  13. Avatar Gary says:

    It’s good to know that most people see immediate results after a Botox treatment, like you said. My wife has been thinking about getting Botox for a while now. She is looking for something that won’t have a long recovery process and that will give her results quickly. It sounds like this is a good option for her then.

  14. Avatar Gerty says:

    I had no idea that you should abstain from fish oil or vitamin E for a few days before the procedure. My aunt has been talking about getting some Botox done, but I know that she takes these supplements. I’ll be sure that she knows that she’ll need to stop taking these for a few days before her procedure and hope that she’ll be more prepared for it.

  15. Avatar Hazel says:

    Thanks for the information that dermal fillers will eventually wear off so it requires maintenance and it should last between four months and three years depending on the product used.

  16. Avatar Jean says:

    Thank you so much for putting this information out there! I had fillers today, and I was so nervous I couldn’t remember what they told me to do or not to do. They are closed now so I couldn’t call, and I was just thrilled to find your site. You’ve answered all my questions! Now I can relax 🙂

    Jean G.
    6/12/2018

  17. Avatar Georgia B says:

    Thanks for providing such detailed recovery tips! My mom is planning to go get dermal fillers sometime this summer. It would be really great for her to know to sleep with her head elevated the night after her treatment!

  18. Avatar Rachel says:

    I’ve been considering cosmetic injections, and your article provided some excellent information on how to make these injections last longer. I especially liked your tips on abstaining from medications, like aspirin and ibuprofen, for at least a week before and after receiving treatment. I’ll have to keep these tips in mind as I prepare to get cosmetic treatments.

  19. Avatar Bram says:

    Thanks for the tip about abstaining from those things! I didn’t know that I shouldn’t be having Gingko before hand! What happens if I do?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Bram, Thanks for reading our post and for submitting your excellent question! Gingko often causes some blood thinning, which in the case of Botox treatments can increase the risks of bruising post-treatment. That’s the reason why we encourage users to stop prior to their injectable treatment.

      Thanks again!

      –WD Staff

  20. Avatar Rachel says:

    I didn’t know it can take 7-10 days to see final results from a treatment. Will keep that in mind when I get my treatments done.

  21. Avatar Robert says:

    So 57 y. o. guy in SoCal also profession has me exposed to sun a fair amount as cross country driver, but exercise alot, have a semblance of a six pack under slight baby fat. However, my face cheeks and temple area were starting to look gaunt/hollow man effect? In recent years so considered fillers. Did homework and found NP with fantastic 5 star reviews. Has site explaining procedures or combos. Thought about getting the Juvaderm and Voluma, but when I arrived she ascessed and recommended Restalyne. So got 3 vials/shots $675 apiece, then she noticed right cheek was more hollow still and showed me with hand held mirror. I agreed to another vial to pop it out. Fyi as others said not really painful, just weird feeling, crunching sound of the fillers going in. I said from get go not afraid of needles, as have visible tatts on arms, however, just the weird feeling although otherwise comfortable in very nice office with view outside about a mile or so from ocean, it surprised me despite my resolve to power through it, and consider myself quite a trooper, I started getting “fuzzy” and lightheaded a bit, not over the edge, but she called for assistant a very attractive spinner type who brought me in cold Tropicana juice, those kids type with the straw. As soon as I got about half the pack in me, started feeling normal again, with cold pack on forehead, and little hand held fan. NP said she has guys pass out, and girls all the time. So they are prepared, is not really a big deal. She explained jaws would be sore for awhile, when chewing etc. And not to touch mess with face for a day, when then she suggested by using a gloved finger in my mouth to show me how to massage my cheeks myself to even out product a bit. Said absolutely no excercise/gym for a day, but though I didn’t have much of an appetite after, I still did errands after like go to mall to return shirt etc. Even considered visiting a lady friend, but got late and decided to call it, and go home and relax. Then I realized despite my jaw soreness how hungry I really was, as I demolished leftover Panda express. Watched a little TV (it’s only 19″ haha) started drifting off, so off to bed. Had good long rest, didn’t do anything unusual like prop up head, slept on both sides. As time off work slept in, still relaxing in afternoon. Less than 24 hours since treatment and feeling better, cheeks feel like I’m a squirrel with a mouthful, and jaws still a little sore, but much better already. Hope helps, and u know what to expect during and after treatment.

  22. Avatar Sara says:

    Hello,

    I recently got fillers for the first time in my tear trough and lips. I am a little worried about under my eyes, it is bruised which I expected, but appears bumpy (day 2) …my provider said you can’t get bumps there because there isn’t enough product and that it will resolve in a day or two. Is this accurate??

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Sara,

      The bumps you describe can be a short-term side effect of treatment. I was wondering if you saw your provider in person about this issue? If not, we would recommend you having them check the area just to make sure you do not require either more filler or professionally manipulating the area through message.

      While it is true that this may resolve on its own without intervention, we would still recommend you being examined by your provider.

      I hope that helps!

      WD Staff

  23. Avatar Bella says:

    I have allergic skin, i cant use any cosmetic on my skin, i want dermal filler treatment for my lips, it create any side effects on my skin, can i use this treatment or not.

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Bella,

      Thanks for your great question. Allergic reactions to fillers, while rare, is possible. Since you have a history of allergy related issues we would recommend you seeing a board certified dermatologist for this treatment. A dermatologist will be able to look at your health history and verify your candidacy for the treatment.

      We hope that helps!

      –WD Staff

  24. Great blog, information you provided on botox and dermal fillers. Was helpful. Thanks for sharing with us.

  25. Avatar Elizabeth says:

    I have been getting Botox for a couple of years now and very pleased with results. This morning I took the plunge and did the filler treatment on my lips and around my “frown lines”!” It’s been 5 1/2 hours and so far everything is looking great! I do have some swelling but I know that was to be expected. My Dr told me to eat as much pineapple and kiwi 48hours prior to help with the healing! I happen to love both. I really think there must be something to it because so far I’m not seeing any bruising and I’m doing really well! I’m excited to see results in a few days!

  26. Avatar Emily says:

    People are using botox and dermal fillers widely but it is important to do your research and get it done by a professional. Nice post with lots of information here for new users. Thanks.

  27. Avatar William says:

    These recovery tips is a hint up for me. I will be undergoing fillers next week and I am scared if any problems may occur.

  28. Avatar Sherry says:

    I had juvederm fillers 2 days ago for eyelid sagging. My left eye shows improvement, but my right eye (the worst eye) shows very little if any change. When I raise my eye brows, I can feel a section that feels somewhat puffy. The injector injected in the brow and also the temple area. She has a great reputation so I’m just wondering if I need to allow more time to see final results, or if I’ll need more fillers. $900 is a lot to spend to not see good results.

    Thank you!

    Sherry

  29. WD Staff WD Staff says:

    Hi Sherry,

    I’m sorry to hear about your experience! The good news is that the final result may need more time to fully develop. So hopefully a better result will begin to materialize over the next few days.

    You may want to contact the injector and advise her of the current situation. Ideally you should go back for an in-person assessment so the provider can determine the issue and do a revision if necessary.

    We hope that helps!

    Thanks,
    WD Staff

  30. Thanks for providing these great recovery tips, we’ll make sure to share them with our patients. Will link to it from our site. Would appreciate a link if your up for it as well

  31. Avatar Emily says:

    There are a lot of questions when one goes for dermal fillers. Thank you for the answers and informative post on dermal fillers.

  32. Avatar Skylar says:

    I had no idea that patients needed to remain upright 3 to 4 hours after getting dermal fillers,thats good to know!

  33. Very accurate post! From procedure, recovery tips, side effects to post care everything is mentioned. We’ll make sure to share with patients.

  34. Avatar Coco says:

    I love my Botox!

  35. Avatar Hamilton says:

    I am planning to take Botox treatment but lil confuse about the recovery time. Thanks for the article.

  36. Avatar Vivian says:

    TLDR side effects usually are pretty minor like bruising or redness. Simple procedures that provide big results without the any pain or side effects!

  37. Thanks a lot for this. A great blog and very informative. Thanks again.

  38. Avatar Rebecca says:

    Thanks for explaining that we’ll probably be recommended by our injector to stay upright for at least 3 hours after the botox treatment is done. My sister and I have discussed getting botox injections together to help combat some of the facial wrinkles we’ve developed and boost our confidence. I’m glad I read your article and got a better idea of what we can expect from the botox recovery process!

  39. Avatar stuart says:

    Really nice information about Botox treatment. Thanks for sharing.

  40. Avatar Megan says:

    I had really really deep and prominent wrinkles on my face, they were horrible. Botox has changed my life.

  41. Avatar Cindy says:

    Had fillers around my mouth and have bad bruising. How long will it take to get better?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Cindy,

      We’re sorry to hear about the bruising. The time it takes for bruising to subside definitely depends on the individual patient, but most bruising clears up within 3-5 days.

      As always, we would advise you to contact your provider if you have any concerns.

      Thanks,
      WD Staff

  42. Hey there!!! This is a great post. Thanks.

  43. Avatar Spbgesp says:

    What about a silk sleep mask? What are your thoughts about wearing a silk sleep/eye mask at bedtime – the night of injection plus any other night? Obviously these masks are very loose fitting and don’t apply pressure but I am curious what the recommendation would be given that the mask covers the areas of injection. I wonder if voluma in the cheek area would be affected or if the under eye or apples of cheek would be negatively affected.

    As you mentioned elevated head and laying on the back are important but…what if while asleep you end up on your side…how bad is that the night of filler (eye/cheek)?

    If you feel like they flattened a bit overnight, can that be fixed or will new filler be needed?

    Great article!
    Thank you.

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Spbgesp,

      Great questions! To date, I have not heard of a benefit from wearing a sleep mask. So the case is still out on that. But, as you mention, sleeping elevated especially post injection is very important. Ending up on your side or stomach has been shown to negatively effect results, so its always best to do everything in your power to make sure you remain elevated and on your back. I’ve heard of patients putting wedging themselves between body pillows (to their left or right) to make sure they stay in position!

      Should you feel that your filler flattened over night we suggest reaching out to your provider immediately. They may request you to come in for an assessment.

      We hope that helps!

      Thanks,
      WD Staff

  44. Avatar julia says:

    I am thinking of having this done. But I’m very scared. Can having Botox cause different problems?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Julia,

      Thanks for reading our post and submitting your question. As always, we recommend discussing side effects with your injector prior to receiving treatment. With that out of the way, the side effects of Botox are mild and typically include bruising, swelling, and pain at the injection site. These typically subside on their own after a few days.

      We hope that helps!

      Thanks,
      WD Staff

  45. Avatar Daniel says:

    Thank you for these tips. They will help me bruise less in my next injection 🙂

  46. Avatar Kate says:

    Interesting to know that you shouldn’t massage treated areas. I wont touch it I promise ha

  47. Avatar Leiv says:

    Thank you for sharing the recovery tips for botox. I am starting to get my botox from next week. I hope it goes well for me. Thank you for the helpful tips.

  48. Avatar Blake says:

    Thank you for sharing such well written, informative article Fareesa. I am studying botox and filler treatment and doing my research online and your article has helped especially the recovery tips.

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