Botox And Dermal Fillers: Recovery Tips + What To Expect
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.
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:
- Ibuprofen or related NSAIDs
- St John’s Wort
- Vitamin E
- Fish Oil/Omega-3 fatty acids
- Gingko Biloba
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.
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. Keep in mind that in order to maintain your desired results periodic maintenance treatments will be necessary.