Botox And Dermal Fillers: Recovery Tips + What To Expect

By Fareesa Sandoval, MD May 11, 2017 12 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.


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.


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.

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

  1. 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. 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 ( However, if I was down in TX I would definitely see you guys 🙂

  3. 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. 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. 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. Rebecca says:

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

  7. 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. Dr. Kay says:

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

  9. 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 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.

      WD Staff

  10. 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. Mitch says:

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

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