Prevent Bruising After Botox and Dermal Fillers With These Tips

Written by Lela Lankerani, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist on September 7, 2018 7 Comments

bruising after botox and fillers

Injectable treatments like Botox and dermal fillers have become incredibly popular as they have the ability to treat symptoms of facial aging without the pain and necessary recovery time of cosmetic surgery. Injectables, however, do sometimes come with one negative side effect: bruising (or swelling) around the injection site.

In one study, nearly 24% of all injectable patients experienced some degree of bruising post-treatment. Fortunately, most post-treatment bruising is minor and resolves on its own within a day or two. There are also simple things patients can do to decrease the likelihood (and intensity) of bruising.

Bruising Prevention: Before your Treatment

Planning ahead can decrease your chances of post-injection bruising! Here are some simple ways to minimize any bruising after a Botox or filler treatment:

Choose the right injectable

Certain injectables are more likely to cause bruising than others. For example, hyaluronic fillers like Juvederm and Restylane have an increased risk of causing post treatment bruising as they are more viscous and are often injected deeper into the skin. In contrast, Botox and other neurotoxins cause less bruising as they typically do not penetrate the skin as deeply.

It’s always a good idea to talk to your dermatologist or injector about your concerns. They may be able to recommend injectables that have the lowest propensity for causing post-treatment bruising.

Choose the right injector

As with any professional cosmetic treatment, choosing the right provider is critical. An expert injector will have years of experience using a multitude of injectables. This experience often helps them to develop a sound injection technique that can minimize post-treatment bruising. Choose an injector who is properly credentialed and listed as a qualified provider by the manufacturer of the injectable.  If not a physician, be sure that the injector you choose is supervised by a physician.

Avoid blood thinning medications and supplements

Most injectors will advise their patients to cease taking any medication or supplements that cause thinning of the blood or restrict the blood’s ability to properly clot (two factors that can increase the likelihood of bruising). Note: Patients with pre-existing medical conditions that require the use of anticoagulants should always discuss injectables with the doctors before undergoing treatment.

To prevent bruising, patients should discontinue using the following:

  • NSAIDs such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Naproxen
  • Anticoagulants like Heparin or Warfarin
  • St John’s Wort
  • Vitamin E
  • Fish Oil/Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Gingko Biloba
  • Ginseng
  • Green tea
  • Krill oil
  • Flaxseed oils

Bruising Prevention: After your Treatment

Take Arnica Montana

After your filler or Botox treatment consider taking Arnica Montana, a natural remedy with the power to reduce post-procedure pain and treat bruising. Arnica Montana can either be taken in pill form or topically applied to the treatment area. Some injectors may even recommend taking the supplement a few days before your injectable treatment to further prevent bruising.

Eat Pineapple

There’s some evidence that enzymes found in high citrus fruits like pineapples can work to prevent bruising. Try eating pineapple during the first two days after Botox or filler treatment.

Avoid Excess Physical Activity

Avoid any form of strenuous physical activity, including weight training and aerobic exercises, for 2-3 days following your injectable treatment. Rigorous activity can increase your heart rate and blood flow, which prevents damaged capillaries at the injection site from quickly healing.

Elevated Sleeping

Avoid sleeping for at least 3-4 hours following your treatment in order to avoid any inadvertent rubbing or pressing on the treatment area. On the first night following your treatment, sleep with your head elevated by propping it up with extra pillow(s).

Avoid Touching

Try your best not to touch the treatment area for at least the first 6 hours after the injection. Specifically, patients should avoid putting any pressure on the injection area as that can cause added trauma to the blood vessels (resulting in further bruising). Never massage the treated area unless specifically instructed to do so by your provider.

Cold Compress

The intermittent use of a cold compress or cold packs within the first 8 hours of treatment can help reduce bruising or swelling in the injection area. The compress can be lightly applied for 5-10 minutes every hour.

More Great Tips:

Lela Lankerani, MD

Lela Lankerani D.O. received her undergraduate degree in Biology at Washington University where she graduated cum laude. Dr. Lankerani has published articles in several scientific journals and has presented at national scholarly meetings including the American Academy of Dermatology and American Osteopathic Academy of Dermatology.

7 Responses to “Prevent Bruising After Botox and Dermal Fillers With These Tips”

  1. Avatar Karen says:

    Great post. I was wondering if you are a person who bruises easily is it pretty much guaranteed that you will have bruising from getting Botox or fillers?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Karen,

      Thanks for reading our post and submitting your great question. Unfortunately patients who are normally more prone to bruising may experience more bruising from the procedure. However in most cases bruising resolves fairly quickly and can even be covered with makeup (until fully healed). Also skilled injectors should be able to perform the procedure to mitigate bruising as much as possible.

      We hope that helps!

      WD Staff

  2. Avatar Penelope says:

    This is some really good information about getting injections and preventing bruising. I liked that you pointed out that avoiding touching the injection pointed can help prevent bruising. That is good to know!

  3. Avatar Olga says:

    Thanks LELA a lot of great tips there, I am scheduled for dermal fillers later this month and when I talked to a few people who had, had it done they mentioned the bruising. Now with a little help from you advise I may be able to reduce the chances of it. Thanks

  4. Avatar Penelope says:

    t is really interesting that doing something simple like eating more citrus could help prevent bruising. thanks for the great tips

  5. Avatar Ellie says:

    I was not aware that the enzymes found in fruits like pineapples can work to prevent bruising!

  6. Avatar Curtis says:

    I had no idea that you should refrain from exercising for a few days after getting Botox injections. Very interesting, thanks for that info

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