FILLER: Your Aftercare
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AFTERCARE
Fun fact: did you think dermal fillers were a new trend, spurred by the Kardashian/Jenners? Think again. Austrian surgeon Robert Gersuny started using mineral oil and paraffin as dermal fillers in the late 1800s. However, after Gladys Deacon, Duchess of Marlborough (pictured below), received an injection of hot paraffin wax to the nose, she was permanently disfigured and this ended the trend. That is, until now. Dermal fillers were the second most common nonsurgical procedure in 2015, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, with almost 2.5 million procedures performed.
So all of the fun and scary stuff is out of the way--you've had your filler injected, hopefully gotten the results you wanted, and now you're home free!
Not quite. Filler gives you results in real time, unlike Botox, which takes about a week or so to kick in. This is why I love filler so much, because I am 100% here for instant gratification. However, it's important to know how to take care of your filler after the fact, so it stays in tip-top shape.
Rule #1: DON'T mess with your filler. Yes, you. I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want (probably free Botox, don't we all? but anyways). If you are looking for free syringes of filler, I can tell you I don't have them. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career (ok it hasn't been that long but still). Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you stop touching your filler now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will scold you.
Ok but Liam Neeson jokes aside, Stop. Touching. Your. Filler. You just had a needle poked in those spots! Leave it alone, until you wash you face (gently) and then continue to leave it alone. Think of filler as a Jello mold. Even after it's been injected, it needs time to "set". Some of y'all are up in here massaging your freshly injected cheeks because you can feel the Voluma and it "feels so weird". What's even weirder is that you're risking smooshing your fresh new cheekbones down because you're having an obsessive I-wanna-touch-it episode. I get it, I really do. I recommend passing the time by channeling your energy into taking some fly selfies instead. Also, don't forget--if you get your injections done at Infinity, and then send a selfie in to us, you get $20 off your next treatment!
Rule #2: DO try to sleep on your back. As a chronic side sleeper, I know this is a terrible thing to ask some people. My tip is to put two pillows on either side of your body, snuggled close, with your arms resting on top. This keeps you on your back throughout the night. My chiropractor recommended this to me, so not only is it good for your back, it's good for your filler! No smooshed cheeks for you. If you do roll onto your side sometime in the middle of the night, it's not the end of the world, so don't panic. Just do your best!
Rule #3: DON'T over-ice. Ice intermittently, if it feels good, but don't overdo it. My general rule is 10-seconds-on, 10-seconds-off, for about five minutes, every hour. You don't want to irritate the skin and stop circulation in that region. Although icing helps with bruising (we'll get to that in a sec) your body also needs to heal, and by over-icing you can stop that natural response.
Rule #4: DO apply topical anti-inflammatories. I recommend applying arnica as often as you want. Personally, I recommend the cream. The ointment version is super thick, and the gel version is particularly drying on skin, from what I've found. You can buy packs online (they have them on Amazon and I'm sure a million other places, just do a Google search) and you can also go to a Walgreens, CVS, etc, and find it there. I also recommend orally taking arnica, taking the tablets seems to really help people when combined with the topical version. #doublewhammy
Rule #5: DO take an over-the-counter anti-histamine if needed. Zyrtec and Claritin are great, or even Benadryl, except Benadryl will make you sleepy, so be careful with that one. These all help with the swelling, if you feel like you need/want it.
Rule #6: DO hydrate & moisturize. Use serums to help replenish you skin, as it gets especially dry from the topical numbing, the lidocaine mixed in with the filler, and whatever topical antiseptic we use to clean your skin pre-injections. Also apply plenty of moisturizing lip products if you've had your lips done--they get particularly dry and peel quite a bit. If you've had your lips done, try to avoid long-lasting lip stains and matte liquid lipstick, etc--anything that tends to dry out your lips. I recommend the Lira Clinical BIO Lip Factor, as it's easy to carry around and apply, and even though it's definitely a moisturizing, clinical product, it really just looks like a nice clear gloss.
Rule #7: DO expect bruises, and plan accordingly. We had one particularly outspoken and blunt patient who said, "if people do this and don't expect any bruises, they're crazy." I tend to agree. Every practitioner tries to be as gentle as possible, but need I remind you: this is a needle, going in your face. You may bruise. Remember to avoid blood thinners (Advil, fish oil, alcohol) 1-2 weeks before and a few days after. You should also avoid crazy exercise 24-48 hours after. For most people this isn't a problem (me), but if you're Rambo reincarnated and literally have to exercise every day or you'll start bench pressing cars, then it's ok to go on some brisk walks. Just don't do any of the crazy circuit stuff where you're doing burpees and throwing tires around. As for covering bruises, use this handy dandy chart I created below:
Red bruises (early stages): use a green-tinted concealer. Dab dab dab. Then let it dry, and apply your normal foundation or BB cream or whatnot on top.
Blue/purple bruises (middle stages): use a yellow-tinted concealer. Dab dab dab. Then let it dry and apply your normal foundation or BB cream or whatnot on top. Pro tip: applying red lipstick (with warm, orange undertones--never a cool burgundy) will cover purple-blue bruises in a pinch (no pun intended), but it takes more effort to cover it with your skin-tone product, so plan accordingly. So: for the lips, apply your lipstick and bam you're done. For other areas of the face: cover the bruise with a light layer of lipstick, and then layer on a skin-tone concealer or foundation/etc.
Yellow/brown bruises (late stages): I tend to find that these bruises are covered by whatever normal skin-tone product you use. So apply your foundation or BB cream, and then--you guessed it--dab dab dab a little extra on the bruise.
Rule #8: DON'T fret and worry about your filler. Sometimes it takes a little bit to settle in. Give it a week. Call the clinic you went to if you have any problems or questions, but remember that the swelling needs to go down before you can actually see your results. Also remember that filler can be dissolved, and you can always come in for a touch up if there's some asymmetry. So, simply put: breathe! Just take care of your filler following all of the post-care instructions I gave, let everything settle down, and enjoy!
Reach out if you have questions using the contact form located on the home page. Questions & suggestions are always welcome. While you're at it, check out my Instagram for more fun tips & tricks, and to say hi!