Cheek Filler Aftercare: All your questions answered

Cheek fillers are an essential tool for rejuvenation and enhancement. However, how do you take of yourself after having them? In this post, I will answer common questions from patients regarding cheek filler aftercare and share my recommendations.

Bruising, swelling and cheek filler aftercare

Any time a filler is injected, bruising and swelling may ensue. However, the degree depends on the individual, the technique, and whether or not a blood vessel is pierced.

Some patients simply bruise and swell more easily than others. It’s just the way their body is built. Regardless of whether you bruise easily or not, you can consider taking arnica or bromelain both before and after treatment to reduce it. Of course, ice helps too.

In terms of technique, we can inject fillers using cannulas or needles. Cannulas are blunt tipped needles that glide under the skin. They are less traumatic and have a lower risk of bruising. Their downside is that they may not offer as much precision as needles.

Although cannulas are blunt and reduce the risk of piercing a vein, sometimes it is inevitable. There is a robust network of veins under the skin and sometimes one is pierced. For this reason, it may be best to avoid cheek fillers immediately before a major event where having a bruise would be unacceptable. Fortunately, bruises on the cheek are often deep and not always prominent.

Can I exercise after cheek fillers?

This may be the most common question I hear in regard to cheek filler aftercare. My answer is yes, as long as the exercise does not put pressure on the recently injected areas. Also, keep in mind that you will have recent needle punctures and to be extra careful not to contaminate these areas.

Can I drink alcohol after my fillers?

Ideally, you should abstain from drinking for 24 hours after getting a filler. Alcohol thins blood and increases the likelihood and extent of bruising. Further, alcohol may increase inflammation which would slow healing.

However, we live in the real world, and I am certain that many patients have had a drink later that evening without any significant problem.

My cheek filler aftercare tips

  1. Apply ice. Icing for 5-10 minutes helps reduce bruising and swelling. Remember that your cheeks may be numb after getting fillers, so you should move your ice pack regularly to avoid an “ice burn”.
  2. Sleep slightly elevated and on your back for the next 2 nights. I think sleeping with your head above your heart also reduces swelling, and staying on your back avoids pressure which could theoretically move the filler. I tell patients that if they wake up in the the middle of the night and find themselves on their side, not to worry excessively.
  3. Wait 2 weeks in order to fully assess your results. I think it takes about 2 weeks for swelling to fully resolve and final results to be apparent. It’s especially important not to worry about asymmetry before 2 weeks because this can result from differences in swelling and bruising between the sides. Overt bruising is not common; however, even a subtle bruise can be enough to create an asymmetry until it resolves.
  4. Call immediately if there is pain or a dusky discoloration to the skin. These could be signs that the filler is blocking blood flow to the skin and needs immediate attention.
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