Dermal Fillers aftercare FAQs: Dr Rekha Tailor Answers Your Most Popular Questions

Dermal fillers are a non-surgical cosmetic treatment for adding volume to areas of the face, giving them a refreshed and more youthful appearance.

If you’ve just had dermal fillers, or are thinking of having the treatment, you’ll find all the aftercare advice you need on this page as Dr. Rekha Tailor answers your most common questions.

Dr. Rekha Tailor qualified as a doctor in 1994, and since 2005, she has specialised as an aesthetic practitioner. You can find out more about Dr Tailor’s qualifications and experience here.

Jump to the section below to find out more about:

If you’re looking for specific advice on lip filler aftercare, read our page

Before we answer your individual questions, here’s a quick overview of what you can expect after having dermal fillers:

How long will:
swelling last?1–2 days
bruising last?5–7 days
results last?
lip fillers6–9 months
facial fillers12–18 months
When can I:
drink alcohol?2 days
eat?Immediately after treatment
fly?7 days minimum
smoke?Immediately after treatment
use a sunbed?7 days minimum
wear make-up?6 hours
exercise?24 hours

Dermal fillers aftercare advice: dos and don’ts after having cosmetic fillers

Can I take painkillers before or after having dermal filler injections?

We recommend avoiding anti-inflammatory painkillers before and after the procedure as these can thin the blood and increase the risk of redness, swelling, bleeding and bruising.

Ibuprofen and aspirin are the most well-known anti-inflammatory drugs. However, during your consultation it’s important that you let us know what medication you’re taking so we can advise on possible contraindications (situations in which you should avoid taking your medication).

If your practitioner has applied a local anaesthetic cream, it’s normal to feel like the pain is getting worse as the effects of this cream wear off.

If you’re in pain, apply a cold compress to the area to help reduce swelling.

Can I exercise after having dermal filler injections?

We recommend waiting at least a week after dermal fillers before doing any strenuous exercise—this will avoid the risk of infection.

You shouldn’t do any strenuous exercise during that time, but we also recommend you avoid yoga too. This is because inverted positions such as headstands could increase the risk of you suffering bruising and swelling.

How soon can I drink alcohol after having dermal filler injections?

Although drinking alcohol won’t affect the long-term results of having dermal fillers, it can increase bruising and swelling. It’s best to avoid alcohol for at least two days after having the treatment.

How soon after having dermal fillers can I fly?

There should be no issue with flying after having dermal fillers. Although there is some concern that the changing air pressure in the plane’s cabin can have some effect, there is no evidence that this is the case.

How soon after having cosmetic fillers can I sunbathe?

Avoid sunbathing, sunbeds and intense heat (such as saunas and Turkish baths) for one week after treatment. If you do go out in the sun, wear sunscreen at all times.

You should also avoid exposing your skin to extreme cold for one week after treatment.

How soon after having dermal fillers can I touch my face?

Don’t touch or rub the treated area for at least six hours after treatment. After that, you can gently clean the area and apply light make-up.

Can I smoke after dermal fillers?

Yes, you can smoke straight after having fillers (including lip fillers). However, smoking is hugely detrimental to your health and although it won’t directly affect the results of the treatment, it will continue to dry out and age your skin.

Smoking narrows the blood vessels in the outer layers of your skin. This limits blood flow, meaning your skin doesn’t receive as much oxygen or as many nutrients. In the long term, smoking can cause wrinkling, sagging, discolouration and age spots.

For specific aftercare advice on having lip fillers, read our page Lip Filler Aftercare FAQs with advice from Dr Rekha Tailor.

Is there any specific advice for cheek filler aftercare?

It’s best to follow the general aftercare advice for cheek fillers. There’s no specific aftercare advice for cheeks, other than avoiding wearing make-up for the first six hours after treatment.

Is there any specific advice for tear trough filler aftercare?

There’s no specific aftercare advice for having dermal fillers in the tear troughs (the hollow area just under the eyes), so you should follow the general aftercare advice for facial fillers.

You may want to apply concealer under your eyes to disguise any bruises as the area heals. However, you should avoid applying any eye make-up for the first six hours after having treatment.

How long does it take for facial fillers to settle?

It can take up to two weeks for facial fillers to settle into place.

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Dermal fillers aftercare: side effects and potential complications

The only way to ensure you reduce the risk of side effects from dermal fillers is to choose a highly qualified and experienced practitioner.

According to one study, patients should choose a practitioner who has “a detailed understanding of facial anatomy; the individual characteristics of available fillers; their indications, contraindications, benefits, and drawbacks; and ways to prevent and avoid potential complications”1.

One of the UK’s leading non-surgical cosmetic specialists, Dr Rekha Tailor has been an aesthetic practitioner for over 14 years and is renowned for achieving natural results.

You can read more about Dr Tailor’s qualifications and experience here or continue below to find out more about the side effects and potential complications of cosmetic fillers.

Is it possible to have an allergic reaction to dermal fillers?

At Health & Aesthetics we use hyaluronic acid fillers and collagen-stimulating fillers. Hyaluronic acid is a substance found naturally inside the human body so a reaction to this substance is extremely rare. Collagen stimulating fillers (such as Radiesse) are made from calcium, a mineral also found naturally in the body, so, again, reactions are very rare.

Immediately after the treatment, there may be a slight redness, swelling, tenderness, a faint bubble‑like appearance and an itching sensation in the treated area. These side effects are a normal result of the injection and will generally disappear gradually over a period of 7–14 days.

Should I expect to feel any pain after having dermal fillers injected in my face?

Most patients won’t experience any pain after having dermal fillers. But some people may find they have a little bit of soreness and/or mild bruising at the site of injection.

If you do experience any pain, bruising or swelling, you can treat this with an ice pack.

Before administering the injections, we will apply topical anaesthetic cream to the area to help keep any pain during the procedure to a minimum. The filler itself contains some local anaesthetic called lidocaine2—this is a numbing agent that makes the procedure very comfortable.

Patients can also have treatment with an infrared lamp—like Dermalux—to aid healing and recovery.

If I suffer from cold sores, can I still have dermal fillers?

If you have a history of cold sores, there is a risk that the insertion of the needle into your skin may activate the cold sore virus. This may cause a new cold sore to break out or a previous cold sore to recur.

The risk of dermal fillers causing a cold sore outbreak is very low—less than 1.45%, as reported by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)3.

Before your treatment, we advise that you take anti-viral medication. If you do have a cold sore break out afterward, please contact the clinic or seek medical advice.

What are some of the possible side effects I should be aware of?

Possible side effects include:

  • red, swollen, bruised or discoloured skin
  • itchy skin
  • lumpy skin
  • prolonged firmness
  • bleeding
  • pain
  • infection
  • an abscess, a nodule or a granuloma (a small area of inflammation)
  • local necrosis (tissue death)
  • an allergic reaction
  • acne

In rare cases, a scab can form where the treatment was administered, which can result in a scar.

Treatment around the eyes and upper face can also result in:

  • swollen, bruised, lumpy or discoloured skin
  • infection
  • scarring
  • an abscess forming
  • haemorrhage of the eyes
  • double vision, or loss of vision

You can find out more about the side effects of dermal fillers on the NHS website.

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General FAQs on dermal fillers aftercare

How long is the recovery time after having dermal fillers?

Some people experience mild bruising and swelling after the procedure. If this occurs, you can expect it to wear off in a week or two. After the procedure, the treated area will be slightly red, but this will last only a few hours.

Patients can recover quickly if they have treatment with an infrared lamp after having dermal fillers. At Health & Aesthetics, patients can choose to have treatment with Dermaluxlamps to aid recovery.

How long will the results of dermal filler injections last?

The effects of dermal fillers can last for up to 18 months but this will vary from person to person. It depends on your skin, the area you have treated and the amount and type of filler used.

At Health & Aesthetics, we use Juvederm Vycross, a premium hyaluronic acid filler that will last for up to 18 months. Other types of hyaluronic acid fillers do not last as long. Juvederm Vycross achieves a long-lasting natural look and feel, whether it is used to lift or define certain areas of the face.

The results will gradually fade over time until your skin returns to its previous state. You can choose to have ‘touch up’ procedures to maintain the look the dermal fillers help create.

How long does it take for dermal filler treatment to work?

You can expect to see the results of the procedure immediately. If there is any swelling, this should take a couple of weeks to settle down.

How can I be sure the results will look natural?

You’ll have probably noticed by scrolling through social media that the results of facial fillers, particularly lip fillers, range from very natural to very obvious.

At Health & Aesthetics, we achieve highly natural results by adhering to the MD Codes that dermal fillers expert Dr Mauricio de Maio pioneered. The MD Codes are essentially guidelines—predefined sites on the face that produce the most natural results when injected with fillers.

You can find out more about the MD Codes here and read why this method of treatment is the safest and most precise way to administer facial fillers.

Speak to your practitioner about how they achieve natural results and ask to see before-and-after pictures of their previous patients.

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What next?

You can discover more about the procedure by visiting our Dermal Fillers page, which includes before-and-after pictures.

If you’re ready to have dermal fillers, book an appointment with Dr Rekha Tailor. Alternatively, if you have a specific question about dermal fillers aftercare, speak to the team today on 01252 905269 or contact us here.

Don’t forget to follow Health & Aesthetics on social media for the latest news and images!

Did you know dermal fillers can treat areas of the body other than the face? Read our guide Where on the Body Can Dermal Fillers Be Used? to find out more.

For specific advice on lip filler, read our page Lip Filler Aftercare FAQs with advice from Dr Rekha Tailor.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that results and treatment experiences may vary from patient to patient, taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3865975/
  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/dermal-fillers-the-good-the-bad-and-the-dangerous-2019071517234
  3. https://aestheticsjournal.com/feature/aesthetic-treatments-and-herpes-simplex-virus

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At Health & Aesthetics, we believe that the fundamental basis for a successful aesthetic procedure is an in-depth consultation with a skilled qualified practitioner to assess your needs and develop a bespoke personal treatment plan so that you achieve outstanding natural looking results. You can call us on 01252 933 133.

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