Full, healthy lips are often considered a sign of youth, beauty and vitality. In many cultures, they are seen as desirable and attractive, often being associated with sensuality and femininity. And they are getting even more popular; according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of dermal filler treatments increased more than 22 percent between 2016 and 2021.

Congratulations on your new lips! After investing a considerable amount for your treatment, you’ll want to ensure you minimize any discomfort or complications. Here are some guidelines to help you care for your new lips.

1. Manage any swelling or bruising. Although the filler I use typically causes minimal swelling, some degree of swelling is normal. You can apply ice gently to your lips and use Arnica Gel to reduce bruising and swelling.

2. Avoid hot or sweaty activities for 1-2 days. Strenuous exercise, sauna, hot yoga, yard work, swimming, or heavy lifting can increase blood flow to your lips and increase swelling, bruising to discomfort. If you are a regular exerciser and therefore have an increased metabolism, know that your fillers may dissolve faster.

3. Be gentle with your lips. Immediately after your treatment is done, the filler is soft and malleable. Avoid smoking, using straws, or engaging in overly enthusiastic kissing or facial movements. These activities can distort the shape of your lips. Give the filler time to integrate with the surrounding tissue, at least 2-3 weeks.

4. Don’t push on or massage your lips without instruction. See number 6 to learn why I might ask you to do this!

5. Sleep on your back as much as possible. Avoid sleeping on your side or face down, which can displace the filler. Avoid facials, dental treatments, or face-down massages for two weeks.

6. Pay attention to any severe pain, color changes, or mottling. The first 48 hours after treatment are critical. If you experience severe pain, your skin turns white or dark. Or you notice mottling, call me immediately. These could be signs of a rare but potentially dangerous complication called vascular occlusion* which requires prompt treatment. If I suspect you have a VO, I’ll ask you to push on your lips and look for capillary refill, or testing the blood flow in small capillaries. This test is performed by pushing on the skin until it blanches, then quickly releasing and watching the pink color return. Your color should return within 2 seconds.

*Vascular occlusion: is RARE, but potentially very damaging. This happens when filler is injected into, or obstructs blood flow to a blood vessel, which leads to decreased blood and oxygen to tissue, which can cause tissue death if not treated. This means that without treatment the affected skin will turn black and die, and leave a scar. This is the most dangerous side effect of any type of filler.

With the increasing popularity and improved techniques, more and more people are turning to lip fillers. Caring for your lips after your filler treatment is crucial to achieve the best results possible and minimize the risk of complications. If you follow these guidelines you’ll get the best possible results for you.

If you’d like to talk about how you can get the lips you’ve always wanted, click here to book a consultation.