Bruising From Botox and Fillers: How we prevent it and what you can do
Learn about even more that we are doing to prevent and resolve bruising in this Update!
Even with the very best Doctor care and diligence, some bruising is possible from Botox and Fillers. Especially if you know you bruise easily, the truth is there is a likelihood you could get a tiny contusion at the treatment site, no matter how gently the Doctor administers your Botox or filler. Bruising is one of the biggest concerns people have before receiving aesthetic injectable treatments. What we can tell you is that about 5-7% of our injectable patients bruise. Even if you have never bruised before, it is always a possibility based on your current skin health.
The number one thing we do that keeps our rates and severity of bruising low is Dr. Janowski’s use of micro-cannulas (check out the photo of the blunt, bendable needle) when injecting filler. These are blunt needles that don’t slice through tissue, and allow for both a more gentle, and a more precise placement of fillers. This is an advanced injection technique perfected by Dr. Janowski, and is one of our claims to fame in the Western US region.
Additionally, just working with a very experienced physician injector who knows where, how deep, and how precisely to inject Botox and filler is extremely important. Physicians know where blood vessels are (that when punctured cause bruising) and how to work around these facial landmarks.
What You Can Do:
There are other things that you, as the patient, can do to help prevent a possible bruise.
Ironically, if you are good about taking you omega 3 oils, such as any type of fish oil or special omega 3 supplement, your chances of bruising are actually higher. While these supplements are excellent for overall health and vitality, they also act as blood thinners. Blood that is less likely to clot (that is “thin blood”) is more likely to spill out of a capillary – your tiniest blood vessels – and cause a minor bruise. Also, if you are thin, there is a higher likelihood of bruising as you don’t have as much fat to cushion your skin from injuries. It’s a bit ironic that so many of the things that are good for you in one respect actually increase your chances of bruising!
However, there are a number of things you can do before and after your treatment to help prevent or lessen the severity of bruising.
Some steps to take before and after your treatment:
- Quit drinking alcohol for a couple of days before and after your visit with the Doctor. Alcohol is a blood thinner and also inhibits vitamin C absorption. So drinking is double negative because vitamin C promotes collagen growth, helping skin recuperate at the injection site.
- Avoid blood thinning pain relievers and vitamin supplements in the days leading up to and immediately following your treatment. Aspirin, Excedrin, ibuprofen, Saint John’s Wart, Ginseng, Gingko Bilboa and Vitamin E (as well as Omega 3s) all have blood thinning properties, and therefore could contribute to your chances of bruising. Please note that Tylenol does not fall into this category. There are also many medications that can thin blood, including Coumadin, Prednisone and Plavix. Definitely continue with any medication your doctor has prescribed whether or not it is a blood thinner. However, be aware that if you are on such medications, your chances of bruising may be higher.
- Take Arnica Montana. In a number of studies Arnica has been proven to reduce swelling and pain, which in turn helps reduce bruising. Although Arnica can be used as a topical cream (and we provide you with some topical cream immediately post-treatment), for the purposes of reducing bruising from injections we recommend taking it orally the day before and day of your treatment. It is a homeopathic type of remedy that can be found at health food stores or even at Whole Foods.
- Keep exercise low-key for one or two days after your treatment. Getting your heart rate over 100 in the couple of days after your treatment can increase swelling and bruising. So keep your exercise to walking and especially avoid inversions (such as handstands, “downward facing dog” or “the plow”) and exercises that tend to increase your heart rate such as running and hot yoga.
Steps We Take:
During your treatment at our Broomfield, CO office, we will also do all we can to minimize your chances of bruising. Most importantly, Dr. Janowski is extremely experienced and his technique is gentle. Also, the numbing creams we use, especially for fillers, can help constrict blood vessels, further reducing your chances of bruising. Finally, we apply an ice pack right after your treatment, another tactic to help constrict blood vessels, decreasing the likelihood of bruising and swelling. We advice you to ice the treated area for 10 minutes on, and 10 minutes off, for as long as you choose to do so post treatment. If you have had a lot of injections, we recommend you ice on and off for 30 minutes to one hour post treatment. (You want to take pauses in the icing process so as not to over-freeze the blood vessels in the treated area.)
After your treatment, we will also give you topical arnica to take home, and suggest that you apply it as frequently as you want to help alleviate the likelihood or severity of any bruising. And…we now do even more!
If you know you are likely to bruise or are very concerned about it, we have two great options in addition to ice and topical Arnica. The first is a product from Regenica (by Suneva Medical) which is indicated to treat bruising, swelling, and redness. It is a patented formulation/applicator with key ingredients such as arnica, arginine, vitamin k, beta glucan, and aloe vera; as well as calming symcalim with a cooling tip. It has also been proven to greatly reduce/completely eliminate bruising in almost 100% of patients. The Regenica Recovery Gel also uses the latest MRCx growth factor technology to quickly heal the skin and greatly reduce inflammation. We sell this product for just $25, and you can use and save it for more than one treatment. Additionally, we also now carry the OcuMend gel pads (by Cearna) that have been clinically proven to prevent bruising when used immediately post-treatment. Ask us about these the next time you are planning a big filler treatment. They are surgical-grade, only available to physicians, and run about $20 and can be added to your treatment post-injection.
Because some bruising is possible even with the very best care, please always schedule your visits with the Doctor one to two weeks before a special event. By the time you need to be looking your best and camera-ready, you’ll be radiant, beautiful and more youthful than you could have thought possible. The good news is, bruising always resolves, and is a temporary side effect of an aesthetic treatment that will make you look gorgeous for months or even years to come!
*Results may vary from patient to patient