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Lip Filler Swelling Stages: What to Expect and How to Deal with It

Lip Fillers are non-surgical injections that are designed to restore fullness to thinning lips. Whether you notice that your lips are getting thinner due to age or have always wished for fuller lips, lip fillers can add a new plump appearance that makes your face look fuller and healthier.

The use of lip fillers is a purely cosmetic procedure. People seek them out as a way to boost their self-esteem by achieving the facial features they desire. Because sensual, full lips are in fashion, the demand for lip fillers continues to climb. Medical providers perform more than 2.1 million lip filler procedures each year. Dr. Praveen Buddiga, the founder of BUDDIGA Skin Aesthetics Med Spa, offers two types of FDA-approved lip fillers to patients who are seeking these dermal injections.

While lip fillers are considered a low-risk treatment option, it’s important patients understand the process and recovery before starting these injections. Learn more about this type of dermal filler, including the lip filler swelling stages that most patients experience.

How Does Lip Filler Work?

Lip fillers are a type of dermal injection, which means a special formula that contains hyaluronic acid gel is inserted into your lips. When these injections are done by a medical professional like Dr. Buddiga, the result is a subtle, well-defined lip line that looks healthy and full. Dr. Buddiga strives to create a natural look with his lip fillers, so your lips look attractive and healthy.

During a lip filler procedure, Dr. Buddiga will numb your lips – typically with a numbing cream. It typically takes 15 to 30 minutes for your lips to become numb enough to administer the fillers. While the needle won’t go more than 2.5 millimeters into your skin, Dr. Buddiga wants to make sure you are comfortable throughout the procedure.

Once your lips are numb, Dr. Buddiga will apply the dermal fillers to the target areas of your lips. Popular treatment areas include:

  • Vermillion border (the edges of your lips)
  • Cupid’s bow (the curve at the center of your lip)
  • Oral commissures (the corners of your mouth)

Dr. Buddiga will listen to the concerns you have about your lips and will determine where the fillers will have the biggest aesthetic impact. With your lips numb, he can complete multiple injections during a single visit.

The entire process takes between 30 minutes and two hours, depending on your lip filler goals. Dr. Buddiga will give you an ice pack to reduce swelling and potential bruising. The numbing cream should wear off soon after you leave the office and the swelling will also subside over time.

The result is plumper, fuller lips that make you feel confident and attractive. The fillers of most patients last 12 to 18 months.

What Causes Lip Filler Swelling?

Swelling is a normal part of the lip filler procedure – and any dermal filler or medical procedure. Your immune system reacts to trauma or perceived threats. When something damages the body (even minimal damage caused by a small needle injection) your immune system sends increased fluid and white blood cells to the injured area, which causes it to swell. This increased blood flow causes redness and heat. Your nerves may also send warning signs to the brain in the form of pain or sensitivity to the area, which results in you treating the area with more care.

You can notice pain and swelling in almost any injury, treatment, or cosmetic procedure. People who get tattoos often have to wait a few days for the swelling to go down. If you get a papercut, your finger may be sensitive for a few hours after. The same goes for a stubbed toe. Swelling after lip filler injections is expected and will subside over time.

How Long Does Lip Filler Swelling Last?

The highest incidence of lip filler swelling will occur during the first 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. During this time, your body is recovering from the injections and your lips are starting to adjust to the hyaluronic acid formula. Over the next few days, your lips should start to feel less swollen, and you can enjoy the benefits of the fillers.

Every patient recovers differently from dermal injections. This means it may take a little longer for your swelling to go down, or you might not notice much swelling at all. However, it is important to keep the lip filler swelling stages in mind so you know what to expect. Here is the process that most patients go through:

  • Immediately after treatment: your lips will be swollen and may be bruised. Dr. Buddiga will gently massage your lips so they absorb the filler and will apply a cold compress to your face after the treatment. You can then go home.
  • Day One (the day after treatment): this is typically when your swelling is the worst. When you wake up, your lips may look swollen and sensitive. First-time patients to dermal fillers may worry that they are experiencing a negative reaction or that the swelling is permanent. However, it should subside over time. Call Dr. Buddiga if you are concerned about your day-after swelling.
  • Day Two (48 hours after treatment): your lips may be inflamed, which leaves them sensitive and bruised. Your lips may even feel bumpy to the touch. This is normal.
  • Day Three: the swelling and inflammation in your lips will start to decrease. Each day, your lips should improve in how they feel and look. This is a process that takes time.
  • Day Seven: within a week of treatment, the swelling should disappear and you will be able to notice the benefits of your dermal fillers.

Within four weeks, your lips have adjusted to the fillers and they appear how they should for the next 12 to 18 months. During this time, you can meet with Dr. Buddiga to discuss the results. He may request a follow-up appointment to make sure you are happy with how they look. If any corrections or additions are needed, Dr. Buddiga can help.

What are the Best Ways to Handle Lip Filler Swelling?

While you can’t eliminate swelling entirely, you can take steps to work through the lip filler swelling stages faster and more comfortably. During your appointment, Dr. Buddiga will give you advice on how to reduce swelling and when to reach out if the issue becomes severe. He will most likely suggest applying ice or a cold cloth to your lips for 10 minutes at a time.

Along with icing your lips, there are other ways to increase your chances of reducing swelling caused by lip fillers. These include:

  • Avoid lipstick or lip balm for 24 hours after the injections.
  • Refrain from touching your lips or puckering them. This includes kissing or drinking from a straw.
  • Be careful when brushing your teeth.
  • Drink plenty of water and maintain a balanced diet.
  • Refrain from exercise for 24 hours.

If you have any questions about different post-injection treatments and care, ask Dr. Buddiga. He can let you know if something will help your swelling or could potentially worsen it.

The Importance of Knowing Your Lip Filler Swelling Stages

If this is your first time receiving lip fillers, you might not have been aware that you will experience multiple lip filler swelling stages. It’s okay to feel nervous about the procedure and to worry about swelling in the days following the injections. However, knowing the different swelling stages can help you identify the natural and healthy responses of your body. Within a few days, the swelling will subside and you can enjoy fuller, sexier lips.

If you are interested in trying lip fillers and live in Central California, contact Dr. Buddiga. He is happy to meet with you to discuss your lip and facial goals.

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