Swelling of the lips is far more noticeable than anywhere else on the face. That’s why it is so problematic for many people. However, swelling is a common side effect of many surgeries. For instance, many people experience it after getting a hair transplant. The reason behind swelling is the same: whenever the skin is injured, the body will direct fluid and white blood cells to that part. This will cause the area to swell up. Surgeries that require incisions have the skin undergo a physical trauma. Swelling likely follows there.
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In the case of lip fillers, the hyaluronic acid is binding to water underneath the skin, causing the lips to get plump. On top of that, the injections can cause bruising and bleeding underneath the skin, which means that swelling will occur. Swelling is a part of the healing process. You do not have to stress about it. However, if you feel that something isn’t normal, make sure to get in touch with your doctor.
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What Is the Lip Filler Swelling Timeline?
See below the swelling stages following a Lip filler injection. This will vary with personal differences in healing, in bruising and in what treatment is performed and also the aftercare you use.
Day 0 (day of lip filler treatment)
Straight after the treatment there is significant swelling. Often there is asymmetry. Please do not be too concerned about the symmetry in the first few weeks, as it is impossible to assess until the swelling has resolved. If you are concerned, make an appointment with your doctor at the 4-week mark to review.
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Day 1 (24 hours after procedure)
Often the swelling the morning after the procedure is when it is at its most extreme. The upper lip will have significant projection and may be significantly bigger than the lower lip. This will usually resolve over time (unless that is what you asked for in the treatment!).
Pain, discomfort and tenderness are common at this stage.
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Day 2 (48 hours after procedure)
The worst of the swelling will be in the first 48 hours and often after this time, it may start to reduce over the next few days
At day 3 after the lip filler procedure, the patient may start to notice an improvement in the swelling. There may be slightly less projection in the upper lip and it will be more comfortable to talk and eat. There will still be tenderness to touch.
2 Weeks Later
At 2 weeks after the lip filler, they will be settling in. There will still usually be a small amount of swelling, but most people can have photos at this stage which will look OK.
4 Weeks Later
At 4 weeks after the lip filler, the lips should be settled. It is at this time that the results can be assessed for size and symmetry. If the patient wants more than it can be done at this time. If there needs to be symmetry correction, then it can be performed at this time.
Lip Filler Aftercare Dos and Don’ts
Ice packs are one of the best solutions for swelling in general. If you’re using ice cubes, do not put them directly on the lips. It can get stuck to them and even rip the skin off. So, be very careful with it and wrap it in a cloth (not a tissue paper). You need to eat and drink healthy. Drink water and avoid eating hot and salty foods as it can worsen swelling. Usually, with lip fillers, many people can get back to their daily routines soon after. However, you have to avoid certain things for a few days, such as exercise. Make sure to ask your Plastic surgeon when you can resume it. Sleep with your head elevated. Also, avoid hot baths and heated areas, such as saunas.
You should absolutely not smoke. It can constrict blood vessels, therefore, prolonging the healing time. Drinking alcohol is also something that you should avoid. Other than that, you should not apply or use anything on your lips such as lipsticks, lip balms, or scrubs, etc.