Bruising is always a risk when undergoing cosmetic injections and unfortunately it is not always avoidable. The good news is that I have written this comprehensive article to help provide you with the best advice to prevent bruising from botox and dermal filler treatments.
1: Ensure you are well hydrated before your appointment:
From my experience, clients that are dehydrated tend to bleed more easily during treatment and are therefore at an increased risk of bruising. To help avoid this, make sure that you drink enough water in the 24 hours prior to your appointment
Everyone’s water intake needs are different based on our habits and activity levels. A good rule of thumb to follow is to drink 2-2.5 litres of water daily.
TIP: This water bottle is the best out I have found and helps me stay on track throughout the day. I like to keep it on my desk as a reminder to stay hydrated.
2: Avoid alcohol before and after treatment:
Alcohol can increase the risk of bruising with botox and dermal fillers as it thins your blood.
I can immediately tell if someone has consumed alcohol the day before (or oftentimes the day of!) the appointment as they bleed much more than usual. And more bleeding = higher risk of bruising.
When I ask my clients their usual response is ‘I only had one very small glass of wine ‘ but this alone can have enough of an impact! I don’t mean to be a joykill but if you really want to prevent bruising, steer clear of alcohol for 24-48 hours before and after your appointment.
TIP: I know it’s not quite the same but alcohol free alternatives such as this mixed with tonic – makes an ace alcohol free G&T!
3: Take Arnica to help manage bruising and soreness after botox and dermal filler treatment:
Arnica montana is a botanical herb that can be taken orally or applied topically for pain, inflammation, or bruising. It has been shown to reduce the pain from injection sites as well as decrease the size of botox bruises.
The best regime to avoid bruising would be to take arnica oral tablets 7 days prior to the appointment and then apply arnica topical ointment cream to the area for a few days after treatment. But please ensure you don’t rub or apply pressure to the areas injected as this can lead to other complications!
You may want to inform your injector of your risk of bruising so they can apply arnica for you immediately after treatment which you can then continue at home 24 hours after treatment to be safe.
TIP: This is the arnica cream we use in clinic that you can also use at home. Its cheap and effective. These are the arnica tablets I recommend prior to treatment.
4: Avoid exercise for 24 hours after botox treatment:
Exercising during this time period can lead to bruises from botox injections due to the increased blood pressure required for strenuous activity. To avoid bruising, make sure you don’t engage in anything too intense. This includes weight training and yoga. Anything that raises your heart rate significantly is likely to be too intense!!
TIP: I love to track my heart rate as well as monitor my daily steps, this is the newest version of the fitness tracker I currently wear which is not too expensive but does everything I need it to! I highly recommend you get one to monitor your physical activity.
5: Apply ice packs to the injection site before and immediately after treatment:
Cold compresses are a great way to reduce swelling and speed up recovery time as it constricts blood vessels; this in turn helps to reduce inflammation.
TIP: I would highly recommend purchasing your own cold packs (These are great) for your personal use and has many other uses too! Whilst waiting for your appointment or discussing treatment with your injector, apply them to the areas to be injected and then you can place them on immediately after treatment too.
6: Avoid taking Aspirin and Ibuprofen before and after treatment:
One of the most common bruising prevention tips I offer to people is to avoid any aspirin or ibuprofen 24-48 hours before and after your botox treatment, as they can act as blood thinners and this can increase bruising risk.
TIP: I recommend taking paracetamol as an alternative should you need pain relief following your appointment.
7: Avoid taking supplements that may increase bruising risk:
Here are some supplements that you should avoid taking before botox: red clover, vitamin E, Omega 3 oils including flaxseed oil, ginkgo biloba, fish oil, green tea, st. john’s wort and turmeric have been reported to cause botox complications and should be avoided for a week before botox injections.
Some supplements can have a negative effect on botox and cause bruising to form; so before you start taking any new herbal supplements, make sure to consult with your doctor first!
TIP: Although some supplements can increase bruising risk, other supplements that can help prevent bruising risk include: bromelain supplements, vitamin k and vitamin c.
Again please consult your doctor before taking any new supplements as they may interact with other medications and supplements.
8: Be aware that certain prescriptions and over the counter medications may increase your risk of bruising after botox
Many prescribed medications, such as aspirin, clopidogrel, warfarin, non-Vitamin K-dependent oral anticoagulants (e.g., dabigatran, apixaban, and rivaroxaban), heparin, and the low molecular weight heparins all affect blood clotting and will increase the risk of haemorrhage and bruising.
If you are on any type of blood thinning medication, please do not stop taking this medication as this can be harmful. Instead discuss this with your doctor to see how they can help to reduce this risk for you.
9: Ensure you see an experienced aesthetic doctor (preferably one that uses invisible needles!)
An experienced injector will not only provide you with the best results from treatment, but they will be very familiar with the most effective ways to avoid bruising from botox and dermal filler treatment. It is important to ensure you are in good hands.
Invisible needles are small needles – in fact the smallest needle you can get to administer botox and reduces the risk of bruising and pain during injection. Ask your doctor if they are using this type of needle as it does help! (I use these 😉)
TIP: I offer botox and dermal filler treatments in both Nottingham and London. Click here for more information on dermal filler treatments and here for more information on botox treatments.
10: Arrange your appointment around a big event
Bruises can still happen even when using them to prevent. Another bruising prevention tip I offer to people is to avoid cosmetic injectables treatments in the week before a special event such as your big day (wedding), a holiday or important work.
So if you need treatment before an important event, make sure to plan in advice and you choose the right time to allow for any temporary bruising.
I would recommend having treatment 7 days before any social events if it is botox and for dermal filler 14 days, just to be on the safe side!
Consult your aesthetic doctor about this if you want a little more advice. The initial consultation is the most important part of the treatment pathways for the different types of injectables where you can discuss concerns like this with an expert injector.
11: Elevate your head for the first night following your botox and dermal treatment
It’s a good idea to use an extra pillow to keep your head elevated as you sleep which will not only help reduce bruising but this is also great for swelling.
TIP: This is the pillowcase I recommend to all of my clients to help prevent fine lines occurring in the first place.
What if bruising occurs despite all the efforts to avoid it?
Now, as I mentioned it isn’t always possible to prevent bruising altogether so here are a couple of ways you can disguise bruises should they occur.
Bonus tip one: Sunglasses
Sunglasses do a great job in covering up any potential bruises that occur as a result of botox. These beauties are sure to do the trick! If they’re good enough for Meghan Markle, they’re good enough for us!!
Bonus tip two: Liquid concealer
After 24 hours, light concealer can be applied in small amounts to the injection area and the surrounding area to disguise any potential bruises that form. Liquid concealers are great because they give you a natural finish. I cannot recommend this one enough. It is the best out of all concealers I have tried in terms of good coverage and blending into the skin naturally. Great for dark circles under the eyes too, you can thank me later 😉
Bonus Tip three: For heavier coverage, use a foundation.
If you are still struggling, you can use foundation on top of concealer to help mask the bruising further. You want to avoid a cakey type foundation that can enhance lines and wrinkles on the face and instead want something with a more natural finish such as this foundation.
I hope these botox tips were helpful for you! For more questions about the botox treatment itself head on here for an in depth guide to botox treatment and here for an in depth guide to dermal filler treatment.
And If you ever need any more advice on botox, please do not hesitate to email me: [email protected] and I will be happy to help you out.