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The most common side effect of dermal filler and BOTOX® treatments is the risk of bruising. Even in the hands of a highly trained and skilled injector, bruising is always a possibility. This is why I recommend that my patients schedule dermal filler treatments at least two weeks before a special social occasion. If bruising were to occur, this two week buffer ensures sufficient time for healing so that you look your best in time for the big event.

BOTOX® injections rarely produce significant bruising and I’m less concerned about the timing of your BOTOX® treatments. Still, it’s worthwhile advice to follow.


The most important factor in minimizing bruising is choosing the right injector. Always select a qualified medical professional who:

  • Is experienced
  • Is properly trained
  • Has an in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy
  • Uses advanced injection techniques
  • Has a gentle touch
  • Doesn’t rush through your procedure
  • Uses microcannulas for certain treatment areas

When treating patients, one of my top priorities is reducing the potential for bruising. I pride myself on more than 15 years experience skillfully and successfully injecting patients to ensure optimal results with minimal bruising.

There are also several things that you, as the patient, can do to minimize bruising.


Many over-the-counter medications and homeopathic remedies may increase your risk of bruising and should be discontinued five to seven days before your treatment (if possible). The main reason to stop taking them is they work to thin your blood, therefore increasing the incidence of bruising.

The following medications and natural remedies can usually be stopped for five to seven days without any adverse side effects:

  • Aspirin
  • Excedrin
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Aleve, Advil)
  • Naprosyn, Celebrex, Voltaren, and any prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin E
  • Ginkgo Biloba
  • Ginseng

IMPORTANT: If you are taking Warfarin, Coumadin®, Pradaxa®, or Plavix®, do not discontinue use. If in doubt about the risk of stopping any medication(s), consult your prescribing physician or your injecting physician before doing so.

Other things you can do before your appointment to avoid bruising include:

  1. Stop drinking alcohol two days prior to your appointment.
  2. Avoid garlic in your diet one to two days before your injections.
  3. Avoid drinking green tea one week prior to your injections.


There are several things you can do after your treatment to minimize bruising, or avoid it altogether:

  1. Avoid alcohol for 24 hours.
  2. Gently apply Arnica gel or ointment to the treatment area.
  3. Avoid strenuous exercise-except for walking-for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. Also ensure you keep your heart rate under 100 bpm, and avoid yoga inversions and hot yoga.
  4. Do not squeeze or massage the treated areas for several hours after your appointment. Not only could this subtly affect your results, it might unintentionally create a bruise by damaging a small blood vessel that’s fragile due to the injection.
  5. If you develop a headache, back pain or any pain other than the typical discomfort that can follow BOTOX® or dermal filler injections, opt for Tylenol before Aspirin, Motrin, or Advil for two days after your treatment.
  6. Should you experience any swelling, apply a cold compress to the treatment area for five to ten minutes every hour.
  7. If necessary, a good concealer can cover up unsightly bruises. I recommend Cover FX (available at Shoppers Drug Mart) or Colorescience Mineral Makeup.
  8. Finally, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) or Vascular Laser treatments over the bruised area 24 to 48 hours post-treatment can significantly reduce the intensity of bruising and help speed up the healing process.

By following the advice outlined above, you’ll help to minimize any bruising after BOTOX® or dermal filler treatments, and ensure you’re enjoying your beautifully refreshed and rejuvenated skin in no time at all.

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