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Swelling and Bruising After Lip Fillers: A Comprehensive Guide

Written and reviewed by Dr. Raj Thethi
Published on: May 2, 2024
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Swelling and Bruising After Lip Fillers

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Lip fillers give lips a larger and more attractive look through injections. These days, people are choosing lip fillers to make their lips bigger and more perfect. However swelling and bruising after lip fillers are possible outcomes. Don’t worry, it’s normal!

This guide will tell you all the reasons why your lips are swelling and bruising after lip filler procedure, how long it takes for them to get better, what you can do to make them feel better, and when you should seek the advice of an experienced doctor.

Understanding Swelling and Bruising After Lip Fillers:

After having lip fillers, swelling and bruises are common after-effects. This occurs as a result of the injections possibly slightly traumatising the lips, which sets off the body’s natural healing process. But don’t worry, side effects of lip swelling after lip injections  are usually temporary and should disappear within a few days.

Why Do Swelling and Bruising Happen?

There are so many small vessels and nerves in your lips. Once the needle goes into the half for the lip filler, the accidental poke at these microscopic blood vessels can be quite unnoticeable. Therefore, your body has an inflammatory response. Here’s what happens:

  • Increased Blood Flow: The area gets more blood from the body to aid in its repair process, which causes swelling.
  • Fluid Accumulation: Some of the fluids from your blood are also drained to the tissues, thus increasing the swelling.
  • Cellular Activity: The white blood cells, which are responsible for cleaning up and fighting infections, work together to make the swelling even more noticeable.

At times, it may occur that the needle will accidentally hit a smaller blood vessel, thus producing a small amount of bleeding. These blood cells get stored in these tissues, which eventually results in the formation of bruises. The particular colour of the bruise is the result of the protein decomposition that exists in your blood.

The injectable filler causes the swelling of your lips. Most fillers are made of hyaluronic acid (HA), which tends to retain water. This effect can lead to some post lip filler swelling.

How Common are These Side Effects?

Swelling and bruising after a lip filler are common. Approximately 94% of individuals demonstrate some kind of significant swelling, which is typically the worst for 2–3 days following the treatment. But don’t worry! Swelling commonly fades away in a week.

Bleeding is not prevalent but can still affect up to 30%–70% of people, as per various studies. Depending on a few factors, the bleakness and severity of the bruising can vary.

Factors Affecting Swelling and Bruising After Lip Fillers

Many things can affect how much you van get post lip filler swelling. Below are some of them:

Lip Sensitivity:

If your lips or skin are delicate, they might get more swollen due to your skin reacting forcefully.

Injection Technique:

An experienced injector effectively applies careful methods to minimise the development of swelling and bruising. Doctors could also use cannulas, which will help them avoid injuring their patients.

Type of Filler:

Some products may not cause much swelling of the lips as they retain their shape. Talk to your doctor to find out which filler suits you.


If you take drugs like Aspirin or Ibuprofen and even some herbal supplements that have thinning blood as a side effect, it will take longer to stop bruising.

Medical Conditions:

Specific health problems, like high blood pressure or immunodeficiency diseases, can impair the healing ability of your body and cause swelling or bruising while playing.

By recognising these components, you can learn what you should be aware of after getting lip fillers. Remember, your input is crucial to improve your experience, so speak frankly with your doctor.

The Healing Timeline: A Day-by-Day Guide

It takes some time for the lips to work through their various phases of healing after the treatment with lip fillers. Here’s what you can expect:

Day 1: Right After the Injection

  • You might feel like your lips are burning after the injection.
  • Your lips may be crawlier because of the numbing cream application.
  • You can experience some swelling and tenderness.
  • Swelling can make your lips look a bit uneven, but they will eventually become smooth.

Days 2–3: Swelling Peaks and Bruising Starts

  • The first two days of your cycle will bring the most swelling, and your lips might feel like they are in a vice grip.
  • Sometimes, bruises can appear, turning your lips’ natural colour purple or red.
    To help reduce the pain and swelling, use ice or cold packs as your doctor has prescribed.
  • Eating hard foods and engaging in activities that cause your lips to swell more can aggravate the condition.

Days 4–7: Swelling and Bruising Go Down

  • The swelling and bruising will begin to go down, but it will happen slowly.
    Bruises will fade away or become concealed gradually.
  • You will have reduced pain and tenderness.
    Please do not touch your lips too often because the swelling is increasing.

Week 2 and Beyond: Final Results

  • By the end of this second week, 90–95% of the swelling and pain are expected to have receded.
  • You will be able to observe the results of the final placement of your fillers on your lips.
  • If you want to make any changes, it would be wise to discuss them with your doctor during a follow-up appointment.

Minimising Swelling and Bruising: Proactive Strategies

While swelling and bruising are common after lip fillers, you can do things to make them less severe and last for a shorter time:

Before Treatment:

  • Describe to your doctor all the medicines and supplements that you take.
  • Some might make bruising worse, so your doctor might tell you to stop taking them before the treatment.
  • Please stop taking Aspirin or any other pain reliever, such as Ibuprofen and Fish oil, for at least a week before and one week after the procedure.
  • Avoid consuming excess alcohol the few days preceding and following your visit. Alcohol leads to dryness and swelling-dampness.
  • Please inform your doctor if you are allergic to any medication or have any health issues.

After Treatment:

  • Keep something cold on your lips for 10–15 minutes several times a day, especially during the first 24-48 hours. This causes blood vessels to shrink and reduces redness.
  • Spend the first few nights with your head elevated. These will prevent too much saliva from accumulating on the lips.
  • Eat softer foods for the first 2–3 days without taking part in any hard activities. This prevents the overflow of blood to your lips and helps them heal faster.
  • Be mindful not to lick your lips excessively. If you had the injection at the spot and suffered from soreness until the swelling was still visible.
  • Keep your mouth clean. Keep bacteria away by brushing your teeth carefully without applying too much pressure.

If you do these things and adhere to your doctor’s recommendations, you will heal quicker and reduce the swelling and bruising after lip fillers.

When to Contact Your Doctor: Recognising Potential Complications

Swelling and bruising may be normal following lip fillers, but if you are in discomfort, the best course of action is to seek help from a doctor. Here are some signs to look out for:

Signs of Too Much Swelling or Bruising:

  • Persistently large or swelling that gets more severe after 3 days. It could also indicate that you are allergic or have a problem.
  • The bruises that extend beyond your lips and keep getting larger are classified as good bruises. For instance, it could be that the filler was accidentally injected into the blood vessel.

Possible Signs of Infection:

  • If you notice that the area around an injection becomes more red, warm, and swollen, it may indicate that an infection has occurred.
  • Pus comes out of your lips.
  • If your temperature rises or you start to feel cold, it can indicate that an infection is present or starting to develop.

Long-Term Problems to Watch For:

  • Your lips look uneven or lumpy even after the swelling goes down. This might be because the filler wasn’t put in evenly or the injection wasn’t done right.
  • You have trouble talking or smiling. This could mean there’s damage to a nerve, which is serious but rare.

If you have any of these signs, tell your doctor right away. It’s important to get help early so any problems can be sorted out and you can have a good outcome.


Swelling and bruising after lip fillers are normal for up to two weeks. To feel more at ease with your new lips, it’s critical to know what causes these symptoms, how long they will last, and how to manage them. It is strongly advised that you see your doctor frequently and always get treatment from a trained healthcare provider if you have any troubling symptoms.

With Dr. Raj Thethi’s experience, you can be confident that you’ll keep your natural look while achieving your desired aesthetic results.

FAQs about Swelling and Bruising After Lip Fillers

How long will the swelling and bruising last?

Most swelling reaches its highest point in 2–3 days and goes away within a week. Bruising might stick around a bit longer, usually up to 2 weeks.

Can I take anything to reduce swelling?

You can try over-the-counter pain relievers like Acetaminophen if you’re uncomfortable, but talk to your doctor first. Don’t take any medicines that thin your blood.

Can I wear makeup after lip fillers?

Wait at least 24-48 hours before applying makeup to your lips after treatment. This helps lower the risk of infection.

What happens if I accidentally bump my lips?

Be gentle with your lips for a few days. Small bumps or touches usually won’t cause any issues, but try not to rub or press too hard. If something serious happens, let your doctor know.

When will I see the final results of my lip fillers?

After the swelling goes down, which is usually in 1-2 weeks, you’ll see how your lips really look. Remember, the filler settles over time, and you might need another appointment to get the look you want.

Get in Touch:

Lip fillers can provide a transformative solution for those who wish to have more youthful and fuller lips when done by a board-certified cosmetic surgeon with experience in this field. This procedure softens perioral wrinkles, adds volume, and improves lip shape. This non-surgical lip augmentation alternative is extremely customised to meet your individual requirements.


Phone: +44 131 381 4757

Address: Yorkshire Skin Centre,  Sizers Court, Yeadon, Leeds, LS19 7DP

If there are any questions or concerns about the healing procedure, please get in touch with us.

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About the Author

Dr. Raj Thethi

Yorkshire Skin Centre in Leeds is a CQC-registered medical clinic. It is led by Dr Raj Thethi who completed his core surgical training in hospitals around West Yorkshire before branching into aesthetics. Dr Raj Thethi is a Northern Territory Regional Expert for an international dermal filler company called Teoxane. He also sits on their National UK Faculty.

View all posts by Dr. Raj Thethi

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