It’s often said that there’s no downtime with BOTOX and fillers, but that doesn’t mean there are no side effects or recovery process. It’s normal to have:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Lumps/bumps/unevenness
  • Mild redness

The degree to which you experience these can vary greatly. We’ll provide you with all the info you need to minimize the expected side effects and recover as quickly, comfortably, and beautifully as possible.

It’s also important that you understand the abnormal side effects—things that are UNCOMMON and require medical attention. These include:

  • Mottled/spotty discoloration
  • Throbbing or increasing pain
  • Blisters
  • Delayed swelling after 2 or more months

If you experience any of these, you should call our office immediately. We have the tools and experience to address these rare complications right away. But you don’t have to have an emergency to call us; we’re always here for you if you have any questions about your treatment or recovery. We’ve also put together this page to help you understand what is and isn’t normal after treatment.

What To Expect After Dermal Fillers & BOTOX

Common & Mild Side Effects During Healing

The most common side effects of BOTOX injections are localized redness, minor swelling, and sometimes itching or irritation. These are usually very minor and resolve within a day or two. Dermal fillers can produce more significant and longer-lasting side effects; read on to learn what’s normal.

Lumps Bumps & Unevenness
Mild Redness

SWELLING After BOTOX & Dermal Fillers

Swelling is the enlargement of a body part resulting from fluid accumulation. This happens whenever there is trauma to a part of the body; something as simple as a needle poke can cause swelling. The body detects that there has been an injury, and sends cells to start to heal the area. The fluid in these cells produces swelling. Swelling is the most common of the possible side effects of dermal fillers. It typically peaks 24 to 48 hours after treatment, and can last 4 to 6 weeks.

The amount of post-filler swelling differs for each individual treatment and depends on a few factors:

  • Area treated – lips, forehead, and jawline tend to swell the most
  • Number of injection entry points, passes of the cannula, and syringes used during treatment
  • Individual physiology and medical history

Normal Swelling by Area

Choose an Option Below
  • A woman's face before lip filler
    Before Lip Filler
    A woman's face immediately following lip filler
    Immediately After Lip Filler
    A woman's face four weeks after lip filler
    4 Weeks After Lip Filler

  • A man's swelling cheeks immediately after Radiesse
    Cheek Swelling Immediately After RADIESSE
    A man's face one day after radiesse treatment
    Cheek Swelling 1 Day After RADIESSE
    A man's face six weeks after radiesse and no swelling
    Cheek Swelling Resolved at 6 Weeks

    Radiesse: Has more initial swelling than other fillers.

  • A woman's face one day after under eye treatment
    1 Day After Under Eye Treatment
    A woman's face three days after under eye treatment
    3 Days After Under Eye Treatment
    A woman's face three weeks after under eye treatment
    3 Weeks After Under Eye Treatment

  • A man's jawline showing swelling immediately following jawline filler treatment
    Swelling Immediately After Jawline Filler
    A man's jawline four weeks after treatment, showing most swelling has subsided
    90% Of Swelling Resolved At 4 Weeks
    A man's jawline eight weeks after treatment, with no swelling
    Swelling Completely Resolved At 8 Weeks

    Swelling after Jawline Filler: The jawline is one of the areas that swells the most.

  • A man's face before botox
    A man's face immediately following botox injections
    Immediately After Botox Injections

Normal Swelling by Area



Radiesse: Has more initial swelling than other fillers.

Under Eyes


Swelling after Jawline Filler: The jawline is one of the areas that swells the most.


Ways To Minimize Swelling After Fillers

There are a few things you can do to minimize the swelling you experience after your dermal filler treatment, including:

  • Apply ice to the area
  • Keep your head elevated
  • Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories
  • Avoid high-sodium foods or drinks

Your Injector will go over these tips and more at your appointment.

BRUISING After BOTOX & Dermal Fillers

Post-filler or BOTOX bruising is caused by a collection of blood under the skin. When there is injury to even a tiny vessel, blood can get trapped under the skin resulting in a bruise. The severity of bruising is not dependent on filler type, but rather on the size and type of injection tool used, as well as each patient’s anatomy and physiology. While bruising is a possible risk any time the skin is punctured, some treatment areas are more prone to bruising than others.

Our associates at Mabrie Facial Institute use a microcannula technique, which greatly reduces bruising.

A woman showing common signs of bruising underneath the chin after BOTOX
Lower Face Bruising Is Common
A woman showing uncommon, but normal signs of bruising underneath the eye after BOTOX
Under Eye Bruising Is Normal But Uncommon

Ways To Minimize Bruising After BOTOX & Dermal Fillers

There are a few things you can do to minimize bruising after your dermal filler treatment, including:

  • Homeopathic Arnica montana, either in tablet or topical form
  • Vitamin K oxide supplements
  • Pulsed dye laser treatments
  • Makeup

Below is information on some popular concealer brands, as well as tips for application.


color correcting makeup palette for concealing bruises

Ultra HD Underpainting Color Correcting Palette

Make Up For Ever

Sephora, Amazon

concealer twins makeup product for concealing bruising from dermal filler injections

Concealer Twins

Physician’s Formula

Target, CVS, Walgreens, Ulta Beauty

makeup palette for concealing bruising

Correct & Perfect All-In-One Color Correcting Palette


Sephora, Ulta Beauty


Neutralize: Neutralizing colors appear opposite each other on the Color Wheel. Use the Color Wheel to determine which concealer color will neutralize the color of your bruise. For example – to cover blue bruises, you would start by neutralizing the color of your bruise with orange makeup concealer. For red blemishes, you would neutralize the blemish color with green makeup concealer.

Apply: Use light fingertips to apply the concealer in blending motions, being sure to camouflage the entire bruise. Allow the concealer to set.

Finish: If desired, you may then apply a layer of foundation that best matches your skin complexion (be careful not to rub in the concealer while applying).

Color Wheel


Asymmetry and bumps may be seen or felt on any area of the face, especially under the eyes and along the jawline. This is most often due to normal swelling. If, after initial swelling has resolved (at around 6 weeks), you still have lumps or bumps, it could be from incomplete treatment or beaded filler. Please be patient, as this will be corrected at your second visit.

Examples of Lumps & Bumps After Filler

Choose an Option Below
  • A woman with jawline lumps before treatment
    Before Treatment
    A woman with jawline lumps after first treatment
    After 1st Jawline Treatment
    A woman who had jawline lumps after final treatment
    After Final Jawline Treatment
  • A woman with under eye unevenness before treatment
    Before Treatment
    A woman with under eye unevenness after her first treatment
    Bumps/Shadows After 1st Treatment
    A woman who had under eye unevenness after her final treatment
    Resolved After 2nd Treatment
  • A woman with a small bump after lip filler
    Small Bump After Lip Filler
    A woman showing no bump after lip filler
    After Dissolving Bump

Examples of Lumps & Bumps After Filler

Jawline Lump

Under Eye Unevenness

Lip Bump

Mild REDNESS After Fillers

After injury from treatment, the body heals itself with increased blood flow. This may cause an increased red appearance of the skin in the treatment area.

You can help resolve the redness with warm compresses, Arnica montana, and rest. It should resolve within a few days, so be patient.

A woman showing signs of mild redness around the nose after dermal fillers
Redness without pain, warmth, or tenderness is normal

IMPORTANT NOTE: If there is pain, warmth, or tenderness associated with redness, this could signify an infection. Fortunately, infection after fillers is very rare, but is a known risk after filler treatment.

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Do’s & Don’ts After BOTOX/Neuromodulator Treatment (First 24 Hours)

It’s OK

  • Light exercise
  • Use Arnica gel or tablets
  • Take anti-inflammatory or Tylenol if you develop a headache
  • Apply makeup after 30 minutes


  • Massaging injected areas
  • Laying face down for extended periods of time
  • Using the sauna

REMEMBER: Your results won’t begin appearing for a few days, the treatment will be fully active at 10 to 14 days, so be patient!

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Do’s & Don’ts After Filler Treatment

It’s OK

  • Apply ice to minimize swelling – except to the nose
  • Use Arnica gel or tablets
  • Light exercise
  • Take anti-inflammatory to minimize swelling
  • Sleep elevated to help with swelling
  • Wear mask, glasses or hat this won’t shift your fillers


  • Applying makeup for 4 hours
  • Massaging injected areas
  • Same day strenuous exercise
  • Using saunas for 3 days
  • Long flights same day as nose filler treatment
  • Getting facials or other treatments until swelling subsides

REMEMBER: You will be at maximum swelling the day after your injections. Don’t let this swelling frighten you; be patient as it takes time to fully heal.

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Unusual Side Effects of Filler Treatment

Call Our Office Immediately If You Experience Any of the Side Effects Depicted Below
(415) 445-9513

Mottled/Spotty Discoloration
A woman showing signs of increasing pain after filler treatment
Throbbing or Increasing Pain
A woman showing blistering after filler treatment
Delayed Swelling

Mottled/Spotty Discoloration

Paleness or dusky gray-purple discoloration of an injection site could be a warning sign that the skin isn’t getting the blood flow that it needs. If the discolored area has a mottled, or lace-like pattern that spreads, and is accompanied by throbbing pain or numbness, this could mean you’re experiencing a rare complication called vascular occlusion. These signs would appear within the first hours to days after injection. This is when the filler is blocking a vessel and cutting off the blood supply to the skin. If this happens, your fillers will need to be dissolved immediately with Hylenex to restore proper blood flow to the skin. Call the office immediately as this may be a medical emergency.

Vascular occlusions usually occur in the office immediately after treatment. However, rarely, they may occur a few hours after treatment. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

A woman showing signs of blanching, mottling, gray/purple coloration, sharply demarcated borders
Blanching, mottling, gray/purple coloration, sharply demarcated borders
A woman showing no signs of blanching, mottling, gray/purple coloration, sharply demarcated borders
Completely resolved after dissolving with hyaluronidase (Hylenex)

Throbbing or Increasing Pain

Localized pain that increases over time, or becomes severe or throbbing during the healing process, is not normal and could be a sign that something more is going on. If you experience this, call our office immediately.


Multiple blisters or small pustules near an injection site accompanied by pain, numbness, or skin discoloration, could be a sign of a vascular occlusion. This occurs when the blood flow to the skin is blocked by filler and the skin isn’t getting the blood and oxygen that it needs. If the blood flow is not restored promptly, blisters will appear, a sign that the skin is suffocating and damaged. These blisters could appear within 1 to 4 days post injection. Call the office immediately as this may be a medical emergency.

A woman showing blanching, gray/purple coloration, pustule skin
Blanching, gray/purple coloration, pustule
A woman showing no signs of blanching, gray/purple coloration, pustule skin
Completely resolved after dissolving with hyaluronidase (Hylenex)

Delayed Swelling After 2 Months

Swelling, tenderness, redness, or nodules that appear weeks to months after a treated area has already healed could be a sign of delayed swelling. This potentially occurs when one’s immune system becomes hyperactive (such as from a cold or a vaccine or unknown reason) and begins to attack the filler. While this is uncommon, it typically resolves on its own, but in some instances may require prescription medication. Delayed swelling is not a medical emergency, but it is still best to call our office to speak with a medical provider if you experience these signs.

A woman showing signs of delayed swelling several months after treatment
Delayed swelling 7 months after treatment
A woman showing no signs of swelling after treatment with steroids
Delayed swelling resolved after course of oral steroids

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BOTOX & Dermal Filler Aftercare FAQ

Should you massage lumps after fillers?

No, you should resist the urge to massage any lumps or bumps you feel after filler injections for at least 7 days. Be patient, these are not uncommon and they will resolve on their own.

Can I wash my face after BOTOX or fillers?

You can gently wash your face after fillers as long as you are very careful not to massage the treatment areas.

How long after lip fillers can I wear makeup?

Wait a few hours after treatment to apply makeup, concealer, moisturizer, and SPF.  This will minimize the risk of infection.  We suggest passing the time in our Lux Lounge before reapplication.  

How long do cheek fillers take to settle?

Cheek fillers don’t really “settle,” but they take a few days to integrate with your tissue, and results do go through changes as swelling subsides. Usually, swelling will resolve within a week or two, with all noticeable swelling gone by 4 weeks. However, RADIESSE can cause more significant swelling, but it is temporary and usually resolves by 6 weeks.

What painkillers can I take after lip fillers?

Over-the-counter analgesics should be enough to ease any discomfort you feel after lip fillers. You’ll want to stick to acetaminophen products such as Tylenol, since ibuprofen products and aspirin are blood thinners.

When can I sleep on my face after fillers?

It is best to wait at least a few days before putting pressure on your treatment areas. This gives the fillers time to integrate with your facial tissue and completely take shape.

Can you exercise after fillers or BOTOX?

You can engage in light exercise on the day of your treatment, and more strenuous exercise starting 24 hours after your injections.

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The MFI Advantage

MFI focuses exclusively on injectables, and has set the bar in the art and science of fillers for more than 15 years. Dr. Mabrie, trained as a facial plastic surgeon, has dedicated thousands of hours to carefully selecting and training our talented Injectors in the most innovative, effective, and safe techniques for injectables. There is no other practice in the Bay Area with the level of experience, education, and passion for injectables you'll find at MFI.

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Call us. We want to help. We know that it can feel scary to change your life. We admire your courage. We’ll help you through this.

If you have more questions, go ahead and contact us. We promise to answer you. Or, if we haven’t met yet, request a consultation online with one of the specialists at Mabrie Facial Institute.