How Long for Lip Fillers to ‘Settle’?
Lip fillers numbers have exploded to become one of *the* most popular ‘tweakments’ of the past 10 years.
But just because everyone seems to be getting them, it doesn’t mean there still isn’t something of a lack of information about there about what exactly to expect.
One of the things filler candidates are often least prepared for is that the treatment will actually take time to ‘settle’ (basically to get the smooth, finished result you were hoping for).
That’s why we spoke to the experts on all things lip augmentation for their take on exactly how long your filler may take to settle, what to expect, and how to get the best results from your treatment.
Meet Manhatten Laser Spa nurse injector Lilian Alishaev, award-winning injectable specialist Akis Ntonos, and board-certified antiageing expert Dr Saulis Banionis!
How long does lip filler take to settle?
The short answer is that you can expect your lip filler to settle in around two weeks.
That means that, although you will see immediate results to the size of your lips, for the first few days you should expect some minor swelling and bruising around your lips, while for around two weeks can expect some lumps, unevenness or hardness.
Dr Banionis tells us, “you will notice an immediate difference in the appearance of your lips after the procedure. They will likely look fuller and more defined. However, keep in mind that some initial swelling is normal, so the final results will become more apparent as the swelling subsides.”
He explains, “For two weeks ‘do not love them or hate them,’ is what we say. You will see the filler right away but it takes a complete 2 weeks.”
The NHS backs this up, saying that “the affected area may be a bit red, sore and swollen. Any swelling or bruising should settle down in a few days.”
Akis agrees. “It usually takes about 1 to 2 weeks for the filler to fully settle and for you to see the final outcome,” he explains.
He advises, “during this time, it’s important to be patient and avoid any additional treatments or interventions.”
Why does it take time for lip filler to settle?
Hyaluronic acid filler (the most common type of filler used) needs time to bind with the cells in your lips.
This can cause hardness or lumps while it integrates but just remember that it’s a normal part of the healing process. Dr Banionis explains, “Some people might also experience tenderness, lumps, or unevenness in the lips initially, but these issues often resolve as the filler settles.”
How long will any bruising last?
Don’t worry if you notice bruising after getting lip fillers. This is one of the most standard common side effects and should clear up in around a week.
Dr. Banionis says “swelling, bruising, and redness around the injection sites are common temporary side effects. These effects usually subside within a few days to a week.”
How can you improve the results of your lip filler?
The best way to ensure the best results though? Inform yourself.
There’s a dizzying amount of information (and misinformation) online about fillers, and the best instructions you get should be the ones your licenced aesthetician or medical provider gives you.
As Lilian explains, “getting lip fillers for the first time can be very exciting yet a very anxious experience. Many people rely on social media to inform and educate them and many aspire to get specific results they see on social media platforms.
“It’s important to educate each patient that results are individualised though. Everyone has a different shape and everyone heals differently.”
The NHS agrees with this, saying that “you should be advised about what to do to help reduce the risk of side effects.
“This includes not wearing make-up immediately after the procedure and avoiding alcohol, coffee and the sun.”
There are some general golden rules that can help minimise side effects though.
When it comes to prepping for your lip injections avoid blood thinners, explains Lilian.
She explains, “you should refrain from taking medications that thin your blood 5 days before such as over the counter non steroidal anti inflammatory medications such as Motrin, ibuprofen and aspirin.”
The expert adds, “any prescription drugs should be confirmed with the injector prior to the treatment. Dental work should be avoided 4 weeks prior to the treatment and 4 weeks after the treatment. Avoid alcohol 5 days before and caffeine 2 days before the treatment as well.”
When it comes to getting ready for your appointment too, Dr Banionis advises skipping the makeup.
He tells us, “on the day of the procedure, it’s best to arrive with clean skin, without any makeup or lip products.”
But what about aftercare?
Well it turns out that what you do after you get lip fillers is just as important as how you prep for them.
Dr Banionis advises, “avoiding strenuous activities, excessive heat or cold, and touching or massaging the treated area.”
That means no working out, no saunas or steam rooms, and no heavy kissing for at least 48 hours after your treatment (yes, we know).
Dr Banionis goes on, “applying ice packs and taking over-the-counter pain relievers can help with any swelling or discomfort.
“It’s also important to stay hydrated and protect your lips from excessive sun exposure.”
So get your ice pack ready, avoid strenuous exercise for a few days (yay!), and drink plenty of water to get the full effect from your lip filler procedure.
The types of filler
Not all lip fillers are the same and there are actually a couple different types available. We’ve listed some of the most common ones below.
- Body fat lip fillers
- Juvederm Ultra XC
- Restylane Silk
While there are loads of options available, your aesthetician or plastic surgeon will know which one is right for you and your lips so always make sure to discuss what exact type your having- and the results you’re looking for- in an initial consultation.
What are the risks of lip filler?
Getting fillers is generally safe, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any risk factors that you need to be aware of.
You may notice some side effects around the treatment area pretty soon after your procedure but these should quickly go away.
Dr Banionis explains, “swelling, bruising, and redness around the injection sites are common temporary side effects.”
But while they’re the most common side effects, swelling and bruisning are not the only risk factors you should be aware of.
More serious risks include allergic reactions, tissue damage, cold sores, blood clots and infection.
Patients can help avoid infection issues by keeping the area where they have injections (very) clean both before and after the procedure and minimising how much they touch the area.
You should also pay close attention to your lips while they’re recovering. Be sure to let your cosmetic surgeon or aesthetician know right away if your bruising or swelling doesn’t resolve (or gets worse) or lip fillers don’t seem to be settling like they’re supposed to.
You should also feel free to ask any questions you have, both before and after the treatment.
You want to enjoy a stress-free experience when you get lip fillers. Communicating about your aesthetic needs, any side effects and asking questions about risk factors and lip filler aftercare will help, giving you more time to get on with admiring your new fuller lips.
You should wait a full two weeks after getting lip filler injections to come to a verdict on the results (and if you don’t think you’ve got enough volume, here’s exactly how long should wait before your next treatment).
While you’ll notice an immediate difference in how your lips look after the procedure, that doesn’t mean that the complete results will be immediately apparent. And don’t worry if your lips look bruised or swollen soon after the procedure; this is a normal side effect.
Besides being well-informed though, as ever you should only have a lip filler treatment performed by an expert with extensive experience (not just someone you found on Groupon).
Once you do find that expert, follow their aftercare instructions carefully (they’ve taken years of training to get to this point, after all). Being sensible for a few days before and after your treatment (boring, we know) will only help to get the results you’ve been looking forward- and saving up- for.
Now go enjoy your plump new pout!
Meet the experts
Lilian Alishaev is a cosmetic nurse injector at the Manhattan Laser Spa, specialising in treatments like treatments such as Botox, Dermal Fillers, Platelet Rich Plasma, RADIESSE®, Kybella®.
Akis Ntonos, FNP-C, is a Dermatology Nurse Practitioner and Injectable Specialist, (a.k.a. Facial Architect) and co-founder of Aion Aesthetics, New York’s premier injectables clinic.
Dr Saulis Banionis is board certified by The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and was trained extensively in aesthetic and regenerative medicine to become an expert in anti-ageing medicine. His practice is PB Antiaging and he has also worked as a Medical Expert for the Florida Board of Medicine.