Lip Filler Swelling Stages and Complications

Date: February 3, 2022

Lip Filler Swelling Stages and Complications

As an aesthetic practitioner, it is imperative that you are aware of the proper lip filler aftercare routine and the stages of swelling that your patients will experience post-treatment. If a patient worries that they are experiencing problems following their treatment it is vital that they can come to you for help.

When you attend one of our lip filler courses at the Dr Hennessy Academy, we will fully brief you with all the knowledge that you would need to know in order to administer lip fillers and local anaesthetic safely and offer accurate follow up advice.

Read on for a brief look of some of the common tips that we provide our trainees with.

Lip filler swelling timeline

After administering lip filler, we find that providing a timeline of what to expect is a good way of making your patient feel at ease. They should know to expect swelling and some bruising, but they should also know what not to expect so that if it should arise then they know that they need professional advice and perhaps medical assistance.


Immediately following treatment, your patient will experience considerable swelling in the injection sites. This swelling may be uneven across the lips. Advise your patient that this is normal and will settle down in due course.

It is important that you examine your patient for signs of arterial vascular occlusion which is incredibly serious and will need to be addressed immediately if found. Signs include severe pain (which may be somewhat masked by any local anaesthesia) and blanches in skin colour.

Odd discolouration (particularly red or blue) and pain are symptoms of venous vascular occlusion and may appear at a later stage so advise your patient to stay vigilant for these signs and to contact you if they have any concerns.

First few days

The initial swelling will have grown and the lumps will be plump and sensitive. This is not what your patient’s lips will look like once symptoms have disappeared so reassure them that this is normal. The upper lip is often bigger and protrudes beyond the bottom lip.

Bruising is likely to appear in the following days after treatment. There may also be lumps within the lips making them uneven.

First week

Coming up to seven days post-treatment, your patient’s bruising and lumps should begin to disappear – although this may take longer. We always recommend explaining how each person is different and so recovery periods will always differ somewhat.

There will likely be a small amount of swelling left over at this stage before the lips are at their optimal appearance.

Second week

By the second week post-treatment, your patient should possess the desired outcome from their lip treatment. Swelling should have almost completely disappeared by this point.

Two weeks is the stage where most practitioners advise that patients can return to their normal routine. Although it is important to be more cautious of heat and strenuous exercise and the effect that these may have on the lips post-two weeks.

After 14 days

In some instances, it can take up to four weeks for the lip filler to fully settle into the finished look.  If your patient is still experiencing swelling after four weeks then they must seek advice from you so that you can verify your patient is safe, healthy, and experiencing no long-term issues.

How long does lip filler bruising last?

Most individuals will recover from bruising within seven days of their lip filler treatment; however, it is not unusual for bruising to persist for up to 14 days after their treatment.

How to reduce swelling after lip fillers

You should provide the following advice to your patients which will help them mitigate additional swelling as much as possible:

  • Refrain from touching the lips immediately following treatment as the lip filler is settling
  • Careful use of a cold press in the days following treatment can help to reduce swelling providing that nothing sticks to the lips
  • Arnica can reduce bruising and can be taken before and after injection
  • Ibuprofen can be taken as an anti-inflammatory medicine if needed
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking for at least 24 hours post-treatment

There are also things that you can do as an aesthetic practitioner that will reduce the risk of swelling. For example, Restylane Kysse filler is designed to produce more natural looking results and swells less than other, more common, lip filler brands such as Juvederm.

Learn to perform lip filler injections

If you want to add lip fillers into your repertoire of services as an aesthetic practitioner after attending our, or any accredited, foundation course then attend one of our courses at the Dr Hennessy Academy and be confident that you’re learning from the best. We also offer other cosmetic courses, such as Botox courses and Botox training.

Get in touch with us now to secure your place.


How soon after lip injections can you get more?

Most patients will be suitable for further lip injections 3-6 months after their initial treatment.

Can you drink after lip fillers?

It is recommended that you avoid alcohol after receiving lip fillers for at least 24 hours. You should drink plenty of water to reduce the risk of excessive swelling and bruising.

Can you eat after lip fillers?

You can eat after receiving lip fillers although you should, for the first 24 hours post-treatment, avoid any foods that are particularly crunchy or chewy as these will use your lips less and allow them to continue healing.

Can I put on lip balm after lip fillers?

Make-up and lip balm is recommended to be avoided for the first 24 hours following your treatment as the lips will be sensitive and tender.

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