When it comes to talking about injectables, I’ve always been an open book — mostly because I’m thrilled with my results and want to share my positive experiences with anyone who asks. I’ve received lip filler multiple times now (and learned some lessons along the way), dabbled in injectable wrinkle reducers, and, most recently, I tried injectable cheek fillers.
While I was hardly a novice when I entered my first injectable cheek filler appointment, I did learn a few cheek-specific tips that I plan to implement — and share — prior to my next appointment. Keep reading for six things I wish I’d known before getting cheek fillers — including advice you’ll want to follow before and after your cheek filler appointment.
Injectable filler is a temporary treatment that adds volume to areas of the face such as the lips, cheeks, and laugh lines. Like any medical treatment, it has potential risks and side effects. Be sure to talk to a licensed provider to see if they’re right for you.
Cheek fillers might lead to bruising
Underneath our skin lie tiny, delicate blood vessels. When an object bumps against the skin — be it a table to the shin or a needle to the cheek — these blood vessels are susceptible to damage and/or breaking. When tiny blood vessels break, their contents can leak and pool — ultimately appearing on the surface of the skin as a bruise. This is worth considering if you have plans in the coming weeks, like a wedding or reunion, since bruising can take a week or longer to heal. I personally experienced some bruising at the injection site after my first cheek filler appointment — the size of two tiny pinpricks on the upper part of my cheekbone, which lasted a few days.
Sometimes cheek fillers make a distinct sound
If you’d asked which of the five senses I’d thought cheek filler injections might affect, I’d have said touch (in the form of pain, no less). Not only was I wrong in predicting that the experience would hurt — the treatment was only mildly uncomfortable for me — but the tactile element of cheek filler was significantly less noticeable than the audible one. Yes: cheek filler, when injected, can make a sound. The sound is subtle, mind you; it reminds me of Rice Krispies® — both in the snap, crackle, pop element, and the volume at which the crackling ensues. If Rice Krispies aren’t your thing, close your eyes (a tip I recommend regardless) and imagine walking through a forest of dry, crunching leaves, or sitting by a very quiet fireplace. Rest assured, the the crackling is ephemeral, and is by no means an indication that something has gone awry.
Individual experiences may vary.
Cheek fillers and martinis do not mix
. . . At least for the first 24 hours and after the injection. As per my provider’s aftercare instructions, I was to abstain from alcohol the day of and after my cheek fillers. This was news to me — someone who, until that very moment, had plans to imbibe at a new cocktail lounge later that night. Alcohol may increase the risk for temporary redness, swelling, and/or itching at the injection sites. Cheers to a lesson learned, I suppose.
Be sure to discuss any medications or supplements you’re taking with your doctor, and whether or not you should discontinue them prior to getting filler.
Be sure to tell your doctor about fish oil and any other supplements or medications you’re taking before receiving cheek fillers
Most tips on cheek fillers concern aftercare — and thus, can be implemented as soon as they’re learned (e.g. when my injector told me to avoid drinking for 24 hours). Some pointers, however, require foresight — including the tip to discuss whether or not you should stop taking any sort of blood thinner prior to your appointment. Fish oil supplements can have blood-thinning effects, similar to those from aspirin; ultimately, thinner blood can increase the risk for bruising and bleeding post-filler. Of course, consult with your general practitioner before making any sudden changes to your medical regimen!
Cheek fillers do not usually require numbing cream
Pre-cheek filler, I was fully prepared to have half my face slathered in numbing cream. So, when my injector informed me that I’d maintain full feeling in my face, my pulse quickened. I reckon I could’ve gotten numbing cream had I asked, but I decided to put full trust in my injector. (It’s worth noting that the cheeks are generally less sensitive than, say, the lips.) I quickly learned that cheek fillers don’t even make the list of the Top 50 Most Painful Experiences I’ve had in my life — far from it, in fact. The needle insertion felt like bee stings of various intensities (duller in areas with more fat, sharper closer to the bone). All in all: totally tolerable.
Avoid strenuous exercise for 24 hours after you’ve gotten cheek fillers
I’m not a fan of strenuous exercise in the first place — so I was hardly upset when I was told to steer clear of anything sweat-inducing (heck, I was happy). On a similar note, I was also instructed to avoid excessive heat for the first 24 hours post cheek filler. Unless you have a standing sauna appointment, or you’re a hot yoga devotee (in which case — a double whammy of no-nos!), avoiding heat and exercise is hardly a strain on one’s schedule.
Sophie Wirt is an Allergan® employee.