One of the biggest concerns for all of our patients when having an injectable procedure performed is whether or not they will be sporting a nice big bruise for the days to follow. The fear of a bruise can even prevent some patients from getting the procedure done! Treatments with neuromodulators such as Botox and Dysport are less likely to cause bruising than fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane. But of course, bruising is always a risk anytime a needle is used. If bruising does occur, patients can expect the bruise to last anywhere from 10-14 days. Most bruising can be covered by makeup, but sometime those pesky dark purple bruises that occur the first few days following the procedure can be difficult to cover up.
We have good news though! There are certain things that can be done to help reduce the risk of bruising from an injectable treatment. It all starts long before you even step into the office. One of the most important things you can do to prevent bruising is to avoid certain medications, supplements, foods and drinks prior to the procedure. It is most prudent to avoid these substances for 2 weeks prior to your appointment. Things that should be avoided include all NSAIDS (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Aleve, Advil, Excedrin and Motrin. The only over the counter pain med that is not in this category is Tylenol or Acetaminophen. So, if you happen to have a headache or an ache or a pain 2 weeks prior to your procedure, reach for the Tylenol instead of the Advil!
Supplements and some Vitamins also play a huge part in bruising as many of them block platelet function. Some specific ones to avoid include Fish Oil, St. John’s Wort, Ginkgo Biloba, Ginseng, Garlic, Ginger, Green Tea, and Vitamin E.
Lastly, alcohol can also increase your risk for a nasty bruise, so just like all of the other things mentioned, it is best to avoid it. It is not necessary to avoid alcohol for a full 2 weeks but at least 24 hours is recommended. The longer the better though!
Now, before you go thinking all supplements will causing bruising and swear them off for good, there are some supplements that may prevent bruising or help bruises dissipate faster. Notice, we say MAY. There is no scientific evidence supporting these supplements and decreased bruising, but some people swear by them. Bromelain, an extract from made from the stem of pineapples has been used in folk medicine for years as a anti-inflammatory medicine. It is also thought to diminish the appearance of bruising by breaking down the proteins in the skin that trap fluids. Bromelain can be found in pill form or is present in all parts of a pineapple if ingested. No, you don’t have to eat the stem!
Another supplement used to help with bruising is Arnica. Arnica is a flowering plant found in Europe. It too is thought to help with healing and to help decrease the appearance of bruising. It can be found in a few different forms including pills to be taken orally or in creams or ointment which can be rubbed directly onto the affected area.
Now, of course in addition to this there are also traditional methods of preventing bruising that most of you have most likely heard of, such as ice. We usually have our patients sit with some ice-packs on the treated area both before and after the treatment to help prevent bruising and swelling. The ice helps to constrict the blood vessels making bruising less of a risk.
Now that you know all of the tricks of the trade hopefully the idea of having an injectable treatment isn’t so scary! We still recommend that you get your treatment at a time when you don’t have something important to go to for the next few weeks like say, your wedding or 10 year reunion! If you are interested in learning more about any injectable treatment call the office for an appointment with either Leah or Julia at 413-565-4400.