These quick, in-clinic injections have earned their top position by making fine lines and wrinkles virtually invisible and potentially taking years off your appearance.
But cosmetic treatments aren’t without side effects, like the potential for bruising. The good news is that there are ways to prevent (or at least minimize) Botox bruising — and we have five tips to keep you looking your best.
What causes Botox bruising?
Bruises come in all different shapes, sizes and colors, but the reason they occur is always the same — trauma. However, the body’s definition of trauma differs from how most of us see it. Trauma sounds catastrophic, like a car accident, but even a quick bump against a table can have the same result. A bruise is a pool of blood just underneath the skin where the trauma occurred.
Botox (or any injectable cosmetic treatment, like Juvaderm or PRP) involves needles. Yes, these needles are tiny, but they still create skin trauma when inserted. If you’re prone to bruising (like most people with pale skin naturally are) or are taking certain medications that thin the blood, you may be more likely to see Botox bruising after your injections. But, as Botox side effects go, bruising is still less common than swelling or redness.
Certain areas of the skin are also more prone to bruising than others. The area on the outside corner of the eyes (commonly called “crow’s feet”) tends to bruise the most, as it is thinner skin.
If Botox bruising does occur, it shouldn’t last more than a few days — two to three days on average.
What are some tips to prevent Botox bruising?
Botox bruising may be an expected side effect of treatment, but that doesn’t mean you just have to sit back and let it happen. The following five tips, suggested by our skin care providers, may help minimize the potential for bruising, allowing you to show off that beautiful face without worry.
1. AVOID ALCOHOL
Alcohol is a natural blood-thinner. It also dilates the blood vessels, which means more blood can circulate throughout your body when you’re drinking. To avoid Botox bruising, you’ll also want to stop drinking alcohol for 24 to 48 hours before and after your treatment. However, make sure that you drink plenty of water — hydration is one of the keys to healing quickly (plus, it just makes you feel good!).
In addition to avoiding alcohol, you may also want to quit drinking caffeine for the few days surrounding your appointment. Caffeine is a stimulant that also dilates blood vessels, so cutting it out (just temporarily!) can help reduce your risk of bruising.
2. USE ICE
While you shouldn’t use ice to make a cocktail after getting Botox, you can definitely use it to help reduce your potential for bruising. Applying ice to your injection sites can help reduce circulation to the area, too, as long as you follow a few simple rules.
Always wrap your ice pack in a washcloth or towel; never apply the ice directly to your skin.
Don’t use ice for more than 15-20 minutes per session.
Never apply pressure to the injection sites; let your ice pack sit gently on the skin.
Ice can also be helpful to use before your Botox injections. When applied to the skin just before the needles are inserted, the ice can reduce swelling and make the already minimally painful treatment even more pain-free.
3. RESCHEDULE YOUR PERSONAL TRAINER
Exercise is one of the best gifts you can give yourself, but it can also put you at a greater risk of Botox bruising post-treatment. Like alcohol, exercise (or any strenuous activity) increases your circulation. While this is usually a good thing, especially when it comes to maintaining your overall health, it can also increase the likelihood of bruising.
Even certain yoga poses, like a downward-facing dog (or any inverted pose), can increase blood flow to the face. The risk goes down after just a few hours, but it’s best to avoid the gym entirely on the day of treatment.
4. DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE
After getting Botox, you’ll probably want to look at yourself and see how your face has changed! We understand the impulse, but we’d encourage you to just look and not touch. Not only can the physical act of touching your skin cause the Botox to shift into unintended parts of your face, but it can also increase blood flow. Similarly, try to avoid wearing tight hats or sleeping face down.
Plus, it can take a few weeks to start seeing results from your Botox injections, too.
5. TRY ARNICA
Arnica (also known as Arnica montana) is an herb that belongs to the sunflower family. Although scientific studies haven’t conclusively proven its effectiveness, people across the globe have been turning to Arnica to help with bruising for centuries. Using Arnica supplements (available in oral and topical forms) at least two days before your treatment may help with Botox bruising by reducing swelling.
However, if a doctor is treating you for any health issues, check with them to see if Arnica is safe for you to take.
How long will my results last?
If you follow all of the rules and recommendations, the results of Botox treatment can last up to four months! After that, you’ll notice that the muscle groups that were injected start to regain their ability to move.
Remember, Botox doesn’t actually remove your fine lines and wrinkles. It stops the muscles underneath from moving, which makes the skin above them appear more smooth and wrinkle-free. To keep up with your results, you’ll need to have your injections repeated every three to four months.
To wrap things up...
Botox can be an absolute game changer for the skin, but it isn’t without the potential for side effects. Luckily, if you follow your provider’s Botox pre- and post-treatment guidelines, you can reduce your risk for Botox bruising so that you can show off that beautiful skin in no time. You deserve it!