Bruising after Restylane occurs when the needle hits tiny blood vessels hidden underneath the patient’s skin, and swelling is the body’s natural response to an injury - in this case, by the needle. It’s important to note that, no matter how experienced an injector may be, there is always the potential for bruising and swelling - however, to an extent, the amount of bruising and swelling seen can be minimized through appropriate pre- and post-treatment instruction.
As one example, if they wish, patients may be instructed to begin taking Arnica - shown to decrease such effects as bruising - internally prior to their appointment. It is also advised that patients avoid any food, drink, supplement or medication that can thin the blood a few days prior to their appointment, as these can increase the severity of bruising.
After treatment, diligent patients should continue to avoid blood thinners and physical activity. Intermittent icing will help to reduce swelling dramatically within the first 24 to 48 hours. If swelling is experienced, it is likely to peak on the second to third day after treatment before it begins to go down. Bruising can last anywhere from seven to 10 days.
Timing is important. I always advise my patients to plan their treatments in advance of any event or outing. This means that they should not be getting injectables done the day before their wedding or a big photo shoot because, while I will do my best as an injector to ensure they do not experience severe bruising and swelling, it is always a possibility when a needle is being used.