Even the least invasive cosmetic treatment can lead to bruising. That’s because any time a blood vessel sustains damage, it can bleed into the surrounding tissue. When this occurs, you see discoloration in the form of a red, black, or purple bruise. Unfortunately, these bruises can sometimes take weeks to fade.
As Chief of the Division of Dermatologic & Cosmetic Surgery at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Dr. Hooman Khorasani takes extra steps when performing cosmetic surgery or administering injectable fillers to minimize bruising, like using numbing creams that constrict the blood vessels in your face. He also recommends following these tips so you achieve optimal results from your cosmetic procedure.
When you’re preparing for and recovering from a cosmetic procedure, it’s essential to avoid drugs and supplements known to thin your blood. Common over-the-counter drugs and supplements that can thin your blood include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, St. John’s wort, flaxseed oils, fish oils, and Omega-3 supplements.
Discuss any prescription medications or supplements you’re taking with Dr. Khorasani to reduce your chances of additional bleeding or bruising before and after your procedure.
You don’t have to give up your favorite alcoholic beverage indefinitely if you’re having a cosmetic procedure. But, to reduce your chances of bruising, you should avoid drinking the night before and the day of your appointment. Alcohol causes your blood vessels to temporarily relax and expand, which increases blood flow throughout your body. This can increase the likelihood of bleeding or bruising in the areas being treated.
When you go home after your appointment, you might be tempted to take a nap or lie down on the couch to watch TV. To reduce your chances of bruising and swelling, you should keep your head elevated and apply ice regularly for the first 2-3 days after the procedure. Ice causes your blood vessels to constrict, reducing any bleeding and minimizing bruising. After day three, you should switch to heat, which improves blood flow and helps flush damaged blood cells from the area.
After having a cosmetic treatment, you should avoid touching the injection or surgical sites during the first six hours, unless you’re applying pain relieving cream or have other instructions from Dr. Khorasani.
You should also avoid putting a significant amount of pressure on the area. Pressure can increase your chances of causing additional trauma to the injured blood vessels and increase your chances of swelling and bruising.
Several vitamins and supplements may help reduce bruising, including Arnica montana. This homeopathic treatment can help soothe bruises, muscles, and post-procedure pain. In most cases, you may begin taking Arnica pellets for a few days before your procedure.
After the procedure, you can either continue taking the Arnica tablets or apply a topical ointment, gel, or cream. Dr. Khorasani can provide detailed information on which vitamins or supplements can best help prevent bruising.
Even if there’s no downtime associated with your cosmetic procedure, it’s best to avoid going to the gym or participating in vigorous activities for a short period of time. When you increase your blood pressure, blood flow, and heart rate, it can be harder for any vessels damaged during the surgery to heal. While you recover, play it safe and take a nice walk instead!
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