Dermal fillers: are they becoming the new Botox? Not quite.
We all know by now that age is just a number. What really matters is how young you feel inside. And we’re taking measures to ensure that our faces reflect this new trend.
As many of us know, dermal fillers are a fairly common operation these days. People are scheduling low-key cosmetic procedures more often than they’re going to real live movie theaters. Dermal fillers are more common than banana splits, people who still remember the Gremlins movie, and roller bladers.
We’re twenty years into the twenty-first century, and more and more Americans are opting to change their appearance. We have the agency and the money to control the image we present to the world, and we’re taking full advantage of this fact. More and more women—and men—are using dermal fillers contour their lips, shape their cheeks, create a sharp jawline, smooth out nasolabial folds, plump sunken under-eye circles, and erase the dreaded crow’s feet. In 2016, 17.1 million cosmetic procedures were performed, a 3% increase from the year prior. Of these,15.4 million were minimally-invasive procedures, such as dermal fillers. Around 2.6 million of these were dermal fillers. Botox was more than twice as popular, with 7 million procedures performed. The most common age for cosmetic procedures? Those in the 40 to 54 age range.
The question on everyone’s mind when it comes to these types of procedures is recovery time. We know that for breast augmentation and tummy tucks, it can take a few weeks for us to get back on our feet and to resume biking to work or going to the more intensive cycling classes at the gym. We have to take a pause on our marathon training, crossfit sessions, snowboarding, or mountain biking group. Recovery time is also an indication, in some ways, of how much of a hit our body is taking from the procedure, or, in other words, how serious the procedure was.
So, how much recovery time will your body need? Most doctors say that, no matter which type of filler you’re using, the majority of the bruising and swelling should be gone within 7 to 14 days. If you are noticing that your lips are appearing more swollen or puffy, or that the area feels increasingly firm and bruised, you’ll want to pick up the phone and get in touch with your doctor to make sure you don’t have an infection.
Despite how common they’re becoming, dermal fillers are still not quite a “lunchtime procedure” for everyone, though some people certainly return to work the same day they receive the injections. In these cases, they just put up with the swelling and bruising, and may use ice packets to reduce any swelling and bruising. Some of us may need to take a few days off of work (and to refrain from too much physical exertion) after injections, especially if we are appearing at public events or if we will be spending a lot of time under the sun or physically exerting ourselves (in the case of a chef or a barista, perhaps).
So, lip fillers will generally require less than a week (and up to two weeks) of recover time before you’re completely back to normal—apart from fuller, more shapely lips, of course.
You’ll want to stay away from UV rays that could exacerbate any swelling. You’ll also want to make sure that you give your body the rest it needs to heal. This could mean returning to work that day but skipping happy hour with the crew afterwards to go home and ice your lips.
Want to shorten the recovery time? Ice your lips (those single-serving smoothie packets of fruits work great), avoid sun and irritating chemicals, hold off on exercising and ibuprofen, and refrain from any intense make-out sessions.
Make sure you make time to enjoy your new lips, and to appreciate how they change the way you feel, inside and out—whether it’s buying a few new lipsticks in colors you haven’t tried before because you thought your lips were too thin, or celebrating with a few friends at a new restaurant or club, you deserve to show off your new look. Take your new lips out on the town. Actually meet up with a Tinder match in person for once. The possibilities are endless.