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Restylane Filler Side Effects: What to Expect After Your Treatment

Medically Reviewed
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aurora Kalmanson on
Written by Fillers Editorial Team, plastic surgery specialists.

Restylane fillers, known for their hyaluronic acid content, are widely used to address facial wrinkles and enhance features. While effective, they come with potential side effects such as swelling, redness, pain at the injection site, and bruising.

These reactions are generally mild and transient. However, it’s crucial to be aware of more serious complications like allergic reactions and to choose a qualified provider for the procedure.

Overview of Restylane Filler Side Effects

Restylane fillers are generally safe, but like any cosmetic treatment, they can cause side effects. Understanding these effects helps patients prepare for and manage them effectively.

Common Side Effects

Swelling and Redness: Swelling and redness are the body’s natural response to the injection and usually subside within a few days. Swelling is the result of fluid accumulation as the body reacts to the hyaluronic acid filler, while redness is due to increased blood flow to the area. Applying ice packs and avoiding strenuous activities can help reduce these symptoms. If swelling or redness persists beyond a week or appears to worsen, it’s advisable to consult with the provider.

Pain and Tenderness at Injection Site: Pain and tenderness at the injection site are common experiences post-treatment. The discomfort is typically mild and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. Tenderness, a sensation of sensitivity upon touch, is also a short-lived side effect. Both pain and tenderness should diminish as the injection site heals. If severe pain occurs, it may indicate an underlying issue that requires medical attention.

Bruising: Bruising is another common side effect that occurs when blood vessels are disrupted during the injection process. The severity of bruising can vary based on individual factors such as skin type and the area treated. To minimize bruising, patients are advised to avoid blood-thinning medications and supplements before the procedure. If bruising is extensive or doesn’t improve, it’s important to seek advice from the healthcare provider.

Itching: Itching at the injection site is a side effect that some patients may experience. It is often a sign of the skin’s healing process but can also be a mild allergic reaction to the filler. Antihistamines can reduce itching, but if it persists or is accompanied by a rash, medical consultation is necessary to rule out a more serious allergic response.

Headache: Some individuals report experiencing headaches following Restylane filler injections. While not as common as other side effects like swelling or bruising, headaches can occur due to the body’s response to the treatment or the stress of the procedure itself. These headaches are usually mild and can be managed with standard over-the-counter pain relief medications. If a headache persists or is particularly severe, it may be a sign to consult with the healthcare provider, as it could be indicative of a more serious issue.

Serious Side Effects and Complications

While Restylane fillers are generally safe, it’s essential to be aware of the potential for serious side effects and complications, which, although rare, can occur.

Allergic Reactions

Symptoms of Allergic Reactions: Allergic reactions to Restylane fillers, while rare, can manifest as skin rashes, itching, swelling, and in severe cases, difficulty breathing. These symptoms can appear shortly after the injection or may develop over a few days. It’s vital for patients to be vigilant and report any unusual symptoms immediately to their healthcare provider. Prompt recognition and treatment are key to managing allergic reactions effectively.

Infection Risks

Signs of Infection: Infections following Restylane injections are rare but can present as increased warmth, persistent redness, swelling, and pain at the injection site. Other signs include pus or discharge, fever, and chills. It’s important to monitor the treated area for any signs of infection, especially within the first week post-treatment. Early detection and treatment are crucial to prevent the spread of infection and more serious health complications.

Vascular Complications

Tissue Necrosis: Tissue necrosis is a rare but serious complication that can occur if Restylane is injected into an artery, obstructing blood flow. The affected area may appear blanched or discolored and can be painful. Immediate treatment is essential to restore blood flow and may include dissolving the filler with hyaluronidase, warm compresses, and massage. In severe cases, additional medical interventions may be required.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do Restylane side effects typically last?

Most side effects, such as swelling and bruising, resolve within 7 to 18 days. However, this can vary based on individual factors and the treatment area.

Can Restylane side effects be prevented or minimized?

Yes, by avoiding certain medications and supplements before treatment, following pre-treatment skin care advice, and selecting an experienced provider, side effects can be minimized.

What should I do if I experience severe side effects after Restylane treatment?

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience severe side effects, such as signs of an allergic reaction, infection, or unusual pain.

Are there any long-term side effects associated with Restylane fillers?

Long-term side effects are rare but can include granulomatous inflammation or nodule formation, which may require medical treatment.

How does Restylane interact with other facial treatments?

Restylane may interact with other treatments, so it's important to inform your provider about any recent facial procedures. It's typically advised to wait until the skin has fully healed before receiving Restylane.

What are the signs of infection after Restylane treatment?

Signs of infection include increased pain, redness, swelling, fever, and pus at the injection site. If you notice these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Can Restylane fillers cause allergic reactions?

Although rare, Restylane fillers can cause allergic reactions. Symptoms may include itching, swelling, and redness at the injection site or more severe systemic reactions.

Conclusion

Restylane fillers offer a versatile solution for facial rejuvenation, but understanding the potential side effects is key to a successful outcome. Most side effects are mild and temporary, but knowing when to seek medical advice ensures patient safety. With proper care and realistic expectations, Restylane can provide satisfying results for those looking to enhance their appearance.

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References:

Van Dyke, S., Hays, G. P., Caglia, A. E., & Caglia, M. (2010). Severe Acute Local Reactions to a Hyaluronic Acid-derived Dermal Filler.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2922715/#:~:text=The%20most%20common%20side%20effects,pain%20at%20the%20injection%20site.

Colon, J., Mirkin, S., Hardigan, P., Elias, M. J., & Jacobs, R. J. (2023). Adverse Events Reported From Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Filler Injections to the Facial Region: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

https://www.cureus.com/articles/148694-adverse-events-reported-from-hyaluronic-acid-dermal-filler-injections-to-the-facial-region-a-systematic-review-and-meta-analysis#!/

Dr. Aurora Kalmanson

Always Consult a Medical Specialist

The information provided in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as personalized medical advice. It's crucial to understand that while we are medical professionals, the insights and advice we provide are based on general research and studies. They are not tailored to individual health needs or conditions. Thus, it is essential to consult directly with a healthcare provider who can offer personalized medical advice relevant to your specific situation.