What does filler feel like?

(and what will I look like after treatment?)


A common concern amongst those new to filler and Botox is what they will look like having had the procedure.


Both procedures involve injecting the product into the relevant area to be treated.


Botox is in a liquid form, injected into targeted muscles, and filler is a crystal-clear gel (hyaluronic acid), injected into the skin/soft tissues.


We know that at two weeks, Botox will be in full effect, which is why a review is scheduled to this timeframe. With the exception of a few red marks, resembling hives, there really isn’t much to see following a Botox treatment. These “hives” tend to resolve within 30 minutes, perhaps leaving tiny pin prick marks around the eyes, easily concealable with makeup.


With filler, potential after-effects are as much to do with the process of injecting as they are to do with the product being injected.


To put it another way; if you carried out a lip filler injection technique, just inserting the needle but not layering any product, you would still get some resulting swelling and possibly bruising.


Swelling and bruising, although transient, can be troublesome if you have an event or interaction where this may draw attention. It’s always a good idea to stage an injectable procedure well in advance of an important event, such as a wedding, to allow time for everything to settle and for a review/potential tweaking/additions.


There are three stages:

Immediately afterwards

In the interim whilst settling

Once it has settled


Immediately afterwards

Usually there will be an element of redness and swelling at play.

Whilst this normally subsides rapidly, it is not the best time to judge the ultimate results.


Swelling is never symmetrical, so it may appear as if one side is larger than the other, when in fact once side is simply a little more swollen.


In terms of touch, initially filler often feels firm, particularly in places, such as the lip border, where it is injected very superficially. If you have filler in your cheeks, you may be able to feel the deposits if you press down on them.


This is normal and softens as it integrates into the tissues over the course of a couple of weeks.


The next day

The normal pathway is that immediately after the procedure and the following morning, is when the main body of swelling occurs. We have water retention overnight, which is why swelling is enhanced the following morning.


The following two weeks

There is a two-week rule to allow the product to fully settle (three weeks with tear troughs). In the main this is a generous measure and any surface swelling/signs will be gone far sooner than this, whilst settling continues behind the scenes. The main body of swelling is normally gone by 48 hours.


Once the filler has settled

It is commonly known that whilst people may initially be conscious of the swelling following a filler treatment, they often then go on to miss it and desire further product.


Equally, just like getting your hair colour changed, it can an obvious change initially, but one that you then go on to acclimatise to.


There also has to be an element of patience and trust in the process. For those who want a more subtle change, this can be a two or three stage procedure for ultimate results.


It is impossible to predict the exact outcome immediately after treatment. If two people had the exact same treatment they would respond differently. However, there are ways of minimising swelling and bruising, both pre and post procedure, which I will write up in my next blog piece…