Ask Dr. Peirson: How Can I Minimize the Risk of Bruising?

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If you are attending ArtMed for any treatment that involves injections (Botox, Xeomin, Belkyra, PRP, filler, sclerotherapy) please understand there is a risk of bruising. Avoiding bruising entirely is impossible but you can certainly minimize the risk.

To minimize risk of bruising:

  1. Avoid medications or supplements with blood-thinning effects

It’s best to talk to your doctor before stopping any regular medications that have been prescribed. But if you can, avoid the medications and supplements listed below for 2 days before and 1 day after treatment.

  • NSAIDS – aspirin, Advil®, Motrin®, naproxen, ibuprofen
  • Supplements – vitamin E, St. John’s Wort, garlic, turmeric, chia seeds, Ginkgo biloba, and flaxseed oil (and other oils high in omega-3 fatty acids).
  • clopidogrel, and warfarin, dabigatran, enoxaparin, ticlopidine, and dipyridamole are prescription drugs and should not be discontinued but if you take these medications you should expect bruising with injections
  1. Eliminate alcohol before and after treatment

Alcohol acts as a vasodilator — it causes blood vessels to relax and open AND it interferes with blood clotting. Even small amounts, like a glass of wine or a shot of hard alcohol (mixed drinks) can trigger this effect and increase your risk for bruising after injections.

  • Avoid alcohol for 24 hours before and after treatment to reduce your risk of bruising at injection sites (women are more affected by alcohol so avoidance 48 hrs before and after is ideal)
  1. Try taking Arnica before and after treatment

Arnica montana has been found to be useful in preventing and treating bruising. Arnica is available as an over-the-counter supplement at most drugstores, homeopathic shops, and online stores (eg. Boron brand Arnica sublingual pellets – 5 pellets 3X per day)

  • Take Arnica pills or sublingual tablets 4-5 days before and after your treatment.
  • If a bruise happens topical arnica gel can be applied to the bruise itself 3-4 times per day (try A.Vogel Absolut Arnica) 
  1. Avoid vigorous exercise for 2 days after treatment

Everyone knows exercise is good for your heart and great for your health. But an increased heart rate and the blood flow it brings aren’t so great for bruising.

While you can return to normal activities immediately, skip your daily trip to the gym or evening run for a few days. Keeping blood flow to a minimum by avoiding vigorous exercise for two days after Botox or filler treatment can help the bruised blood vessels and capillaries recover faster.

  1. Bring a hard candy to your appointment.

When eating, blood is shunted to the gut and away from the face which may reduce the risk of bruising or lessen the size of bruises. Increasing your blood sugar also helps you to feel less whoozy if you’re not a fan of injections.

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