Patients may be alarmed when they see visible discoloration and swelling on their face after cosmetic surgery. However, bruising is a normal part of the process and is often a sign of healing. The first week after a procedure is usually the time in which bruises will begin to appear. It may take 1-2 weeks (sometimes more) for bruising to fade entirely.
Tips to Minimize Bruising
There are steps patients can take to reduce the severity and appearance of bruising:
- Ice is your best friend! After making it home from surgery, use ice packs or cold compresses on the operated area. This will help reduce inflammation and allow your skin to breathe as it begins to heal.
- Get some sleep. Surgeons recommend a good night’s sleep after any facial plastic procedure. Allowing your body rest will help it recover faster from the effects of surgery.
- Keep your head elevated. Stack as many pillows as you like, get comfortable, and let gravity help reduce some of the swelling. Recliners and pillow wedges can help with this too.
- Stay away from anticoagulants. Any food or drink that thins the blood can have a harmful effect as you are healing. Avoid eating anticoagulant foods, such as garlic and turmeric, taking supplements like fish oil, Vitamin E, Gingko, etc. If you have surgery, we will go over all of these do’s and don’t’s prior to surgery.
- Drink lots of water. By staying hydrated, you help your body to eliminate toxins and start to heal faster. You should also avoid drinking alcohol, sugary drinks, and caffeine to prevent additional inflammation.
- Take your medication. Be sure to take the medication your surgeon prescribes to you as directed. Try to refrain from self-medicating, especially when you are unaware of how that medication may affect you post-operation.
- No exercise. Refrain from performing any strenuous activity that could tire you out or impose additional stress to the surgical area.
How long until my face goes back to normal?
Patients typically report a two-three week timeframe for their face to fully heal from swelling and bruising after surgery. Following your surgeon’s post-op care instructions provides you the best chance to heal as quickly as possible.
Keep in mind the degree of bruising will depend on your body, skin type, the surgery performed, and more. Every patient is different when it comes to healing, and if you have any questions or concerns about bruising and swelling, please reach out to your surgeon.
Schedule a Consultation
If you’re looking for a certified doctor with a history of happy cosmetic patients, Dr. Christian Stallworth performs both surgical and non-surgical procedures out of San Antonio, Texas. Schedule a consultation by calling 210-997-3223.