Injectables 101: Dr. Samuel Lin Talks Things To Avoid & Tips For Recovery

Dr. Samuel Lin is a double board-certified Plastic Surgeon and Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School who practices in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Lin received his Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University and was enrolled in the Honors Program for Medical Education at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Lin completed a one-year fellowship appointment in Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery at the world-renowned University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. He has also been named a Top Influencer in #PlasticSurgery. Dr. Lin is board certified by both the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Lin is board certified by two ABMS boards. He is Program Director of the BIDMC-Harvard Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery residency, and Co-Director of the Harvard Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Fellowship at BIDMC. Dr. Lin was awarded the recipient of a “Mentoring Award,” by Harvard Medical School through a special nomination process which is sent out to all Harvard faculty members, house officers, fellows, and students. He has been a Boston “Top Doc” for several years in plastic surgery. Haute Beauty Expert Dr. Lin discusses what things to avoid prior to getting injectables and tips to prevent swelling and bruising after the treatment. 

Samuel LinPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

In the last several years, injectables — such as dermal fillers and Botox — have emerged as some of the most popular and sought-after procedures. That’s because injectables serve as a safe, effective and non-surgical treatment for those who wish to eliminate creases and wrinkles, restore facial volume, and reconstruct contour deformities in the face. For the best results, it is critical to take the proper precautions before and after your treatment. Additionally, it is equally important to find a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist who you are comfortable with and understands your goals.  

Along with boosting his patients’ confidence, Dr. Samuel Lin understands the craft and care that surrounds injectables. With an increasing number of people seeking consultation and receiving these treatments, it is important to understand what things to avoid prior to receiving injectables: 

1. Blood thinning medications

For patients who are on blood thinning medications, including over the counter pain medications (Advil, Motrin, Aleve), it is important to ask your prescribing doctor if it is safe to discontinue these medications prior to receiving treatment. Blood thinning medications can increase bleeding, bruising, swelling and risk of complications during and after injections. Therefore, patients should consult with their physician and plastic surgeon regarding how long they should refrain from taking these medications prior to the procedure. 

2. Alcohol

Alcohol also has blood thinning effects and can lead to issues with bleeding and bruising, which can affect the outcome following injectable treatment. It is recommended to refrain from alcohol at least 2-3 full days prior to treatment and at least one full day following treatment to reduce the risks of bleeding and bruising.

3. Makeup, facial/topical products and waxing

It is critical to avoid any facial products or treatments that affect the anticipated injection area for several days prior to receiving injectable treatment. Included in the list of things to avoid are waxing, tweezing, bleaching, hair removal products, topical products (retinol, glycolic acid, etc.) and makeup. All of these can disrupt skin at the treatment area and lead to increased risk of infection and inflammation.

4. Smoking

Avoiding smoking in the days prior to injectable treatment may decrease your risk of bleeding and bruising.


Samuel LinPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Of course, a patient’s journey with injectables doesn’t end once the procedure is over. Bruising and swelling may ensue as a result of getting injectables, so learning how to prevent these side effects while optimizing results can enhance your recovery experience. Here are the following tips to prevent bruising and swelling:  

1. Avoid intense exercise and strenuous activity

Exercise should be avoided in the first few days following injectable treatments. During intense exercise, blood pressure increases and may lead to increased risk of bleeding complications and bruising at the injection sites.

2. Avoid direct sunlight

The ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can be detrimental to the healing process following injectable treatments and should be avoided for at least one full day. Sunlight may lead to increased redness and swelling. Therefore, you may want to wear protective clothing to prevent direct exposure.

3. Apply ointments

Topical ointments and gels like Arnica are available over the counter and may help to reduce redness, swelling and bruising following injection treatment.

4. Apply ice

Icing may feel appropriate following injectable procedures to reduce the risk of swelling. Using ice packs for 20-minute intervals is usually sufficient. However, never apply ice or frozen products directly to skin.

5. Avoid touching or rubbing the injection site

Certain fillers and injectable products may have a tendency to migrate, which may alter the aesthetic outcome and lead to a suboptimal result. Generally, it is recommended to avoid touching, rubbing and massaging the treatment area immediately following injections.

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