What to expect when you're injecting

What to expect when you're injecting

Whether it’s to replace lost volume, smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, or enhance facial features, there are many reasons to seek dermal fillers and neurotoxins. These procedures are injected sub-dermally in a minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure that may require a topical numbing agent, at most. The results are immediate, and appearance only improves over time (it may take 3 days to 2 weeks for the injection to “settle” and to achieve the desired look.) In this sense, getting dermal injections is quite efficient and effective. Appointments are usually about 1 hour, and you’ll leave feeling transformed.

But, while the non-surgical cosmetic procedure market is steadily growing, and neuromodulators and dermal fillers are much more accepted and accessible than ever before, side effects, downtime and fear of botched procedures are still the primary reasons that would- be patients hesitate.

As medical aesthetic experts with decades of experience in our own medical spa practice, we’ve seen and heard all of the concerns that clients have regarding injections. While we don’t think that dermal fillers and neuromodulators are right for everyone, we do believe that these procedures are low risk and high reward, as long as they are performed by highly trained professionals in a reputable environment.

We’ve compiled the most commonly asked questions and expressed concerns to help you know what to expect when you’re injecting.


I’m getting Botox for the first time. Will it hurt?

Some areas are more sensitive than others. If you’re getting neuromodulators in the forehead, you’ll likely feel a little pinch with each needle poke, but the pain dissipates almost immediately. The area between the eyes (to resolve the 11 lines), and around the corners of your eyes (to resolve crow’s feet) can be slightly more sensitive, but with all neuromodulator injections, the pain dissolves almost immediately. We recommend using Hidden Agenda in the days leading up to your injection appointment as the active ingredients in our proprietary Injection Care Complex® promote a more comfortable experience.

Will I bleed?

Some slight and very temporary bleeding is normal. If you’ve had caffeine, aspirin or alcohol within 24 hours of your appointment, it could cause slightly more bleeding than normal.

Will I bruise?

Bruising after neuromodulators is not the norm - only 24% of all injectable patients experience bruising post-procedure. But very small bruises may form if the needle hits a blood vessel. More common is slight discoloration, inflammation and redness in the hours and days after injection. Eliminating caffeine and alcohol before and after procedure will help, as will ice packs. Our proprietary Injection Care Complex® is formulated with the most potent ingredients including arnica, bromelain, dragon’s blood and babassu oil, known to help reduce redness and irritation and bruising, and promote skin renewal.

How long will it take to see results?

Generally, it takes 3-4 days for the neuromodulator to begin to take effect, and 1-2 weeks for the full benefit to be realized. But within just a few days, you’ll experience a softening of fine lines and wrinkles, and a lifted appearance to the skin. Neuromodulators usually last between 4-6 months. If you like the results and want to maintain them, plan on touch-ups once or twice a year.

Will I still look natural?

Neuromodulators are so popular because they are a subtle yet effective way to extend a youthful appearance, reduce fine lines and wrinkles and smooth skin. You can begin with a conservative amount of product at first and see how you like the results, gradually increasing the amount until you achieve your desired results. While results last for months, they are not permanent, so there’s very little risk in trying!

Dermal Fillers

Am I a good candidate for dermal fillers?

Dermal fillers are helpful to reduce the signs of aging and add volume where it has diminished due to loss of collagen and elastin. Far less invasive than plastic surgery, dermal fillers fill the gap between what skincare alone can achieve, and what can be attained through plastic surgery.

A good candidate meets the following criteria:

  • Physically and emotionally healthy
  • Has realistic goals and a healthy mindset about the improvement they hope to achieve
  • Is committed to a healthy lifestyle
  • Is a non-smoker
  • Not pregnant or breast feeding

What should I tell my injector before the procedure?

Before your dermal filler appointment, it’s important to schedule a consultation to share certain details and discuss expected outcomes. Be prepared to provide and discuss the following:

  • Your aesthetic goals
  • Concerns and potential risks
  • Medical history and current prescription medications
  • Non-prescription supplements
  • Expected outcomes and procedure plan 

What should I do to prepare for my first injection procedure?

First and foremost, do your homework and be sure your injector is highly trained and experienced. In the days leading up to your first appointment, take extra special care of your skin, washing it at least 2x/day and treating it with Hidden Agenda and Ciao For Now. If you are anxious about the appointment, try some deep breathing and positive visualization techniques. The proprietary soothing blend found in each product helps promote relaxation and calm. Try to avoid alcohol, NSAIDs, aspirin, and fish oil supplements, and limit caffeine intake. Avoid all retinol products, lasers and peels, and products containing glycolic acid and AHA’s.

Will I need to use a numbing cream?

If the injection is done properly, you will experience a pinch and some mild discomfort as the needle enters the skin and dispenses the filler, but the pain dissipates quickly. Depending on the area, you may not need a topical numbing cream prior to the injection. Lips are more delicate and sensitive, so it’s more common to use numbing cream or a nerve blocker when getting dermal filler in the lips. Ask your injector about the different options available.

What should I do after the procedure for best results?

It’s recommended to remain upright and avoid touching the injection site, or putting any additional products on it for at least 1 hour. Avoid cardiovascular activity and intense heat or high temperatures, as these things can exacerbate redness and swelling. Be sure to follow with Hidden Agenda and Ciao For Now within 24 hours, and for several days after the procedure.

Will I bruise and swell?

It’s highly likely that you will experience redness, swelling and bruising after your dermal filler. In most cases, these symptoms go away on their own within two weeks, but we developed Viktor Michael to hasten this process. Using Hidden Agenda and Ciao For Now after your injections help reduce downtime by up to 50%.

Will I still look natural?

It’s important to communicate your expectations to your injector during your consultation, prior to your procedure. You can begin with a conservative amount of product at first and see how you like the results, gradually increasing the amount until you achieve your desired results. While results last for months, they are not permanent, so there’s very little risk in trying!

How long will results last?

The majority of dermal fillers are not permanent, and most fillers are metabolized into your body within 4-6 months. If you like the results and want to maintain them, plan on touch-ups once or twice a year.

If you have other questions or concerns, share them with us on Instagram! We love hearing from you about your injection journey, and are here to answer your questions.