The Complete Guide to Preventing and Treating Cold Sores After Lip Filler

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cold sores after lip filler

Everything You Need to Know to Achieve Beautiful, Enhanced Lips Without Outbreaks

Cold sores can occur after lip filler injections, but it’s not a common side effect. This happens due to the body’s response to the filler, causing inflammation and potentially triggering a cold sore outbreak.

Getting lip filler can provide gorgeous, plump lips. But if you’re prone to cold sores, those bothersome blisters could put a damper on your experience. Fear not – with the right information and preventative steps, you can undergo lip augmentation while avoiding lip filler-triggered cold sore outbreaks. 

This comprehensive guide from the experts at Bellava MedAesthetics covers everything you need to know about navigating cold sores and lip fillers.

What Causes Cold Sores?

Before exploring the relationship between lip fillers and cold sores, let’s review what causes fever blisters in the first place. Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Many people contract HSV as children, often from kissing relatives or sharing utensils. Once you have the virus, it remains dormant in your body and can reactivate throughout your life.

Outbreaks typically occur on the lips, under the nose, or around the mouth. They often start with tingling or itching, followed by small fluid-filled blisters that crust over and heal within 2-4 weeks. Triggers for cold sore activation include stress, fatigue, illness, sun exposure, menstruation, and trauma.

Can Lip Fillers Trigger Cold Sores?

cold sores after lip filler

The dermal filler procedures involve needles that puncture and inject the filler material which can cause inflammation and irritation. For those prone to cold sores, this trauma can activate the herpes simplex virus and lead to an outbreak.

However, it’s crucial to note lip fillers themselves don’t cause cold sores. The root cause is the dormant HSV virus. If you don’t have HSV, you won’t get cold sores from lip injections. But if you do carry the virus, the lip filler procedure may instigate its reactivation.

Understand Your Triggers and Take Control of Your Lip Health – Book a Consultation Now

What’s the Risk of Cold Sores After Lip Injections?

The good news is cold sores after lip fillers are relatively uncommon. Approximately 1.45% of lip augmentation patients experience an outbreak post-procedure. Still, for those susceptible to fever blisters, the risk exists and warrants preventative action. Outbreaks are more likely in those with a history of frequent, recurrent cold sores.

How to Prevent Cold Sores When Getting Lip Fillers

If you’re prone to cold sores but want plump, enhanced lips, don’t resign yourself to a lifetime without lip fillers. With Bellava MedAesthetics’ expert care, you can undergo treatment safely using proven techniques to prevent outbreaks

Here are proactive steps we take:

  1. We may prescribe antiviral medications like Valtrex to take before and after your procedure. These suppress the herpes virus and stop it from reactivating.
  2. We use numbing creams/gels to reduce injection discomfort and trauma. Less irritation means lower risk of provoking cold sores.
  3. Applying ice after your injections can minimize swelling and inflammation, deterring the virus.
  4. We ensure a sterile environment and provide post-care hygiene instructions to prevent virus spread.
  5. We only perform lip fillers when you have no active cold sores present. We won’t inject compromised skin.
  6. By knowing your history, we can take tailored precautions and equip you with outbreak treatment options.

What If I Still Get a Cold Sore After Lip Injections?

Even if you take precautions, some patients may still experience a cold sore outbreak after getting lip injections. This does not mean the provider did anything wrong or that you will necessarily have complications. Cold sores can be triggered by many factors, and some people are simply more prone to recurrent outbreaks.

If you do develop a cold sore after lip fillers, remain calm and follow these tips:

  1. Start antiviral medication right away

If you have a prescription antiviral like acyclovir, valacyclovir, or famciclovir, begin taking it as soon as you feel any tingling or itching around the mouth. Starting medication when a cold sore is just beginning to form can help shorten the duration and severity.

  1. Use OTC topical cold sore medicines

Look for ointments containing active ingredients like docosanol or benzyl alcohol at your local drugstore. These can provide soothing relief when applied directly to a cold sore several times a day.

  1. Avoid picking and touching the cold sore

This can spread the virus and delay healing. Be diligent about not picking scabs off active blisters. Wash your hands frequently if you accidentally touch a sore.

  1. Prevent spread through contact

While a cold sore is present, do not share items like cups, lip products, towels, etc. Avoid kissing as well until the cold sore has completely healed.

  1. Check in with your provider

 Let the healthcare professional who performed your lip injections know about the cold sore. They can advise you on proper care and decide if any follow up is needed regarding your lip fillers.

  1. Use sun protection

Sun exposure can trigger cold sores, so use an SPF lip balm when outdoors. The earlier you treat, the faster you’ll recover. 

While frustrating, rest assured an isolated cold sore after your lip filler procedure won’t negatively impact your results.

Don’t Let a Cold Sore Dampen Your Confidence – Contact Us for Expert Guidance

How Soon Can I Get Lip Fillers After a Cold Sore?

If you have an active cold sore outbreak, postpone any filler appointment until it’s fully resolved. Injecting into unhealthy skin can worsen inflammation and prolong healing. We recommend waiting until all blisters and crusting have disappeared before undergoing lip augmentation.

Once your dermatologist confirms the area looks normal again, we can proceed with caution. We may have you start preventative antivirals and numb the area beforehand. With our vigilance, you can safely achieve gorgeous lips through filler without fear of cold sore sabotage.

Maintenance Tips for Healthy Lips Before and After Lip Fillers

cold sores after lip filler

Preventing cold sores isn’t just about medication. Caring for your lips properly also deters outbreaks. We recommend clients:

  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water daily is essential for overall health and can help maintain the longevity of lip fillers
  • Exfoliate dead skin: Use gentle lip scrubs 2-3 times per week to exfoliate dead skin and keep lips smooth
  • Protect from the sun: Apply broad-spectrum SPF 30+ lip balm before sun exposure to protect lips from harmful UV rays
  • Use nourishing lip treatments: Apply thick, nourishing lip treatments like aquaphor nightly to keep lips moisturized and protected
  • Avoid extreme temperatures: Prevent dry, cracked lips by avoiding excessive sun, heat, or cold exposure to lips
  • Maintain a healthy diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals can promote overall skin health, including the longevity of lip fillers
  • Limit stress levels: High stress levels can cause lip fillers to break down faster, so find ways to manage stress and lower cortisol levels
  • Limit sun exposure: High exposure to UV rays can cause certain types of fillers to break down faster, so protect your lips with a hat and high SPF lip balm
  • Follow aftercare instructions: After lip filler treatments, follow your plastic surgeon’s aftercare advice, such as avoiding alcohol or strenuous activity for 24 hours, to prevent bruising or bleeding and ensure optimal results

By keeping your lips soft, smooth, and protected, you reinforce their health and resilience against cold sore triggers like lip fillers. This self-care makes a big difference in avoiding outbreaks.

Maintain Your Perfect Pout with Our Lip Care Tips – Learn More by Contacting Us

Frequently Asked Questions

Worried about cold sores and lip injections? Here we answer some of the most common questions patients have:

What should I do if I feel a cold sore coming on right before my lip appointment?

If you feel the telltale tingle of a brewing cold sore, contact our office immediately. We will likely advise rescheduling your lip filler appointment until the outbreak resolves. Treating active cold sores first is crucial.

How long before my scheduled lip fillers should I start taking antiviral medication?

We typically recommend starting a prescription antiviral like valacyclovir 2-3 days prior to your lip appointment. Taking it a few days before prevents the virus from activating and provides protection.

Will I be prescribed antivirals to take home after my lip injections too?

Yes, we often prescribe a few extra days of antivirals following lip fillers. Staying on medication after the procedure ensures continued suppression of the virus while your lips heal.

What ingredients should I look for in a lip balm to prevent cold sores?

Seek broad-spectrum SPF, beeswax or shea butter for moisture, and natural extracts like lemon balm that have antiviral properties. Avoid irritating ingredients like artificial fragrance or dye.

If I’ve never had a cold sore before, how do I know if I’m at risk after lip fillers?

Ask your parents or relatives if they get cold sores as the virus is often inherited genetically. Get an IgG blood test which can detect antibodies to HSV-1. Disclose any lip blisters to your injector.

How long do I have to wait to kiss someone after getting lip injections if I’m prone to cold sores?

Avoid direct lip-to-lip contact until any swelling or tenderness has resolved, usually 7-10 days. Consider taking prophylactic antivirals to further prevent virus transmission through saliva.

Can I go out in the sun after getting lip fillers if I’m worried about cold sores?

Limit sun exposure for a few weeks post-injections to reduce irritation and herpes reactivation risk. Wear a wide-brim hat and lip balm with SPF. Gradual, brief sun is ok but avoid burns.

If I develop a cold sore after lip fillers, how long until I can get injectables again safely?

Wait until all signs of the cold sore have fully resolved. Your provider will examine your lips to confirm they’ve healed before proceeding with future injections. Patience protects your skin!

How bad will it be if I do get a cold sore outbreak after lip fillers?

While frustrating, a single cold sore outbreak after your lip injections won’t negatively affect your long-term filler results. With proper care and treatment, blisters typically heal within 7-14 days without complications.

What home remedies are best for treating cold sores triggered by lip fillers?

OTC creams containing docosanol or benzyl alcohol can ease symptoms. Avoid irritants like lemon or vinegar. Take oral antivirals, acetaminophen for pain, apply ice packs, and keep lips moisturized while healing.

Enjoy Fabulous Lips with Bellava MedAesthetics

lip filler treatment at Bellava MedAesthetics

Don’t let fears of cold sores stop you from getting the plump lips you desire. With Bellava MedAesthetics’ seasoned expertise, customized prevention plan, and proven techniques, you can undergo lip fillers safely and confidently.

We help identify risk factors, minimize trauma, and equip you to manage outbreaks should they occur. Our precision injections combined with your proper lip care will have you flaunting head-turning, hydrated lips in no time – without the annoyance of blisters.

For those prone to cold sores, the key is open communication with a trusted provider. By working together, we can develop an individualized approach so you enjoy your filler results without complications. 

Contact our office today to schedule your private consultation. Our compassionate, discreet staff looks forward to helping you put your best lips forward.

Nick Adams


About Nick Adams

Owner/CFO/CMO Nick Adams oversees both the financial and marketing actions along with the day-to-day operations at Bellava MedAesthetics & Plastic Surgery Center. He is passionate about the aesthetics and plastic surgery industry and is committed to helping Bellava’s clients look and feel their best.

A seasoned medspa owner, Nick entered the business when he, along with his wife Dr. Donna D’Alessio, founded the highly regarded Bellava MedSpa & Pain Center in Bellava, New Jersey. At Bellava, Nick spearheaded all of the business strategies and marketing solutions. He brings to Bellava a keen understanding of what makes for an outstanding Medspa experience. First and foremost, this includes a top-notch medical and aesthetics team who place a strong emphasis on customized patient care.

Nick attended the University of New Hampshire as an undergraduate and the MBA program at NYU’s Stern School of Business where he majored in Accounting and Finance. He spent the early part of his career as CFO for prestigious New York City law firms, including Cohen Robin Stine Schumann, LLP and Fabiani Cohen & Hall, LLP. Additionally, Nick is active in fundraising for the University of Miami athletic program.

In his spare time, Nick enjoys softball, boating, and spending time with his wife and twin girls.

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