White Blanching After Lip Filler

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What Causes Them And What To Do About It

At Bellava MedAesthetics, your safety and results are our top priorities. Some swelling and redness after lip filler injections is normal. But white blanching may signal an issue. 

Below we discuss the causes and treatment of lip blanching after enhancement procedures.

Lip Fillers Definition

Lip fillers are popular cosmetic treatments that subtly enhance the lips’ shape, border and volume.

Our expert nurse injectors strategically place tiny amounts of filler along the lip edges, in the body of the lips, and around the mouth. When performed properly, you’ll leave with gorgeous, natural-looking results and a minimal recovery.

However, blanching of the lips during or after lip fillers can sometimes occur. While mild whitening after injections is often harmless, certain signs warrant attention.

White Blanching After Lip Filler

White blanching after lip filler indicates a potential vascular occlusion which requires immediate medical attention to address the lack of blood flow. 

What Causes Lip Blanching After Fillers?

There are a few potential reasons lips may appear white or blanched after dermal filler injections:

Normal Vasoconstriction

The trauma of needle penetration and hyaluronic acid depositing into the lips triggers mild inflammation. This causes local blood vessels to temporarily constrict, or vasoconstrict.

Mild whitening from vasoconstriction is common with lip fillers and improves as the acute inflammation resolves. It is not dangerous.

Pressure-Related Vasoconstriction

Too much filler material in the lips increases vascular pressure in the area. This physiologically leads to vasoconstriction as the tissues react, causing paleness.

Vascular Compromise

Rarely, certain injector errors can damage or fully obstruct blood flow to the lips. Loss of proper perfusion is a serious risk requiring prompt intervention.

Post-Procedure Anxiety

Feelings of panic or stress during/after lip fillers may induce mild vasoconstriction and temporary whitening.

In most cases, lip blanching is benign. But informing your provider allows proper evaluation to determine the ideal next steps.

Signs of Problematic Blanching After Lip Fillers

a woman touches her lips

While some whiteness post-fillers is expected, certain signs may indicate an underlying issue needing treatment:

  • Blanching persists longer than 15 minutes without improvement
  • Significant whitening beyond just mild paleness
  • Hard, cold lips upon touch
  • Numbness or loss of sensation in the lips
  • Intense, throbbing pain in the lips
  • Lips taking much longer to reperfusion after pressure is released

Severe or prolonged lip blanching suggests potential vascular compromise. Though rare, this is an emergency needing prompt action.

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What To Do For Lip Blanching After Fillers

If you experience concerning whitening during/after your lip appointment at Bellava MedAesthetics, don’t panic.

  • Massaging the lips can help stimulate blood flow if vasoconstriction is the cause.
  • An enzyme called hyaluronidase may be injected to dissolve the filler if vascular compression is suspected.
  • Warm, wet compresses bring blood to the skin’s surface.
  • If signs progress, you’ll be transferred to the ER for evaluation of necrosis risk.

With proper monitoring and early intervention, severe complications are avoidable. Most cases of whitening resolve on their own. But make sure your provider is aware of any concerning lip changes during your visit.

Preventing Lip Blanching During Fillers

Our expert injectors at Bellava MedAesthetics take steps to avoid lip blanching from the start:

  • Careful injection technique and precision placement avoid vascular damage.
  • Conservative filler amounts match your facial anatomy.
  • Manual palpation during injections ensures even filler distribution.
  • Close observation in between injections spots any issues early.
  • Your comfort level and facial responses are monitored continuously.
  • Open communication is encouraged so you can voice any odd sensations immediately.

We also avoid placing filler directly into compromised vasculature lying dormant under chronic smoker’s lines. A cautious, layered approach prevents occlusion issues.

Tips to Minimize Risk of Lip Blanching

Patients can also play a role in reducing the chances of problematic lip blanching during fillers:

  • Disclose any bleeding disorders or circulation issues. We’ll adjust the treatment plan accordingly.
  • Avoid smoking/vaping for 2 weeks pre-treatment to optimize blood vessel health.
  • Don’t take NSAIDs like ibuprofen close to appointments as these thin the blood.
  • Remain still during injections so the needle doesn’t hit vessels.
  • Speak up about any intense pain, pressure or numbness during the procedure.
  • After treatment, don’t massage or apply heat to the lips until approved by your provider.
  • Avoid touching or poking the injection sites until completely healed.
  • Keep your head elevated to minimize swelling.
  • Stay local after appointments in case of delayed issues.

Recovery From Benign Lip Blanching

In most cases, mild whitening from routine vasoconstriction or anxiety improves on its own within 30 minutes after filler injections.

The lips re-pink quickly with no lasting effects. We recommend icing to constrict vessels and reduce inflammation. Take Tylenol as needed for discomfort. Keep the lips moisturized while healing.

Attending all follow up appointments allows us to ensure your recovery stays on track after lip enhancement. Avoid strenuous activity for 24 hours.

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FAQs About Lip Blanching After Fillers

Below we answer some common questions about white, blanched lips following injections:

Is pale skin after lip filler normal? 

Mild temporary paleness from vasoconstriction is common and not dangerous. But unusual or prolonged whitening should be evaluated.

Why did my lip turn white during filler injection? 

The needle trauma and acute inflammation can cause mild constriction of blood vessels. Signs usually resolve within 15-30 minutes.

Why are my lips numb and white after filler? 

Some numbness is expected, but whiteness with complete loss of sensation signals possible vascular occlusion needing emergency treatment.

What does blanched skin indicate? 

Blanching shows blood flow constriction. It’s normal short-term with lip fillers but can signal vascular compromise if severe.

Can smoking cause blanching lips after filler? 

Yes, smoking impairs micro-circulation so vessels can’t dilate well after injections, increasing whitening risk.

Does massaging help lip blanching? 

Gentle massage may encourage blood flow for non-occlusive whitening. But vigorous massage can worsen certain vascular issues.

Is pale lips after filler an emergency? 

Profound blanching with necrosis signs requires prompt intervention. But mild transient whitening is expected and not an emergency.

How long does filler lip blanching last? 

Temporary whitening from routine factors lasts 15-30 minutes. But vessel occlusion requires immediate treatment.

What is the treatment for lip blanching? 

Removing obstructing filler with hyaluronidase, massage, heat, nitroglycerin paste and vasodilators help resolve whitening in most cases.

Trust Our Lip Expertise

a portrait of a gorgeous woman

We hope this article helps you understand the causes and treatment of white, blanched lips during and after filler injections. Some temporary blanching can occur, but we’ll take swift action if anything seems concerning.

Contact Bellava MedAesthetics today to meet our team of premier lip enhancement experts. We look forward to achieving gorgeous results together!

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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