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Do’s & Don’ts Before a Cosmetic Treatment

If you are planning to get Botox, a filler, a chemical peel or a laser treatment, planning ahead can decrease problems during and after the treatment.

Stop exfoliating about one week before your treatment, especially if you’re getting a chemical peel or laser treatment.  Also temporarily eliminate any retinoid creams as part of your daily skin care.  Don’t add any new products right before your treatment to avoid problems with irritation.

Ask if you should avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory [NSAIDs]), vitamin E or fish oil (any omega-3).  These blood thinners can increase bruising.  Usually you would stop taking these one week before your appointment.

For filler, an oral antihistamine (Zyrtec, Allegra or Claritin) can be taken before and after injections to lessen swelling.  If you bruise easily with filler, you might consider arnica montana tablets.  Found at health food stores, arnica is an herb that may help to reduce swelling and bruising.

After a filler treatment, ice packs can also reduce swelling and redness.  I do NOT recommend air travel on the same day as filler or toxin injections.

Tanning, and even sunless tanning creams, can interfere with some treatments like IPL or laser hair removal, so plan ahead when you schedule your treatment.

Alcohol is also a blood thinner so eliminate that from your diet immediately before your procedure.

If you have a propensity to get cold sores, take your prescription antiviral medication, such as Valtrex, the day before your treatment.  Reschedule your treatment if you have an active cold sore breakout—a treatment could spread the virus to other areas on your face.

Ask about any restrictions you may have after your treatment.  In some cases, you may be asked not to exercise, or you might be given other limitations.  After a chemical peel or laser treatment, for example, you’ll be asked not to exfoliate for a certain time period.  To decrease swelling and bruising you may be asked to ice the treatment area periodically.

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