Aesthetic Treatments

So You’ve Been Considering Injectable Wrinkle Reducers — Here Are the Most Common Side Effects

Sophie Wirt
Photo of senior woman's forehead

Stocksy United / BONNINSTUDIO

Wrinkle reducers are one of the most popular cosmetic injectables to date, and understandably so. After all, a single treatment of this injectable for moderate or severe lines on the forehead, between the brows, and crow’s feet can temporarily soften them. After the effects take hold, you may much smoother-looking skin — no Instagram filters required. However, as with any minimally invasive procedure or prescription treatment, wrinkle reducers do pose the risk of side effects.  

Because knowledge is power — and you should absolutely do your homework before electing to have anything injected into your face — we’ve done some of the research on side effects for you. Keep reading for what you need to know. 

What are the most common side effects of wrinkle reducers?

According to Dr. Sejal Shah, founder of SmarterSkin Dermatology in New York City, the most common side effects from wrinkle reducers are redness, bleeding, swelling (of the eyelids), and bruising as the most common possibilities. Additional side effects could include bruising, redness and pain at the injection site, allergic reactions, headache, drooping eyelid and eyebrow, and cold or flu-like symptoms. These are not all the side effects of wrinkle reducers. So Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about the risks associated with this treatment, including those that are serious and may be life threatening.

Taking this all into consideration, it’s best to schedule your treatment a few weeks before any major events. (Incidentally, wrinkle reducers take several weeks to smooth over the wrinkle, which is another reason you probably should pre-plan your injection well in advance of that college reunion.)

On a non-visible note, some people may experience discomfort at the injection site and/or headaches immediately post-treatment. “Allergic or hypersensitivity reactions are possible,” she warns. Talk to your provider if you have concerns. Looking for an aesthetic provider? Our trained specialists can help!

What to do about the side effects

Even when they’re mild, side effects are inherently unpleasant. In the case of wrinkle reducers, there are steps you can take to help mitigate them.  

To help deal with bruising and swelling: a good old-fashioned cold compress. (Your injector should be able to provide you with a cold pack immediately post-treatment.) Shah also points out that icing the treatment area can help reduce discomfort. Also, don’t forget to discuss more post treatment recommendations with your provider!

Connect with a local provider to learn more.

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Which side effects scare us most?

Interestingly enough, the biggest concern Shah hears from patients regarding wrinkle reducers is unrelated to the aforementioned potential side effects. Rather, she says, “[they’re afraid of] looking unnatural or losing the ability to move completely or looking frozen.” While there have been cases of improperly-injected wrinkle reducers, Shah says it’s important to take into consideration individual patient needs. A skilled injector should not make you look frozen, if it’s not the look you’re going for. “Individuals who still want to retain movement can” Shah says. The key is to find a provider whose work is commensurate with the results you’d like. And - of course – it is important to talk to your provider about what you want during your consultation and to discuss if injectable wrinkle reducers are right for you.

Want to chat about injectable wrinkle reducers? Our trained aesthetic specialists are here to help! Get real aesthetic answers, right now from our trained aesthetic specialists!

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