Everybody hates the B-word. As a practitioner, we know that bruising as a result of an aesthetic procedure is a high risk. Seeing a bruise appear immediately after treatment is quite rare, but, when it happens, it puts a damper on the day.

 The blood vessel network

The face is pink for a reason. It has an extensive blood supply. When you look at a diagram of the network of facial blood vessels it makes the London Underground map look quite straightforward. I now have a lovely piece of artwork on my new clinic wall showing this 

I contemplated displaying this diagram, I thought, ‘Is it too gruesome?’ I chose the least gory picture I’ve seen in the hope it would help people understand the facial anatomy rather than frighten.

I was on a course at Keele University earlier in the year, courtesy of my great colleagues at HA Derma. The surgeon who delivered the 2-day course said that he warns patients that the risk of bruising is 95%. He then explained that anything from a small pinprick red mark, through to a giant haematoma (large bruise that takes two weeks to disappear) could be defined as a bruise. So, technically 95% of patients will see something. I like his thought process.

The ‘perfect’ treatment

We know how the network of blood vessels should sit in the face and what level they should sit at. Note the use of the word “should”. If the human body was as predictable as the diagrams and textbooks explain, our healthcare jobs would be much more predictable. The variations, although year on year being identified and categorised, cannot be seen through the skin via the naked eye. Hence when we inject a “safe” zone, when a bruise follows we know that said vessel sits slightly off-piste. Cue a bruise.
I talk at consultation about bruising, if having a bruise would make day to day living impossible, then don’t have treatment. Everybody wants the perfect treatment, no bruising risk and great results. There isn’t such a treatment involving needles…

Reducing bruising

I kid you not, pineapple helps bruises disappear! When I first heard this, I did chuckle, but it works! Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes found in pineapple that have anti-inflammatory properties, which helps reduce bruising and swelling. The plastic surgeon, who wrote this on a professional support forum I belong to, said she tells all her patients to include pineapple in the post-op diet.
Lastly, here’s a picture of my bruise following a recent treatment. My colleague who injected me is super experienced and well qualified. Like all of us, she can’t see through my skin, it’s a price I’m prepared to pay for the benefit. In fact, I wore it like a badge of honour…
Bruising is the main reason I shut early for Christmas. I would hate the thought of anyone having a visible bruise for Christmas. I hate the thought at any time of the year, but Christmas in particular!
So book in quickly before the 14th December. Here’s to a bruise-free December!