Summary: Weather can affect many things. So the question, can weather affect your fillers or your Botox seems to be one at least worth looking into. You can certainly imagine cold weather freezing your Juvederm or a heat wave impacting your Botox. But is there any truth in what you can imagine? Does the heat or cold affect your injectables?
Injectables and the Weather
Whether you’re living near the beaches of California or the frozen tundra of Minnesota, you may have wondered if weather can affect your filler treatment. In some ways, it seems like a valid concern: imagine, for a moment, a really cold day that happens to freeze your Juvederm in your face.
In the nightmare scenario, maybe you end up with a solidly frozen cheek until you get inside and warm up. Or maybe it’s the opposite. Maybe you’re in the desert and it’s so hot that the filler inside your cheek begins to melt, losing its shape and filtering into a different part of your face.
So, could these nightmare scenarios actually happen? It seems hard to fathom that such rigorously tested materials could be so susceptible to something that is really rather common. After all, everyone encounters weather at some point or another.
Where Does the Concern Come From?
The first question you might have about the fears discussed above is pretty simple: why would anyone think this? This question makes sense: where does the concept of the freezing filler even come from? Well, it’s not completely out of the bounds of possibility that weather would have an effect on medical devices.
For example, breast implants behave slightly differently at different climates (and different altitudes). Of course, once they’ve been inserted that’s not really true anymore. Once they’re in the body, breast implants are quite stable.
And I think that’s partially where the notions about fillers come from, too. After all, fillers are certainly kept in controlled climates while they’re in storage. Once Juvederm has been opened, any remained not used should be kept refrigerated. And, someone might be forgiven for thinking, if temperature affects Juvederm outside the body, won’t it affect the Juvederm inside the body?
Is Your Body a Good Insulator?
To put it simply, in most cases, the weather is not going to affect your dermal filler results. There are a few caveats to this statement, which you can read about below, but the general notion holds true. Surgeons from places as varied as Arizona to Alaska use dermal fillers to give their patients great results without any problem.
So why keep unused Juvederm refrigerated when weather doesn’t affect the injected material? Largely, it’s because your body is a good insulator. Remember taking your temperature as a kid? Normal is 98.6 (anything below 100 meant you had to go to school). As a warm blooded creature (the scientific term is endothermic), your body does a pretty good job or regulating its own body temperature.
That means even in cold weather, your body temperature will stay around 98.6. Sure, if you get really cold your body temperature might drop, but then you’ve really got bigger things to worry about. In any event, your body does a pretty good job of regulating your body temperature—which means that in most cases, you shouldn’t have to worry about your filler results being adversely affected.
Can Cold Affect my Injections?
But maybe it would help to get into the details here. After all, “weather” could mean a lot of things. And to a certain extent, something like altitude might impact, for example, how much filler will get the job done. That said, when I say “altitude,” I don’t mean the kind of altitude you get by going on an airplane. Aircraft cabins are pressurized.
Cold weather itself will not really have an impact on your filler results. In fact, many surgeons will instruct their patients to apply ice cubes to the injection site in order to help with swelling or bruising. If you’re wondering about how cold might impact specific injectables, refer to the following:
- Botox: Cosmetic surgeons will often instruct patients to use cold packs or ice packs in order to help control swelling and bruising. Cold weather will not impact the results at all.
- Dermal Fillers: Most dermal fillers—even most hyaluronic acid-based fillers—have unique molecular properties. Some molecules are bigger, others finer. In any case, once 24-48 hours have passed, cold weather should not have any impact on your fillers.
- Kybella: Perhaps among the most novel injectables is Kybella. This injectable is created to actually eliminate unwanted fat along the jawline (the so-called double chin). However, there’s no compelling evidence that the progression of Kybella (which takes several months to get to your final results) is in any way hampered by cold weather.
The truth is that a lot of people ask about how weather might affect your injectable results. The very simple answer is that in most cases, cold weather will have no impact on the way your injectables behave or look once they’re injected.
Can Heat Affect my Injections?
Okay, so below zero wind chills might not have an impact on the way your injectables look, but what about high heat? After all, surgeons will often tell you to avoid certain behaviors after you get a dermal filler or Botox injections. For example, surgeons might tell you to avoid:
- Intense exercise
- Alcohol consumption
Two of those three things you should avoid have to do with heat in at least some way. So maybe it stands to reason that heat will have an impact on your results. Well, in general, heat will have no effect on your injectable results. But there are some ways in which you might need to pay attention to hot temperatures.
- Swelling: Excessively warm temperatures just after your injections could make swelling worse.
- Bruising: Bruising is sometimes associated with injectable treatments. The expansion of blood vessels that accompanies high heat in your body could exacerbate any bruising that happens.
- Diminishing Results: If you are around excessively high temperatures for a long duration (for example, if you go to the sauna or exercise excessively), you may notice some diminishing results.
It’s worth noting that the chances of diminishing results due to high heat are quite low. In almost all cases, heat will have no effect on your injectables results. And most of what risk there is passes 24-48 hours after the procedure.
What About Right After Injections? 24-48 Hours
When it comes to avoiding excessively hot, humid conditions for the first 24-48 hours after your procedure, the risk is not so much to your results. Instead the idea is to minimize swelling and bruising as much as possible. Because here’s what happens:
- During the procedure itself, the needle administering the injectable might hit a blood vessel
- Heat can make the blood vessel expand (or dilate, in medical terms)
- When those “nicked” blood vessels dilate, due to the heat, it could cause excessive bruising
Because dermal fillers will generally last only a limited amount of time anyway, it seems prudent to try to keep swelling and bruising to a minimum. When your results will only last six to twelve to eighteen months, a couple extra days of swelling can be a bummer.
Additionally, many patients like to have a certain air of “mystery” about how they stay looking young. When you show up to work with excessive bruising, it might give the mystery away. It might become obvious how you’re able to keep those wrinkles away.
Some patients may also notice that their cosmetic surgeons recommend they don’t fly anywhere for 24-48 hours after getting their Botox or dermal filler injections. That has little to do with how “altitude” might impact your results and is more about keeping your primary surgeon close in case you need any follow up care.
What if I Get a Non Surgical Nose Job?
Using injectables to get rid of lines and wrinkles is one thing. But these days, cosmetic surgeons have found many uses for dermal fillers and injectables beyond simply getting rid of wrinkles. Indeed, these days, it’s not uncommon for patients to take a non surgical procedure out for a spin.
Easily the most popular among these procedures is the Non Surgical Nose Job. Developed by Dr. Alexander Rivkin in Los Angeles, the Non Surgical Nose Job changes the shape of the nose by adding volume to it—and that volume is added by using dermal fillers.
It’s clear to see, then, why some patients might have second thoughts and, perhaps, a little trepidation when thinking about the weather. If you get your non surgical nose job in the winter, will your nose freeze before the filler can set? Or, will the filler melt out of the injection sites in summer?
The easy answer to these questions is, basically, the same as above: the dermal fillers used in Non Surgical Nose Job procedures are incredibly stable. Neither warm temperatures nor cold temperatures will have an impact on your overall results. That means that added volume in your nose will stick around through the summer.
That said, Non Surgical Nose Job results are only temporary. Your body breaks down the dermal filler over time.
When Does Weather Matter?
What About Getting Surgery in the Summer?
Here’s the funny thing. We’ve spend a lot of time talking about whether injectables can cause issues in the heat and the cold. But we haven’t really talked about whether surgery can have issues in the heat or the cold. Now, to be fair, that’s a little bit outside our purview.
But it is worth considering that plastic surgeons will often counsel their patients to be careful with their exposure to heat and humidity during recovery. That’s because heat and humidity can alter how your body operates, and therefore they can hamper your body’s ability to heal itself.
This doesn’t necessarily mean surgery in the summer should be avoided. Rather it just means that patients should be careful when sunning themselves by the pool if they’ve recently undergone a plastic surgery procedure. In most cases, your plastic surgeon will discuss any changes in behavior you need to be aware of during your recovery.
Avoiding the Sun
One element of the weather that you should be aware of in my cases of cosmetic surgery is the sun. Many patients who have undergone microdermabrasion or a laser energy system treatment are advised to avoid harsh sunlight in the days following their procedures. This is because the skin, at that point, is particularly sensitive to ultraviolet light (of which the sun puts out a considerable amount).
So after your cosmetic surgery procedure, it might be a good idea to avoid a significant amount of sunlight. After all, high concentrations of UV light have been proven to have the following negative effects:
- Higher occurences of melanoma and skin cancer
- Increasing amount of lines and wrinkles
- Producing a “leathery” effect in skin
- Dehydration (mostly associated with heat)
- Changes in blood pressure (mostly associated with humidity)
The kind of UV light you get from the sun and from most tanning beds can have long term detrimental impact on your skin health. Your Botox injection probably won’t be effected by this directly, but the amount of wrinkles and lines you show over the long term will. That’s why most surgeons will consistently recommend sunscreen or protection of some kind.
We All Encounter Weather
To a certain extent, weather is not something that you can control or avoid. You’ve got to deal with it day in and day out. And, well, everyone does. Most people who get Botox or Juvederm or a Non Surgical Nose Job aren’t looking to stay inside and hide their results.
In fact, they want the whole world to see how great they look (in many cases—everyone is different, it’s worth saying). This means that treatments have to stand up to the tests of daily life. One of the major appeals of Botox, Juvederm, and other treatments like that is that you can go about your daily routine immediately after your treatment.
The notion that extreme heat or extreme cold could have a negative impact on your results is understandable. The logic makes sense in an everyday kind of way. But the reality is that, once injected, the weather isn’t going to have a much of an impact on the quality of the injectable.
Your Botox will be just fine on a really cold day, and your Juvederm will be unaffected on a really warm day. There are some activities you might have to avoid for 24-48 hours—out of an abundance of caution—but largely you’ll be able to enjoy your daily life. So, can weather affect your fillers? By and large, the answer is an emphatic: not really.