Flying after dermal fillers: How long should you wait?

By Dr. Aaron Stanes

Treatment guide

Discover the vital information you MUST know about dermal fillers with our detailed guide written by expert cosmetic doctors.


    After having dermal fillers (or before for those who like to plan ahead), a common question is “when can I fly after having dermal fillers?”.

    While you can fly after having dermal fillers, there are a few things to consider.

    The team at Cosmetic Connection are just as considered with your aftercare as we are with your consultation, treatment and result. We are here for your entire treatment journey, and this does not end when you leave the clinic.

    Arm yourself with the facts about flying after dermal fillers so that you can correctly time your treatment.

    What are the risks of flying after dermal fillers?

    Many people claim that flying after dermal fillers can worsen bruising and swelling. They cite changes in cabin pressure and oxygen levels as causing this. While it is true that flying can cause swelling, there is more to the story than many clinics claim.

    First, we must consider what happens after you’ve had dermal filler injections. The actual injection process causes microscopic damage to the tissue. This results in bleeding and a localised inflammatory response causing swelling. A cold compress reduces bruising and swelling by preventing blood and tissue fluid from collecting in the injected area. Platelet aggregation (the cellular process that stop bleeding) takes a few hours, and swelling and inflammation typically peak in just under 24 hours.

    Secondly, we need to understand what happens when flying at altitude. Because planes fly at such high altitude, the atmosphere is very different to that on land. The air pressure and humidity are lower, and cannot support life. Therefore the plane’s cabin is pressurised and humidified allowing us to fly safely. Despite this, the cabin pressure is still slightly lower than normal, but for healthy people this is not perceptible. The popping in your ears is related to the change in pressure, not the pressure itself.

    Can you fly after getting dermal fillers?

    You can fly after dermal fillers. If you fly within a few days after having filler injections then you’re swelling may be worse. While most clinics advise that you wait 2 weeks, this is not evidence-based and may be overly cautious. Using a cold compress is the best way to reduce swelling. Flying after dermal fillers may slightly prolong the recovery, but it should not affect the final result. Waiting 2 weeks before flying is a common dermal filler myth.

    When can I fly after fillers?

    The most important consideration when deciding when to fly after dermal fillers is what you will do if there is a side effect. Most serious side effects from dermal fillers will manifest within the first 3-7 days after your treatment. So, if you want to be extra cautious, you should ensure that you are able to easily come back to the clinic in that timeframe.

    For short interstate flights this is less critical but could be a big inconvenience. It is long haul cross-country or international flights where we strongly emphasise waiting at least a week before jetting off. What if you have a time-critical side effect on a 14 hour flight? By the time you land it may be too late to get effective treatment. Returning to the clinic from the other side of the world could be problematic. And there may not be reputable cosmetic practitioners like those here at Cosmetic Connection at your destination.

    When it comes to long-haul flights, the more time you have up your sleeve, the better.

    When can I fly after anti-wrinkle injections?

    Another common question we hear is when can I travel after anti-wrinkle injections?

    This is much more straightforward than dermal fillers. You can travel immediately after anti-wrinkle injections, as long as you follow the usual anti-wrinkle aftercare. Flying after anti-wrinkle injections has no significant risks and doesn’t affect your result. The only thing to consider is that cabin air at altitude is dry. When having anti-wrinkle injections we clean your skin which may cause slight dryness. If you’re flying after anti-wrinkle, you should drink enough water and use moisturisers to keep your skin hydrated.

    When should I get dermal fillers before travelling?

    When it comes to timing your dermal fillers before flying, the earlier the better. For those flying in for treatment, or having treatment in preparation for a holiday, we recommend a minimum of 7 days for long-haul or cross-country flights, and 24 hours for short interstate trips.

    While you should always consider that we may need to see you in the very rare case of a side effect, flying after dermal fillers will not affect your final result.

    Dermal fillers

    Read more