The most common reasons for why people are unhappy with the shape and size of their lips are that the natural ageing process has made their lips to appear thinner and less defined or that their lips have always been narrow with a less pronounced cupid’s bow. Some people may have asymmetrical lips and look to restore balance or create proportion.
Lip Filler treatment, also known as Lip Augmentation/Enhancement or Lip Injections, is a popular procedure which addresses many lip concerns.
Today, there are many varieties of lip fillers on the market, but the most sophisticated and widely used fillers are made of Hyaluronic Acid, a substance found naturally in the body. When injected into the lips, Hyaluronic Acid can enhance shape, structure or volume. Hyaluronic acid is very biocompatible as it already exists in our body, it is happily accepted by the body and rarely causes any reactions thus resulting in Hyaluronic Acid Fillers having a very high safety profile. The body breaks down the Hyaluronic Acid over period of months, thus the results of lip fillers are temporary.
In this article Mr Allen Rezai Consultant Plastic, Aesthetic & Reconstructive Surgeon, shares with you, some information you should have if you are considering lip filler treatment. As with any other procedure, a thorough, one to one, consultation is necessary to discuss all aspects of treatment, including possible risks and side effects, and to determine your suitability for this treatment.
1. Areas of The Lips that Can Be Enhanced
I believe the goal with lip filler treatment should be to create proportion and natural enhancement of the lips and to create a lip that is unique to the individual.
Injections within different areas of the lip:
- Vermilion border or lip outline – for creating definition, width and improve lipstick bleeding lines
- Lip Body, the fleshy part of the upper and lower lip – for volume, pout and fullness
- Cupid’s Bow– adds definition and contouring
- Philtrum Ridges that go from the upper lip towards the nose can be made more defined.
- The ideal ratio for Natural Looking lips is 1/3 to 2/3 with the lower lip being the fullest.
Injections performed within the areas surrounding the lip for rejuvenation purposes:
- Perioral lines or fine vertical lines on the upper lip can be reduced.
- Oral commissures or lines going down from the sides of the mouth
- Marionette lines (sad lines from corner of lips downward) – also known as puppet lines
A thorough consultation is recommended to discuss your concern-areas and goals with wanting this treatment. Depending on your wishes and recommendations of your doctor, some or all of the above areas can be treated for a natural looking Lip Enhancement. If your lips are thin, or If you are looking for a subtle and gradual change, injections should be spread over a period of time with one months apart, until desired outcome is achieved. Remember it is a gradual process and drastic changes should not be made in one treatment.
2. Lip Filler Treatment, Results & Longevity
The lips and the surrounding area are cleansed and to make the procedure as comfortable as possible, we apply topical anaesthetic cream, and start the treatment once the area is suitably numb. The injection itself feels like a pinch, followed by a sting as the filler is being injected. The derma filler gel itself is infused with a local anaesthetic, so it numbs your lips as it’s injected, providing additional comfort.
With the filler in place the area is firmly massaged to ensure the filler is evenly distributed and to prevent any lumps from forming. Once the desired look is achieved, arnica, a bruise-reduction cream is applied to the lips to minimise risk of bruising.
Some patients walk away from their treatments without a mark, while others can look somewhat bruised and swollen for a few days after treatment. Tissue reaction to treatment varies between individuals, some bruise more easily than others. Although bruising is rare in my practice, I advise all my new patients to expect some minor bruising and swelling after treatment, and many times they are pleasantly surprised that they did not bruise. If you do bruise however, it can be easily covered by concealer and makeup and will subside after 5-7 days
Slight post-injection swelling is normal following lip filler treatment, but it usually only lasts a few days, a week at the very most depending on the individual.
Result of Lip filler treatment is instant. However, soon thereafter newly injected lips will feel slightly firm and swollen but once they settle, your lips should feel as soft as your natural lips and no one will be able to tell by feeling your lips that you’ve had injections.
As Hyaluronic Acid (HA) naturally occurs in the Body, HA fillers are gradually metabolized or resorbed by the body over a period of time. The longevity of the results vary between individuals as each body metabolizes the filler differently, this can be genetic or due to age or lifestyle. People with high metabolic rate or those who regularly exercise, tend to resorb the filler faster.
Generally, fillers in the lips last anywhere from 5 to 9 months and tend to wear off sooner than in other areas of the face as the lips are constantly moving, resulting in faster breakdown of the filler. If it’s your fist time having lip filler treatment, then you may need to return for a top-up after 1-2 months. Many patients choose to repeat Lip Filler treatments every 5-9 months, to maintain the desired result. The more treatments that you have the increasingly longer the fillers will last
If you eventually decide to stop having lip fillers, your lips will gradually return to their original state. However, the HA lip filler injections that you’ve had overtime, sometimes kickstarts a production of the natural hyaluronic acid in the injected area, and your lips could naturally remain slightly fuller, even months or years after you’ve stopped having lip fillers.
3. DOs and DON’Ts of Filler Treatment
When you schedule your initial consultation with us, you are provided with comprehensive pre and post treatment care instructions. It is important that you know how to prepare for treatment and what to expect and how to take care of the area following treatment. Make sure you are prepared, especially if you’re planning to undergo treatment straight after your initial consultation.
Here are some common DOs & DON’Ts:
Always contact your Doctor if in doubt about any aspect of the pre-treatment preparation or post-treatment care.
4. Are Lip Fillers Right For You?
This question can only be answered after a one to one consultation with an experienced Doctor. But first, you should ask yourself why you want to change your lips. If you are considering lip fillers to make someone else happy or to try to fit an ideal image, you may want to think twice!
It is also important to have realistic expectations about the result. The aim should be to create proportionate lips, in balance with the rest of your face.
From a general health point of view, I do not recommend lip fillers for individuals who are heavy smokers, pregnant, breast feeding or who have cancer. Also, Lip filler injections should not be carried out on those with infection or active cold sores, uncontrolled diabetes, lupus and blood clotting disorders.
It is important to not undergo any treatment before you’ve had a thorough initial consultation with a qualified doctor, discussing your medical history, your reasons for wanting Lip fillers, and the type of result you should realistically expect. Furthermore, you should FULLY understand all aspects of the treatment, including pros and cons, risks and side effects, cost, and what you should expect in terms of recovery, results and maintaining results, before deciding to proceed.
5. Advice from Mr Allen Rezai
- Thoroughly research your Doctor/Clinic. Word of mouth and recommendations from people you know is usually the most reliable guide. Treatment should be carried out in a medical setting using sterile needles and syringes.
- A good Doctor will have a thorough initial consultation with you, check your medical history, discuss your reasons for wanting lip fillers, cover all aspects of the procedure, including possible risks and complications, and provide you with a bespoke treatment plan to achieve the best possible outcome.
- You should always be given enough time to make an informed decision and you should NEVER feel rushed.
- Ease into lip filling and always maintain proportion and balance! Your Doctor should give you honest indication and advice on the results you should expect based on your lips’ natural shape and volume, and stop you when you might be going a bit too far! We’ve all seen individuals or heard stories where people have had their lips overfilled and afterwards wished their doctor had stopped them. The more fillers you have, means more revenue for the clinic so you want an honest doctor who prioritizes natural and proportionate results to revenue and who is willing to turn you away if you want too much filler.
- Beware of Cheap providers. Cheap Fillers usually come at a price. It usually means the product is counterfeit, or administered by an inexperienced, non-qualified practitioner. There are many varieties of HA Fillers on the market. But I prefer to use the Juvéderm brand as it gives a soft and natural feel to the lips and other areas of the face, the brand also has a long and well documented track record.
- Make sure that you are aware of the product you are being injected with. During your treatment the sterile product should be taken out from a box. Everything should be transparent. You should be able to see exactly what is going on and what is being used.
- Treatments should only be carried out in a clean, safe and appropriate clinical environment to avoid infection and permanent physical damage. Treatments should be carried out in a clinical facility and NOT in a home setting or, for example, a nail bar or tattoo parlour.
- Aftercare is an important aspect of any treatment. You should always ask the doctor about the aftercare provided, especially if anything were to go wrong.
- No Matter How Common Filler Injections Have Become, it is still a cosmetic procedure with possible risks and side-effects and should not be taken lightly.
- Never feel pressured into undergoing a treatment without fully understanding all the implications.
At Allen Rezai MD, All Procedures Are Tailored To Your Needs.