One of my favorite services that I offer is lip filler. Different lip fillers can be utilized depending on a patient’s goals and desired effects. Certain fillers can add volume and structure to the lips, while others can improve lip lines or signs of dehydration and aging.
What is Lip Filler?
Injectable lip fillers, also known as dermal fillers, are made of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that is found naturally occurring in all of our cells. Lip fillers are a manmade form of this complex sugar molecule. When injected into the lips, hyaluronic acid can add volume and/or hydration to the lips. Over time your body slowly breaks down the filler and after about a year your lips return to their normal baseline. Because your body is slowly breaking down the filler over time, lip filler will NOT overstretch your lips. Also, it is important to recognize that each syringe has only about 1/5 of a teaspoon of the actual product. The remainder of the syringe contains lidocaine, which serves as a comfort measure by numbing your lips during the procedure.
What Type of Filler Should I Get for my Lips?
If you have done any research on lip filler, then you may see that there are a number of products on the market that can be injected into the lips. During your consultation, we will discuss your specific goals and determine which filler would be best for you. The science behind the different families of filler is quite complex. Each filler has unique properties. If you are looking to add volume and structure to the lips, the product I typically recommend is Juvederm Ultra XC. For those looking to add significant volume right away, I typically recommend Juvederm Ultra Plus or Restylane Defyne as these 2 fillers have more plumping effects. For patients that are concerned with “lip lines”, dehydration, or are looking for a very subtle effect, I prefer to use Volbella.
I want the “Kylie Jenner” look vs I Do NOT want the “Kylie Jenner” look:
The beauty of lip filler is that because there are so many different products on the market, we really can individualize treatment based on your own goals. There are certain products that I inject which give a very subtle, natural result, and others that have a more noticeable, immediate effect.
For those looking to significantly change the size of their lips, I cannot emphasize enough that this is going to be a building process. For your safety, I only inject 1 syringe at a time into the lips. For patients wanting a “Kylie Jenner” look, this typically requires multiple syringes, injected at least 1 month apart from each other. I am here to help you get your “dream lips” as safely as possible.
What to Expect During Treatment?
After we have discussed which filler is right for you, we will prepare you for your injection. I will apply a topical numbing cream to your lips, which will stay on for about 10 minutes. This is for your comfort because the technique I use involves directly injecting the filler into the lip tissue. After cleaning the area, I will inject the filler into the lips. Injecting lips is truly an art form. I customize my injection technique for every single patient based on their unique anatomy and goals. Therefore, I cannot predict how many times I will inject into the lips during the treatment. Keep in mind that the syringe does contain lidocaine, so you will become more numb and comfortable as we move along.
What to Expect After?
After your lip injections, your lips will typically feel heavy and much larger than they actually are- this is normal. Patients typically experience swelling which may last up to 72 hours after injection depending on the product used. There are certain measures you can take to reduce swelling. These include icing the lips on and off for 24 hours and avoiding salty or spicy foods (Mexican, Chinese, French fries). Sleeping with your head elevated the first night can also help with swelling.
As far as activity level is concerned, we ask that you do not exercise strenuously or go to the gym for about 24 hours after injections. It is also important to stay hydrated and to avoid alcohol the first night after injections. If your lips feel dry after injections, we recommend keeping them hydrated with a thin layer of Aquaphor. The filler takes about 2 weeks to settle and incorporate into your own lip tissue. Therefore, during those first two weeks, you may experience some unevenness or feel lumps. Typically, this subsides after about two weeks. We like to schedule 2 week follow up appointments to see if massage is needed to smooth out any uneven areas or if any additional filler is needed for symmetry or balance. And, most importantly, we want to make sure you are happy with your treatment results.
Will I Bruise?
Unfortunately, due to the number of blood vessels in the lip tissue, and each patient’s natural propensity for bruising, there is no way to predict if you will bruise or not. There are certain measures that you can take which will reduce your risk of bruising. These include avoiding NSAIDs or blood thinners for about 5 days prior to injections. Common NSAIDs and blood thinners include Aspirin, Advil, Ibuprofen, Fish Oil and alcohol. Some patients find that taking Arnica tablets for 2 days prior to injections and eating pineapple the day before injections help with bruising as well. If you do bruise, it will typically resolve within 2 weeks and can be disguised by lipstick.
I hope you have found this information helpful! I offer complimentary consultations, which can be scheduled by calling 804. 775. 4559. I am so excited to get to know you and help you meet your aesthetic goals!