Lip injections. You either love them or squirm at the idea of them. These days more and more young women (and men) from the age of 18 on wards, are adding Dermal Filler procedures to their beauty maintenance, as fuss free as getting their third monthly trim at the hairdressers.
I put this normalising of Dermal Filler down to the growing popularity of ‘Instagram models’ and our new generation of famous women such as Kylie Jenner and Kim K. These women typically all have striking facial features such as plump lips, defined jawlines, chiselled cheeks and perfectly portioned noses… and if they don't, well they usually turn to their Cosmetic Nurse.
The power of fuller-looking lips can be appealing to women as it can enhance the entire face, dramatically hydrate the lips and help correct asymmetries. So if you're curious about Dermal filler for your lips, here are some of my key points I consult my patient with before treatment.
1. BE REALISTIC
Your lips have a natural shape and volume. Often I'll find patients have an unrealistic expectation of how big they want their lips to be, or bring in a photo of another persons lips. Yes, Dermal filler can help shape and add volume but it needs to suit your facial structure and proportions. Very rarely can someone pull off Kylie Jenner's lip volume without looking like a duck that has been stung by a bee. Some women just don't suit it! Work with what you have and enhance your natural features.
2. A NATURAL APPEARANCE
Yes, we’ve all seen those lips that to majority of us look extremely undesirable, but we tend to only notice them if they are over the top. Of course if OTT is the look you are going for, than that option is always there for you. But personally I prefer to start off with a very natural appearance for my patients and this look can always be built on over time to give a natural progression. (Refer to exhibit A on the right)
3. IT'S ONLY TEMPORARY
Lip filler, dependant on the product, can last between three months to one year. The variables depend on the products longevity and your metabolism. Traditional hyaluronic acid fillers are naturally broken down by your body. These products can induce collagen production in the area of injection, so some residual volume correction may persist but the products do break down over time. Typically I will see my patients once every three months until they are at their desired size and shape (if not already achieved after the first treatment) and then once every six to nine months to maintain that aesthetic.
4. THE PAIN FACTOR
One of the biggest deterrents for injectables tends to be people's fear of the pain. One of the great things about cosmetic medicine however, is our access to advanced numbing agents to help assure a comfortable procedure. Majority of my patients find topical numbing creams, ice and the anaesthetic agents infused in the lip filler itself, suffices. I personally have had my lips treated numerous times at ease and i consider myself to have quite a low pain threshold. For me and many of my patients, it is best compared to the feeling of an eyebrow tweezing (or moustache tweezing in this case). The injections them self take around five minutes with up to twenty minutes of numbing prior.
5. THE DOWNTIME
Yes, there is no doubting you will dislike your lips for the first 12-24 hours, especially if you were nervous about a natural appearance. Your lips will swell slightly, sometimes unevenly and they can bruise (after all I did just inject through hundreds of vessels with a needle). Swelling and bruising can vary patient to patient, though swelling tends to be at its worse within the first two days. It is best not to plan any events the night of the injections and preferably 2 weeks before a big event to give (worst case) adequate time for bruising to subside and correction to take place if needed. Swelling and bruising are only temporary and all part of the treatment.