Dermal Fillers for Lips
Lip fillers are the most requested treatment at our Sydney clinic. Beautiful lips are important for enhancing the appearance of the face. Patients with small or poorly shaped or proportioned lips can be helped by the artistic placement of lip fillers.
Lip fillers can be injected for 2 purposes:
- To look younger
- To look more beautiful.
Some people were born with great lips, and others were born with lips whose appearance could be improved. For those who weren’t born with the perfect lips, there are many ways we can change lips to improve their appearance.
Here is some interesting research on shaping lips with fillers
Lip Fillers can improve:
Size of the lips:
Often patients present with small lips to be enlarged.
Proportion of the lips:
Often patients have an upper lip which is much smaller than the lower. The “golden ratio” for lips is considered 1:1.618, so the upper should be smaller than the lower, but often the ratio will not be close to this. Dermal filler can change this ratio.
The lip border:
Some patients are blessed with a beautiful lip border, and some need dermal filler love! also as we age, the lip border loses definition and gets wrinkly. Dermal filler can really make a lip border appear younger and more attractive.
The projection of the lips:
When examining the lips, the profile must be checked, and it should be determined if the projection of the upper or lower lips could be improved.
The Cupid’s Bow:
Is this defined, or could it be improved
The Cutaneous Lip and Philtrum ridges:
Could the philtrum ridges be improved.
The skin of the lip:
Sometimes the skin of the pink of the lips is aged and can be improved with skin booster or dermal filler
The shape of the lips:
As we age, several things change with our lips, including the collapse at the lip corners, this leads to a less appealing shape. This can be improved with dermal filler. Also, at the part where the lips meet in the body of the upper and lower lips, in some patient’s this can be uneven. It can be smoothed out with dermal filler
LIP FILLER TREATMENT
Choosing the amount of lip fillers:
The doctor will assess the face and decide on the best dose after taking a history and examining the patient. If a patient has a history of complications with dermal fillers, or if their budget is small or if they want a more subtle result, then a smaller dose might be chosen. With lips, a typical way to plan lip improvement is to inject them 1ml at a time and then inject them every month until they reach the size where the patient is satisfied.
Pain relief during treatment:
A numbing cream (eg EMLA or LMX ) may be applied to the area prior to the treatment (45 minutes prior is ideal) Glad wrap may be used over the numbing cream to increase its effect. Dental block, with injection of local anaesthetic is available for lip dermal filler pain relief. The patient shouldn’t feel pain during the procedure if this is used Ice is always used to decrease pain and to reduce the risk of bruising. Very rarely patients will use Penthrox for dermal filler in lips Nitrous oxide (happy gas) is available for patients to use
Lip Fillers Procedure:
The face will be cleaned with alcohol. A dental block may be injected into the gums prior to treatment. Ice will be applied to the area briefly before treatment The doctor will inject using a very fine needle. Then pressure with gauze will be applied. If a cannula is used, a small injection of local anaesthetic is injected into the skin and then a fine needle makes a small hole in the skin where the cannula is inserted.
Downtime with lip fillers:
There will be redness and swelling. The swelling will be disproportionate, ie the upper lip tends to swell to a much greater extent than the lower lip
Side effects /risks with lip fillers:
The treatment is very low risk. Bruising occurs in a significant number of cases. Swelling in the injection area will occur. This will laser for 48 hours Asymmetry: Sometimes one side is better treated than the other, this is usually because the patient is asymmetrical to start with. Infection is a very rare complication, but always a possibility when the needle goes into the skin. Necrosis (blood vessel being blocked, interfering with blood supply to the skin) is very rare. This could lead to scarring Need for further treatment: Often with lips, it will take several syringes of product to get to where the patient wants to be.
Instructions for lip fillers aftercare:
No makeup for 4 hours No heavy exercise that day Lay off the acid face products for 24 hours No spas no sauna, no hot yoga for 1 week post treatment
Cost of lip fillers:
Cost is per syringe. Typically for one treatment, the cost will be from $620-$800 for a lip treatment, depending on doctor and product used.
After Lip Fillers
What to expect after a lip filler treatment:
The effect of the lip fillers will be obvious immediately. Most of the swelling from the lip fillers will have resolved by 2-3 days after the procedure. There may be a small amount of swelling for even 2-4 weeks after the procedure.
Asymmetry after Lip Fillers:
If you notice asymmetry at some time before the 4 week point after lip fillers, there is generally no need to call the doctor. Sometimes asymmetry will occur because one side is more swollen or bruised. Usually it will right itself by the time of the review appointment at 4 weeks. If it doesn’t, then it can be examined at the review appointment. There is no point in coming in early for treatment of asymmetry as there is often swelling associated and so the final result cannot be seen until at least 4 weeks. Treating asymmetry too early could lead to further asymmetry.
How long will the lip fillers last:
The answer to this is very individual and depends on the patient’s anatomy, metabolism, the dose, the placement, the product etc. Typically with our most commonly used dermal filler: If the patient is happy with the results at 1 month (ie there has been adequate fill) they should be treated at 6 months, then at 6 months and then once yearly. If the patient is not satisfied with the results at 1 month (ie more dermal filler is required to obtain the results that they desire), then further dermal filler should be injected every 1-4 months until the desired appearance has been reached, and then the patient should have treatment at 6 months, then 6 months, then once yearly
Cannula for lip fillers
Cannula may be used for lip fillers,with the purpose of potentially reducing the risk of occlusions, or to reduce the risk of bruising and swelling.