Pump ‘Em Up: 5 Things You Need to Know About Lip Fillers
- Posted on: Mar 8 2017
How common is it to get fillers for your lips?
Lip injections are very common. However, why and how they are done depend on the needs and expectations of the patient, and the expertise of the injector.
Younger patients 18-35 years of age want to enhance their natural appearance. Those between ages 35-55 years want to look as good as they feel, and those beyond age 55 want to look good compared to their peers. It is not uncommon for an individual to want lip fillers regardless of what age group they fall into. Most established aesthetic medical practices will perform several lip augmentations each day.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) survey in 2014, $2.3 billion dollars were spent on 7 million facial injectable procedures. 90% of those procedures were on women, and 10% on men.
Why do most have the look of having a shelf for lips?
It is presumptuous to assume that “most” patients end up with a lip that protrudes like a “shelf.” We notice those more, because they look unnatural, but for every noticeable bad outcome, there are presumably several great outcomes others are not aware of. Lips augmented artfully go unnoticed, because no one knows they were treated.
In practice, we want our patients to look as natural as possible. We want others to notice, but no one to know that the lips were treated. Having the appearance of a lip “shelf” can be one of many undesired outcomes. Ones lip shape, size and anatomy will vary from one person to another. The curvature of the lip border and how it protrudes should be in proportion to the rest of the lip.
If too much filler is placed disproportionately along the lip border, it can create an unnatural “shelf-like” appearance or an exaggerated look that is cosmetically unpleasing.
What is the best filler to use?
The answer to this question is not universal, and often the subjective preference of the injector and/or patient. Restylane Silk, Restylane, Juvederm Ultra and Juvederm Volbella are all FDA-approved hyaluronic acid fillers for the lips or lip lines. Each product has its unique properties and characteristics. Variables among the different products include hyaluronic acid concentration, particle size, extent of crosslinking and its method, rheology, cohesiveness and compressibility. All of the aforementioned absorb water, some more than others, and this can give rise to temporary swelling.
The proper choice of the filler will depend on what the injector hopes to achieve from an aesthetic perspective. There is no one filler that can do everything well.
What makes someone an expert in this field?
To answer this question would seem self-serving. However, there is a plethora of collective experiences among injectors in this field. Being astute to the variety of techniques, needles, cannulas, products, lip shapes, sizes, and individual patient goals is paramount to being an “expert” in the field. One must have a passion for aesthetics as these procedures marry science with art, and skill comes with patience, experience, and the humility to accept that there may always be a better way to treat a specific condition.
Can you get rid of small lines above the lip?
The vertical lip lines, also known as “smoker’s lines,” the “barcode” or peri-oral lines can be improved significantly in most cases by using fillers purposely designed for these types of creases. Some individuals with deep creases that have formed over decades of aging will not see complete resolution. Treating this area is a process that may take a combination of treatments, which may also include botulinum toxin injections, resurfacing procedures or treatments that can help remodel the skin. It is not realistic to expect decades of change to be reversed with one filler treatment. However, with the recent introduction of FDA-approved filler products, we have many more options than we did just a few years ago.
Posted in: Dermal Fillers