Lip augmentation is a simple cosmetic procedure that usually involves injecting a dermal filler under the skin of the lips to give them a fuller, plumper look. Dermal fillers can also be used to fill in the lines and wrinkles that develop around the mouth, causing lipstick to bleed.
Filling in those lines reduces the appearance of facial aging and can help you look the age you actually feel. Dermal fillers can be used to give the lips a more attractive shape, fuller volume, or a different structure, depending on the results you’re after.
Common Dermal Fillers for Lip Augmentation
There are a number of Dermal Fillers available for lip augmentation, with the most common these days being forms of Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the body as a transfer system that brings nutrients from the blood to the skin cells, so they are less likely to be an adverse reaction when it is used as a filler.
Both animal and non-animal (such as Restylane) sources are available. Hyaluronic Acid acts as a cushion when its injected, lifting and supporting the surrounding tissues. It also draws moisture to the surface of the skin, creating a dewy and youthful look.
Collagen is another common dermal filler, though its not used as often as the newer Hyaluronic Acid options because the new formulations have less side effects and tend to produce a more natural look.
For example, Hyaluronic Acid produces less lumps and bumps, is easier to control via injection, produces less bruising, and the results last a bit longer in some cases.
Another option for dermal fillers for lip augmentation is human fat. Clients can have their own tissues removed from a spot where its not wanted and then transferred to another area where it is wanted (like the lips).
There is no chance of an adverse allergic reaction because the filler is your own tissue. There is a risk of re-absorption with human fat, however.
Facial implants are also available for lip augmentation, but these aren’t used very often.
What is a Lip Augmentation Procedure Like?
Lip augmentations are done in-office, and are very quick (can be done over a lunch break, generally). If you are having the augmentation done via fat transfer, that will take longer and might be done in a surgical center because it will require a session of liposuction.
Before the treatment, you might have a topical numbing cream applied to lessen any discomfort. Some clients have numbing medication injected into the treatment area (similar to numbing injections at a dentists office).
The filler is injected into pre-marked areas with a fine needle, and the surgeon will massage the injection site to be sure the filler is evenly distributed and that no lumps have formed.
After the procedure, you might have some slight bleeding, redness, or swelling. That will resolve after 24 to 48 hours. Youll want to avoid lipstick or other lip cosmetics for about 24 hours after the treatment. Otherwise, you can return to your normal activities after the procedure.
You will need to avoid putting sustained pressure on the lips immediately after the procedure, to prevent the filler from shifting under the skin. The injections will last between three and six months, depending on the filler and your personal situation.
You can see our Board Certified Surgeon Dr. Nukta explaining these guidelines in a demonstration of Restylane injections in this video.
Where Are The Injections Given?
Surgeons avoid injecting filler past the upper line of the top lip, known as the cupids bow, because it can produce an unnatural look. They also avoid injecting filler into the corners of the mouth because in natural lips, you cant see much of the lip structure at those spots. That appearance needs to be preserved in order to keep a natural look.
Finally, the surgeon will avoid making the upper lip larger than the bottom lip because the bottom lip is generally poutier, and keeping that appearance helps keep the look natural.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation for lip augmentation in Northern Virginia, please call our office at (703) 574-2588.