Lip fillers with hyaluronic acid (HA) have become a big hit in recent years. It’s one of the most sought-after treatments today, and at the same time, it’s shrouded in so many myths! If you are considering this treatment, you need to read this article before you book an appointment anywhere!
How and what do we inject into lips?
ONLY hyaluronic acid is injected into the lips. We do not inject botulinum toxin directly into the lips, as many people mistakenly believe, nor do we use any other material.
HA is the body’s own substance that can be broken down by the enzyme hylase. It is administered by injection or cannula. When injecting, we use a variety of techniques that are often combined to achieve the desired result. For the cannula filling, we use a thin “tube” with a blunt end that is inserted into the lip through a tiny puncture in the skin, about 0.5-1 cm from the corner, on either side.
Who can apply the filler and why?
The filler may only be applied by a trained doctor (MD / MUDr. / MDDr.)! Only a trained physician (not a beautician or a nurse) is able to deal with any complications, both minor and major, that may arise. Unfortunately, vascular occlusion happens to even the most experienced doctor, and it is not caused only by poor application technique. We can reverse it by dissolving the filler, and the dreaded necrosis (tissue death) will not occur.
Always be interested in what material (and brand) they are applying to you. There are two labels in every pack of filler. They state the brand, type, volume and batch of filler. One belongs to the doctor, the other is for the patient.
Does it hurt?
Pain is individual, but manageable. The lips are a very sensitive area of the face with a lot of blood supply. Fortunately, we have numbing creams and ointments (Emla, Lidocaine, etc.). We apply them on the lips approx. 30 mins before the procedure. Some doctors use a dental block before injecting.
What is the best way to prepare for the filler?
Do not drink coffee, ginger tea, or alcohol on the day of treatment. These substances increase bleeding and may make you bruise more. Stock up on arnica and heparoid cream – they will help the bruising and swelling go down faster. Aescin tablets and lip cooling will also help with swelling.
What is the recommended regimen after the procedure?
For the first 3-4 hours, your lips will be swollen and tender, and the puncture wounds will still be healing. During this time, hold on and don’t eat, laugh, or scream so as not to put unnecessary strain on your lips. Drink carefully. Choose cold or lukewarm drinks. Don’t put the lipstick or lip balm you normally use on your lips. They are not completely clean. Have a new, unopened lip balm on hand. You can also put Vaseline or CICA cream on your lips with well-washed hands.
It is a good idea to avoid heavy physical exertion and strenuous exercise for 3 days after the procedure. Do not smoke, drink alcohol or get drunk – both have a negative effect on the healing of the lips after the procedure. During this time you should also avoid kissing. Your lips are still sensitive and it would not be comfortable.
Avoid sauna, hot baths and solarium for 2 weeks after the procedure. The high temperature activates the breakdown of hyaluronic acid and you may affect the outcome of the treatment. Do not play a musical instrument or perform oral sex. These activities put a lot of stress on the lips. It is a good idea to make an appointment with your dentist and dental hygienist 3-4 weeks after the procedure.
How will my lips look after the filler?
Be prepared for swelling, bruising, or slight asymmetry after the procedure. On the second or ideally the third day, you can camouflage your lips with lip gloss or lipstick to hide these small, temporary imperfections. The amount of swelling and bruising will depend on your constitution and menstrual cycle. Your doctor may not be able to influence this. For some time after the filler, you will feel as if your lips are not your own. Don’t worry, this will last for 2-3 weeks at the most 🙂 Once the filler is in your lips, neither you nor your partner will feel it.
How to take care of my lips after filler?
Be sure to reapply the balm regularly and drink plenty of fluids. After the filler, you may (or may not) feel small lumps in your lips, which are good to massage: grasp each lump between two fingers – index finger and thumb – and gently try to massage it out. Your doctor will explain when and how to start the massage. Consult the doctor who used the filler if the lump(s) in your lips persist and cannot be massaged out.
Won’t I look like a duck?
You really don’t have to worry about that. 🙂 One application will not radically enlarge your lips. I mean, they will be fuller and juicier, but duck-face lips are the result of excessive, repeated applications of more and more filler. The thinner the lips, the longer it takes to build volume. It is important that the filler “sits” in the lips. There is less risk of the filler migrating outside the lip if we apply smaller amounts of filler several times at intervals of a few months. Also, everyone’s lips have a capacity – the maximum extent to which they can be augmented. If your lips look like two commas, say goodbye to “Jolie lips”.
HA can not only plump your lips. It can also hydrate and subtly revive them. It all depends on the material – the type of filler and the amount. We use between 0.5 and 1.0 ml per session.
How long does it last?
HA is gradually absorbed, manufacturers declare the durability in the range of 9-15 months, depending on the brand and type. The stiffer the filler, the longer it will last in the lips. Soft and moisturizing fillers are absorbed the fastest and the lips return to their original shape. If you work out and go to the sauna frequently, you may find that both fillers and botulinum toxin last shorter.
Interestingly, the filler has a semi-permanent effect with repeated applications. This means that the lips do not return to their original shape, but are gradually rebuilt and the filler lasts much longer.
Is HA filler good for lips?
With the right KH filler, your lips can be beautifully hydrated and revitalized. Those of you with atopic eczema or who are just prone to dryness will appreciate this. It can also help with herpes (cold sores). For some lucky ones, cold sores are exceptionally rare after a HA filler 🙂 The filler can restore lost volume, contour and shape to the lips.
Always inform your doctor if you suffer from herpes. There is a prophylactic application of antivirals 1-2 days before, during and after the procedure.
Who should avoid lip fillers?
Pregnant and breastfeeding women, people with active autoimmune and oncological diseases are not allowed to have fillers. If you have an acute infectious disease (cold, herpes, tonsillitis, urinary tract infection, etc.), postpone the treatment until you are healthy and fit. If you have a health problem, always tell your doctor.
My advice outside the clinic
Aesthetic treatments are a nice addition, but not a necessity. I don’t want you to feel pressured by fashion and social media to get a procedure just to “be cool”. If you feel that a subtle lip enhancement is what your heart has been squealing for, put yourself in the hands of a doctor you trust, who will explain everything to you, and set the right expectations. Lip filler is the treatment with the most wow-effect, especially in older ladies whose lips lose volume significantly with age.
Some of you may find that your lips turn inward when smiling or stick out too high. This “problem” can be elegantly solved by using botulinum toxin – procedure called botox lip flip / botox gummy smile. If the area between your nose and upper lip is too long, a procedure called a bullhorn lip lift (performed by plastic surgeons) is a better option for you.
Do you have experience with HA lip injections?