“My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss”
Romeo and Juliet
Lips are soft, sensitive organs that have long been considered symbols of beauty and youth. It is no wonder that most women want full, supple lips, as this has always been a desirable quality.
Unfortunately, sun exposure, loss of soft tissue, and the passage of time take a toll on these delicate anatomical structures’ youthful features. Lip volume and suppleness decrease with age. In some cases, age is not the culprit, but rather genes, i.e., the patient has always had thin lips. Regardless of the cause, there is a safe and effective way to acquire attractive and sensual lips.
Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are medical devices approved for lip augmentation and contouring. Fillers are composed of a dense material that is biocompatible (perfectly tolerated by the body). In fact, some fillers have been specifically designed for lip rejuvenation and are FDA approved for this purpose.
Many patients are aware of fillers’ benefits for lip augmentation; however, fears of a painful application, unnatural effects, or “overdone” lips hold many patients back from advancing with the procedure. Although these concerns are legitimate, filler application to the lips should be a safe, pain-free, and effective treatment when done by a specialist with extensive experience.
Let us address each of these concerns individually to shed truth on them.
I. Lip augmentation should NOT be painful.
Lips are very sensitive tissues. Therefore, the injection of fillers can be very painful if the injector does not take certain precautions. The first rule for pain-free lip augmentation is to do a nerve block before the application. Nerve blocks are frequently performed by dentists and maxillofacial surgeons to numb the oral cavity and lip mucosa. After applying topical anesthesia to the gums, fine needles are used to do the nerve block. Before injecting the fillers into the lips, the surgeon must wait for the lips to numb completely. Once the lips are anesthetized, the filler application can be achieved with no pain at all.
II. Experienced injectors CAN achieve natural-looking lips.
Lip augmentation is a true art form. It can solely be accomplished by experienced physicians working with the right products. Only the best fillers, specifically designed for the lips, should be employed. Allergan and Merz boast some of the best FDA-approved products. It is crucial to ensure that your injector is a board-certified dermatologist or surgeon with ample lip rejuvenation experience.
III. Overdone lips are NOT the norm in lip augmentation.
The rule for lips filler application is “less is more.” The best way to achieve plump lips that also look natural is to use the right amount of product and respect lip anatomy. The upper lip naturally has less volume than the lower lip, so less product should be injected into the upper lips. If this anatomical ratio is violated, the upper lip will have the same volume as the lower lip, thus giving the patient “duck lips.” It is also important to apply more volume to the center of the lip and taper the amount of filler when approaching the corners of the mouth. This effect will produce elegant results and sensual lips.
Lip augmentation is a fantastic way to improve the appearance of the lower third of the face. Patients may want to complement this procedure with jaw defining techniques and perioral Botox application. When considering lip augmentation, choose a physician that applies the right products and boasts ample lip rejuvenation experience.