Lip enhancement is quickly becoming the treatment of choice for young women.
With just a glance at social medial channels such as Instagram, we see hundreds of images of girls with beautiful plump lips showing off the latest and greatest lipstick, or photos of Kylie Jenner and her larger than life lips.
It is important to be realistic when considering lip enhancement as often the images that young women are exposed too are far from real life and often the result of many treatments over a prolonged period of time.
I felt it was about time I did a blog post about lip fillers and explain why it is my favourite treatment to perform and to help educate as to why each lip is different and requires an individual approach to its enhancement. All before and after images are my own.
The anatomy of the lips and assessment of the lips
It is important to assess each lip prior to injecting. Certain factors need to be taken into account such as the size of the lips, the proportion of the top lip to the bottom lip, the projection of the lips, the vermillion border, the presence of any peri-oral lines (lines around the mouth), the oral commissures and marionette lines, the symmetry of the lip, what the lips do when talking or smiling (eg does the top lip curl under) and so on.
In addition to anatomical factors the client’s desired results are also important. However a level of realistic expectations is required for lip enhancement as we often cannot get the desired result with just 1 syringe of dermal filler in one sitting. Many find they return in a month or so for a top up to achieve their dream pout. I advise monthly treatments until the desired volume, shape and size is obtained. We then do maintenance treatments every 6 - 12 months depending on how fast the patient metabolizes the dermal filler.
The individual aesthetic of the client is the most important factor for me. Will their new lips achieve harmony with the rest of the face? This is what I ask myself before and during every treatment.
What product is used for lip enhancement?
I prefer to use dermal fillers containing a naturally occurring substance which is found within theskin. There are a number of popular brands which are used and due to Australian law the names cannot be published here.
Many clients come with a desired product they wish to be used for their lips, usually because of positive results in the past. The wide range of available dermal fillers means we can chose a product based on desired results (natural vs more volume), softness, amount of swelling and longevity. The choice is endless.
However, that being said, not every product for lip enhancement is created equal. You will see very cheap advertised specials for 'premium lip filler' which is simply not the case. Some cheaper products are simply poorer quality which will not last as long nor give as satisfactory result. High quality clinics generally use higher quality products which cost more for the doctor to purchase. Beware of buzz words and seek treatment from a practitioner with the skill, aesthetic eye and experience.
Lip enhancement is an art and can have magical results when done correctly with the correct product choice.
A word of caution
No cosmetic procedure is without risks and lip enhancement is no exception. The facial anatomy is very complex and the lips contain many vital structures such as blood vessels and nerves. There is often swelling and bruising following a treatment and downtime does vary between individuals. A rare risk with lip enhancement is arterial occlusion which may lead to necrosis, this is discussed in depth during the consultation process. A good cosmetic physician will be able to recognize and treat complications quickly and effectively, without breaking a sweat.
In the industry we often say that if an injector has not managed a complication such as this then they are simply not injecting enough! It happens to the very best of us - from plastic surgeons to cosmetic physicians. As I say often, this is a MEDICAL procedure, not a beauty treatment. Don't go in blind, anticipate down time, follow the after care provided and the results will be worth it.
It is important to choose your injector carefully. Ensure they are trained and certified in cosmetic injectables and have explained the procedure to you in depth, including offering a cooling off period for you to decide if you want to proceed. Always ask what product is going to be used and ask to see the syringe and packaging. NEVER allow a doctor to use a used syringe on you nor give you the product to 'save' for another treatment (I have heard of this happening). Seeking an experienced cosmetic doctor or nurse can help to avoid complications and ensure you are given close follow-up and appropriate medical treatment if necessary.
Please feel free to post any questions you may have.
Dr Kate x
*original blog posted June 2016