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Is Getting My Lip Filler Dissolved Dangerous?

"Jabs to reverse Love Island lip fillers could leave your daughter disfigured for LIFE" screamed the Daily Mail headline, in what should only be taken as a nod to the audience who reads it. But beneath the sensationalism and spectacle, they Daily Fail did raise some pertinent points to consider when you decide to have your lip filler dissolved.

If you're going to get your lips filled or your lip fillers dissolved, please make sure you do it with a medically qualified professional who you can find right here.

Why Would I Dissolve My Lip Filler?

You can't go a day now without reading about the next celebrity (think the Molly-Mae Hague / Kylie Jenner types) proudly announcing they're having their lip fillers dissolved and going back to 'natural'. This isn't bad. This is, in fact, a really positive trend that's emerging. The whole duck / sausage / porn star lip look is going out of fashion (we're not sure it ever was fashion but it was certainly a trend) and younger women are beginning to realise that it’s perhaps not the best look for their beautiful faces.

Bad Placement and Bad Product

Even those who haven’t necessarily gone for inflatable arm-band lips but have had some lip filler are increasingly choosing to remove it. This is usually because they had their lip filler with a non-medic who has used a cheap, illegitimate product which has left their lips lumpy, or, because of the person’s lack of proper and appropriate training (they did a course online) the placement of the filler has led to migration and/or wonky/bumpy lips.

Big lips are no longer big, or clever.

So What’s The Problem With Dissolving Lip Filler?

There isn’t a problem. If it’s done with a medical professional who knows what they’re doing. But people aren't going to medics and are therefore experiencing bad results. Unlike the actual lip filler used in the first place, the stuff that dissolves lip filler - hyaluronidase (hyalase, for short) is a prescription-only product. Therefore it’s much harder for a non-medic to get their hands on it and when they do it’s usually a fake product. A non-medic is also less likely to know how to use it properly and with the right medical controls. So even if you find a non-medic who says they can dissolve your lip filler, they probably shouldn’t be! Unfortunately many are and they're either using the wrong product, using it badly or they shouldn't be using it at all!

Bad Filler V Good Filler

Add to this, if the lip filler you’re trying to dissolve was a fake and dodgy filler in the first place, the Hyalse won’t be able to do the job it’s supposed to do. It works by breaking down the stuff that lip filler is made from - hyaluronic acid - which naturally occurs in your body anyway. If someone has had fake lip filler, it could have all sorts of weird things in it and the Hyalse won’t be able to break this down.

It May Not Be For Everyone

Dr Mj Rowland-Warmann the founder of Smileworks, urges caution about the willy-nilly use of hyalase and believes it should be reserved for more severe incidents (and otherwise just let it dissolve naturally). Dr MJ recommends that Hyalase should only be used in cases where:

  • There is a suspected vascular complication
  • Too much filler has been used and is damaging tissue or compressing vessels
  • Too much filler is compressing nerves and causing loss of sensation
  • Blood flow is being obstructed by filler treatment

However, consulting with a medically qualified aesthetics professional is your first step in any situation and they will be able to advise you well.

So What About The Horror Stories Regarding Lip Dissolving?

Research suggests up to eight in ten of those offering the injections are beauticians or people with no medical experience. Lip fillers are being offered in gyms, hair salons and even in people’s kitchens - at a fraction of the price a doctor, dentist or nurse will charge. These very same people are now offering to ‘fix the duck lips’ and ‘correct the trout pout’ all over social media. The problem is, that amateur lip filling dissolving, can be just as dangerous - if not more dangerous - than amateur lip filling.

Dr Raj Acquilla told the Daily Mail: 'Hyaluronidase can break down healthy lip tissue, as well as the filler. If it's not done right it can leave patients with irregular shaped lips and even cavities – as if bites have been taken out of the face.

'These poor girls go for dissolving treatment because they feel bad about the way fillers have made them look, and are left in even more of a state. We can help women look more normal, but some will need reconstructive treatment for the rest of their life. Filler expands the tissue, so the lips might be left looking stretched and baggy. Filler also stimulates the production of scar tissue inside the lips, which can cause permanent thickening and lumps which would have to be cut out. Many patients aren't aware that if they have lip fillers, the results can't always be fully reversed.’

It’s Not All Bad

There are plenty of situations where lip filler can be dissolved well and safely. Many clients then go on to refill their lips. The lip-switch phenomenon is one Glowday practitioner Dr Steve Land, at Novellus Aesthetics in Newcastle, has experienced; “We’ve noticed a huge trend for what we are terming ‘filler reset’", comments Dr Land. "We’ve seen an 800% increase in people coming to us to dissolve old, overdone, poorly placed filler and then returning to have it redone better, more naturally and less ‘obvious.'"

A good example of lip filler being safely dissolved and lips being refilled, by Dr Steve Land from Novellus Aesthetics.

Why Is This Allowed? Why Can Anyone Offer These Treatments?

It’s the million-dollar question. Last year MPs were warned that the lack of regulation for these treatments was putting the public at risk and as long as a decade ago a Government-backed inquiry came to a similar conclusion - yet nothing has changed.

Last Summer, James Bethell, a Member of the House of Lords spoke about the need for better regulation of cosmetic surgery and non-surgical interventions. James said: “It is the right time for the Government to intervene, so that we have a register of cosmetic surgical practitioners and a much clearer regulatory regime for non-surgical interventions. The marketplace is exploding and now is the right time to intervene.”

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, who led the 2013 review, says: 'It was clear then this was a time bomb waiting to go off, but the Government wasn't keen to bring in unnecessary, heavy-handed regulation at that time. These procedures are increasingly popular and some pretty dodgy practices are putting people at real risk. So the question is, how much longer do we need to wait before the aesthetics licensing scheme is introduced?'

So What Should I Do If I Want To Have My Lip Filler Dissolved?

The message is simple: do not go to a non-medic, do not go to your beautician, do not go to your hair salon, do not go to Kim from work’s house because she said she can do it. Open up, type ‘Filler Dissolving’ in the treatment box, pop in your postcode, and find someone who we have checked is medically qualified, trained and safe.

Bottom line? Dissolving your lip filler isn't dangerous if the person dissolving isn't dangerous! Read our full guide here.

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