How can you fill your lips without using a needle? Does it work? Is it safer? Should we all be asking for it? No fear, Tracey Dennison, Nurse Director from East Riding Aesthetics & Wellness is here to explain!
What is No-Needle Lip Filler?
What goes through your mind when you hear the words ‘lip fillers’? Do you think hydration, moisture, definition … or are your first thoughts rather more about the full, pouty look?
I’m a big fan of the natural, proportioned look and have taken years (literally) to perfect my technique (which I’ll continue to refine over time no doubt).
So, when something new comes onto the market, it’s a great opportunity to review practice, see what the newness has to offer and evaluate the benefits and risks associated with it
So what exactly is a no-needle lip filler?
A couple of years ago the advent of no-needle fillers arrived. This is a device which uses hyaluronic acid filler under immense pressure to penetrate the skin and place the hyaluronic acid filler into the subcutaneous layer.
Wow, that sounds incredible.
Sounds fantastic doesn’t it, particularly for those people who have a real fear of needles. But be honest, the results I have seen are extremely variable and in 2019 certain countries issued a safety recall in relation to some of these devices. I have watched with interest from the introduction of these devices, the results they can provide and note some manufactures (very honest) reporting that no-needle fillers are no silver bullet and that they make absolutely no promises about safety or results.
Oh, so people should be cautious about no-needle lip filler then?
Yes. Therein lies the rub. For me, the health of my patients and their safety comes before all else. Then we consider what the best treatments may be for the patient in order to achieve the results they are looking for ensuring their expectations are both achievable and aligned with our own ethics for treatment. As an Aesthetics Nurse Practitioner, I have spent years studying different techniques and developing my own to deliver the safest, most balanced enhancements possible. I often tell my patients that ‘lips are really easy to do badly; they are one of the most technically difficult things to do well’. Therefore, when injecting anywhere, but particularly lips, I’m looking for precision, accuracy, the ability to adjust my technique at a very detailed level whilst ensuring I employ as many safety precautions as possible (there is a risk of skin necrosis and even blindness with any filler treatment so using every safety opportunity possible is essential in my eyes).
So needles are better for lip fillers?
When treating the lips with injectable techniques there is the ability to refine the approach, to know exactly how much filler you are placing and where. There is the ability to vary the technique required depending upon the desired result which may mean we inject using a linear threading technique, or deliver a bolus or change between using a needle and using a cannula to achieve the desired result. A device which relies on pressure to force filler through the skin cannot deliver these very precise doses using specific technical techniques and therefore the results it produces cannot be predictable or guaranteed.
It's sounding less appealing by the second!
Skin trauma is also a concern. I’m a big fan of employing techniques to minimise this however enhancements are done; needles can do a fair amount of damage in this department. Multiple injection points will cause swelling and bruising besides any of the more serious complications we worry about. However, delivering the same product under such a great pressure that it is forced into the skin must create a huge amount of trauma and therefore increase the risk of bruising and swelling. Equally, whilst the pressurised technique is unlikely to pierce a vessel, it still has the potential to compress one which can still result in vascular compromise and skin breakdown.
While you may get bruising and some skin trauma with the traditional needle technique, the no-needle lip filler approach could be worse!
Sounds like we're best off sticking with the needle then!
Overall, the concept of a no needle filler is very attractive to some patients but I do believe it’s really important to understand that this is a medical treatment requiring technical skill to do well. Pushing dermal filler into the skin under pressure may possibly have an application in some settings but certainly cannot bring guaranteed, balanced enhancements with minimal skin trauma, technical specificity and balanced results For now, I’m sticking with the needles/cannula precision techniques that I know my patients love and provide predictable, beautiful and balanced results.
Thanks Tracey, this is really brilliant advice. You can book in directly with Tracey here or if you're looking for someone closer to home try our search tool here to find a practitioner near you.