As with our skin, the older we get, the production of collagen that makes our lips plump decreases. So, if you’ve noticed yours getting slightly thinner than they once were, that’ll be why. Or maybe you’re here because you’ve always wanted a fuller pout, or more symmetrical lips.
One treatment that has truly captured the attention of anyone vaguely interested in beauty and non-invasive treatments is the lip enhancement treatment lip fillers, thanks to their ability to volumise or reshape lips and provide a naturally plump-looking smile.
What are lip fillers?
Lip filler is a type of lip augmentation treatment that's used to plump up, hydrate or reshape the lips. In the past, collagen was used in lip fillers - making them permanent fixtures. While having permanently voluptuous lips might sound great, having a substance that can’t be broken down within the body is actually pretty bad. If something goes wrong, you’re stuck with a pout you can’t hide.
But, thankfully nowadays, hyaluronic acid (HA) lip filler is injected into the lips instead. HA is a naturally-occurring substance within the body, and is not permanent when used in lip filler injections (lasting around 6 months). Hyaluronic acid is a great choice as it attracts and holds up to 1000 times its own weight in water, making for a great plump. Hyaluronic acid lip fillers can also be dissolved if there are any issues or you decide fillers are not for you. Phew! And when done by the right person (i.e. a medically qualified practitioner with a wealth of aesthetics training), lip enhancement can result in beautifully natural looking lips.
How soon do you see lip filler results?
The great thing about lip augmentation is that you’ll see a difference straight away, but you’ll probably experience swelling for the first couple of days. After this though, your pout should look perfectly plumped and ready to rock that lipstick.
Are lip fillers safe?
In the right hands, lip fillers are safe. But promise me that you’ll only book an appointment with a medically qualified practitioner, please! And I’m not being dramatic here - there are so many people out there offering lip augmentation treatments when they have little to no experience, let alone a medical qualification. We’ve all heard horror stories of lip fillers gone wrong, and seen images of women with sore lips that have swollen to the size of sausages a butcher would be proud of. Ouch!
Noticed that your local salon has started doing lip augmentation for a bargain price? Don’t risk it. No matter how appealing that low price is, turn on those fabulous heels and run the other way! Instead, look for a practitioner’s qualifications, their lip filler before and after photos, so you can see what their work is like, and find out how many lip filler injections they have actually done.
Do lip fillers hurt?
With a medically qualified practitioner, lip fillers shouldn’t be too painful, as they will often numb the area. But they may feel slightly uncomfortable, as your lips will effectively be pumped full of a substance (like cream into an eclair). The lip is a sensitive area, so be prepared for a bit of a sting, but the vast majority of people go back for more, so it's not as awful as you may think.
What are the main lip filler side effects?
After lip fillers, you can get on with your day as usual, so you won’t need to worry about using up all your annual leave in one go. But, as with any treatment, it’s good to be aware that there are a few potential lip filler side effects. For example, you’ll likely experience a bit of bleeding from where the needle or cannula entered the skin. You might also find that you have a bit of swelling and redness, and even a bit of bruising around the lips, but this is normal and should disappear after a couple of days.
The risk of an allergic reaction is pretty low as hyaluronic acid is a naturally-occurring substance, but it can happen from time to time. This generally results in longer-lasting (though not permanent) swelling, bumps and itching. If you’ve ever suffered with cold sores, tell your practitioner in advance. Fillers can lead to a break out, so take antiviral medicine before your appointment.
The worst thing that can happen as a result of seeing a practitioner who is not medically trained or experienced in performing lip injections is a vascular occlusion. This is where filler blocks a vein or artery, stopping blood supply. Sounds scary and it really is. If left untreated (and it MUST be treated quickly), it can lead to permanent tissue damage and even blindness. So please, PLEASE see a medically qualified practitioner who is trained in complications management and will know what signs to look out for.
So, with the right practitioner, you could take your lips from thin to fabulous - but stay away from the cosmetics cowboys and find a medically qualified practitioner offering lip fillers near you today. Check out our 10 things to know before having lip fillers article too so you can be super prepped for your lip filler treatment.