What you've always wanted to know about lip fillers
Did you know that lip augmentation is one of the fastest-growing cosmetic procedures in the U.S.? It's become as ubiquitous as getting your nails done. But, before getting your lips plumped, make sure you've considered all the facts. Need some guidance? Here are the answers to your most common questions about lip fillers:
1. What are the different types of lip fillers available?
There are permanent, semipermanent, and temporary fillers. Most medical professionals recommend sticking with temporary ones since permanent and semipermanent fillers (as the names suggest) are very difficult to reverse. Your best bet is a hyaluronic acid-based filler, like Juvéderm — hyaluronic acid is a substance naturally found in the body that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. For that reason alone, it's a fabulous substance for fillers.
2. Are lip fillers removable?
It depends on the type of filler you get. Permanent and semipermanent fillers are incredibly challenging to remove. Again, that's why temporary fillers are recommended. With temporary fillers, if you don't like how your lips turn out, your medical professional can inject an eraser enzyme called hyaluronidase to break up the filler and accelerate the rate at which it breaks down. It typically takes a few days for the filler to go away completely.
3. How long do fillers last?
On average, temporary lip fillers tend to last around six months to one year. But, depending on the person, they might last shorter or longer than that — it really all varies based on your body's unique metabolism and the amount of filler you choose.
4. What are the potential risks?
Most lip fillers are considered to be a "lunchtime procedure," which means that it's a quick cosmetic treatment where you can return to work afterward. Risks tend to be minimal and include bruising and swelling that can last up to ten days. Rarer side effects are vascular occlusion, lip asymmetry, irregularities and lumps, and scarring.
5. How big can I make my lips?
To achieve natural results, you should expect to increase the size of your lips gradually over time. Since you'll probably experience some swelling after getting your lips injected with filler, you'll need to give your lips time to adjust to the newly placed volume before assessing them. When it comes to lip fillers, you definitely don't want to go overboard to the point where you start looking super inflated.
6. Do lip fillers hurt?
Most people just feel a little prick and slight pressure. Once the lip filler is injected, your lips might throb a bit. But nearly all medical professionals numb the area around the lips with a dental nerve block. You can also opt for a topical anesthetic. Either way, it shouldn't be too painful.
7. When will I see results?
Your lips will probably be a little swollen at first after you get them injected, but you'll see the effects pretty fast. Most of the swelling should subside within a day, and it'll take three-to-five days for your lips to settle completely.
8. Is there any downtime?
A lip filler procedure only takes around 15 minutes total, and any numbing agents that are used begin to wear off after 30 minutes. While you shouldn't make any big plans, i.e. hot dates or red carpet appearances, for at least three days or hit up the gym for at least 24 hours, you can resume your normal daily activities afterward.
9. How do I prepare for my appointment?
Ten days before getting your lips injected, you should avoid blood thinners like aspirin, ibuprofen, fish oil, and vitamin E. That's because thinner blood will increase your chances of bruising and bleeding. And if you're prone to cold sores, you should also take prevention medication two days before your procedure to reduce the possibility of a flare-up. You should also avoid drinking alcohol 24 hours prior to your appointment to reduce your chance of bruising.
10. Will fillers migrate from the original injection site?
Yes, but this isn't always a bad thing. Some hyaluronic acid-based fillers tend to diffuse, depending on the specific properties. When fillers are injected into a very refined area, they can spread to the upper cutaneous lip, creating that fuller upper lip look that's so popular on Instagram.
Got more burning questions?
Contact LaserAway, the Nation's Leader in Aesthetic Dermatology, directly here.
- "9 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Getting Lip Injections," Glamour, September 5, 2019.
- "20 Things You Should Know Before Getting Lip Injections," Cosmopolitan, March 22, 2019.