Nowadays we mainly use Hyaluronic Acid cross-linked fillers, a natural product that already exists in the body and is adapted easily.
What is the Procedure?
It takes around 10 minutes with minimal pain. No dental block with lidocaine is required as most fillers today contain it in them. Mostly a numbing cream 20-30 minutes before the procedure is well tolerated.
Is there any Downtime?
It depends on the technique and type of filler. The older type of fillers such as Restylane and Teosyal, and to some extent the Jvederm Ultra range, tend to take longer to ‘sit in’. The newer ones: Juvederm Vycross, Teosyal RHA, Belotero, Emervel, (and more expensive ones), will feel natural after about two weeks and integrate naturally. If bruising occurs it may take a week or two to subside but usually, lipstick will cover this. I never recommend having lip filler just before a big event as the first couple of days will show a little swelling.
Are there any harmful effects, what are the potential risks imposed during the procedure?
Injecting into the face always carries a risk, of course. The needle penetrates the skin barrier and, in unskilled hands, can potentially enter the blood vessel. If a filler is injected into an artery, it could cause the artery to occlude and take the filler upstream into the nose, forehead or even eye area. This is down to technique and happens rarely but it is imperative that the practitioner is familiar with how to reverse this and is at hand immediately.
There’s a minimal risk of infection or allergic reaction. During 10 years of practice I have never seen any of these incidents.
It is also my experience that overuse of very heavy old-type fillers and super pouting the lip can destroy the lip line after long-term use. This is very difficult to restore.
What are the main trends you’ve encountered now, especially amongst young girls? In your opinion, what are the dos and don’ts…
There’s a difference across the UK and age groups for different trends. Young girls in London and young gay men tend to want the big pout look, whereas more mature or even younger girls in suburbs such as Surrey are wanting a more natural and gentle look. The Angelina pout is not so desired. Different filler types allow for different shaping and filling. A whole range of aspects must be considered; Cupid’s bow, the vermillion border outline, soft eversion of the body of the lip, oral commissures (lip corners) lift, proportion between upper and lower lip, proportion from side aspect and in relation to the nose and chin, taking into consideration the framing of the underlying teeth and their support. How the lips can move dynamically and naturally with the filler.
The latest trend is to create a natural looking lip, which is desirably full especially at the mid portion and with a clear definition of the border, swings up at the corners and moves naturally when speaking. More of a sweet inviting heart ❤️shape than a long unmoving cartoon pout salami!
How long do lip fillers last? How often do they need to be ‘topped up’ again?
Treating a new patient with extremely narrow lips for the first time is the biggest challenge. Not only does the tissue resist being changed but the patient will feel the change whist speaking and I therefore like to start gently with a very soft filler to build up gradually. This may take a year or it may take a month depending how much change can be accepted. If built up gradually and subsequently with a more solid filler I’d expect top ups annually to maintain. The soft fillers don’t last as long.
Share some useful tips on how to take care of lip fillers and make your lips look plump for longer.
It is essential to use moisturisers. ZO skincare has a lip cream which keeps the lip cells moist and healthy. Mesotherapy and peels will help keeping the skin healthy and moist.