Some women pine for pouty, sexier lips. Other women with thin lips just want normal lip fullness. Still others have found their lips shrinking with age and want to restore their previous plumpness. Injectable dermal fillers may be a nice solution for each of these women. However, just as not all woman’s lips are created equal, neither are the fillers.
There are many dermal fillers on the market. While some work fine for filling facial wrinkles; many are not appropriate for lip augmentation. Radiesse, which consist of microspheres of calcium hydroxyapatite, works nicely for filling deep wrinkles. However, injecting it into the thin lip tissue can result in lip nodules that can be painful and unsightly. On the other hand, fillers composed of cross-linked hyaluronic acid (Juvaderm, Restylane) are gels and usually work well for lip augmentation.
The results usually last from six to eight months. The procedure is quite technique dependent. The lip consists of two main components: the vermillion, or red part of the lip where lipstick is applied, and the lip skin. Too often, the upper lip skin is augmented and not the vermillion, producing an unnatural result. I have developed a technique where many small injections are performed along the margin of the vermillion. This augments the red portion of the lip while avoiding over-filling of the upper lip.
When performed properly, injectable lip augmentation is a straightforward procedure with few complications and little downtime. It can produce a natural appearing lip fullness and when combined with filling of the adjacent lines, can really take years of a woman’s appearance.