Lip fillers have been a hot topic of conversation ever since the Kardashians appeared on our screens – and they can be polarising (and by ‘they’ we refer to the lip fillers). Everyone seems to have an opinion on lip fillers – even my grandmother! So how much of the chatter about lip filler is just lip service and what are the actual facts?
In this article, we’ll dispel some of the common misconceptions when it comes to lip fillers and give you the facts – the good, the bad and ugly.
We’ll cover people’s biggest concerns when it comes to lip filler – looking fake (the dreaded ‘trout pout’), the pain factor, safety and downtime after treatment. We hope that after reading this article, you’ll be more informed and be in a better position to work out if lip fillers are for you or not.
What are lip fillers?
Lip fillers are made of a substance naturally found in our skin. It has a soft gel-like consistency and works to plump the treated region by attracting water into where it has been placed. Lip fillers can be used to increase volume, correct asymmetry, balance proportions, define the border and hydrate lips. There is a large selection of fillers approved for use in Australia and they differ greatly in terms of quality, longevity and their individual characteristics. This can result in variations in how long they last, how they feel and what type of concern they are best suited to treating.
At COCO Skin Clinic, all our lip filler treatments are performed using only premium brand of lip fillers. This ensures that we can deliver beautiful, soft and long-lasting, natural looking lips every time. Whilst some clinics may offer you a ‘standard’ brand and a ‘premium’ brand of product – we believe that it’s essential to have the right tools and materials to begin with. So at COCO Skin Clinic, we only offer the premium brand of lip fillers – there are no compromises.
How much do lip fillers hurt?
Generally speaking – lip fillers hurt less than what most people assume. Having said that, lips are naturally a very sensitive region of the face and pain tolerance can differ greatly between people. However, at COCO Skin Clinic, our lip filler treatment protocol has been developed to ensure that it is as comfortable as possible.
Firstly, you will be numbed using prescription topical numbing cream (specifically formulated by Dr Jane Lucas) prior to treatment. This acts to numb the lips (and it will feel like you’ve been at the dentist) and it will make your treatment as comfortable as possible. In addition, we only use premium filler that contains numbing agents as part of the ingredients – this ensures that you are comfortable throughout your treatment. You will also be offered ice to further improve your comfort and minimise the risk of swelling. With these measures in place, most patients find that lip filler treatment is only minimally uncomfortable and overall it is a very tolerable treatment.
How will my lips feel afterwards?
Immediately post treatment your lips will still feel very numb. They will appear swollen and pouty. You can expect the numbing to resolve within 1-2 hours after your appointment. Your lips are likely to feel firmer until the swelling subsides and the filler settles. This process can take up to two weeks.
Will lip fillers make me look fake?
This is one of the most common questions we are asked in regard to lip filler. The truth is, you can achieve a natural or more enhanced look with lip filler. This depends on how the product is placed, how much is used and the quality of the product.
The most natural appearance is achieved when the top lip is slightly smaller than the bottom lip. The ‘golden ratio’ of lip proportions is ⅓ top lip to ⅔ bottom lip – this is the ratio that Dr Jane encourages for most patients as it gives the most natural looking lip enhancement. However, occasionally, we do get requests for a 50/50 ratio, where top and bottom lip proportions are equal. At COCO Skin Clinic, we conduct a consult prior to every treatment to understand your goals. You will undergo a thorough assessment of your full face to determine the lip proportions that would suit your individual aesthetics best.
How much lip filler do I need?
Generally, just 1ml lip filler is sufficient to achieve a natural looking lip enhancement. However, some individuals may require more lip filler to achieve the desired results. For safety measures, Dr Jane will only inject a maximum of 1ml of lip filler per treatment session. However, lip filler treatments can be repeated at 2 week intervals until the desired result is achieved. Following this, most people find they only require top up lip filler of 0.5-1ml every 6-12 months to maintain their results.
How should I prepare for my lip filler appointment?
There are a few things you can avoid prior to your lip filler appointment to reduce the risk of swelling and bruising. We recommend avoiding fish oils, anti-inflammatories (eg. nurofen or aspirin) for 1 week prior, unless medically prescribed. We also recommend avoiding alcohol and exercise for 48 hours before/after your appointment. Taking Arnica (found at most health food stores as drops) or Bromelan (naturally found in pineapples) may help decrease the risk of bruising. If you’ve experienced cold sores in the past, you can take antiviral medication on the day of the treatment to minimise the risk of developing a cold sore.
What is the healing process like after lip fillers?
As with any injectable treatment, you may experience swelling and some bruising. The extent of this is very individual – however, we find that in most people, you are likely to experience the most swelling in the first 24-72hrs. Bruising generally settles within 1 week. However, we do recommend that you allow 2 weeks recovery period before any major social events.
If downtime is a concern for you, pairing your lip filler appointment with a Healite II LED session can decrease the intensity and longevity of bruising and swelling.
Following your lip filler treatment, we recommend gently icing your lips. We also recommend avoiding alcohol, heat and exercise for 48 hours post. You can apply lipstick and lip balms 24 hours post treatment. Lips may feel slightly lumpy immediately post treatment – these can be massaged twice a day and will settle within 2 weeks.
Are lip fillers safe?
Any medical procedure, including lip filler treatment, has associated risks and possible side effects. Swelling and bruising are the most common side effects and should be expected – in fact, it occurs to some degree in most patients. Swelling usually settles within the first 2-3 days. Bruising can last for 1-2 weeks.
Although uncommon, more serious outcomes can occur from treatment with lip filler. These include infection, allergic reaction, scarring and in very rare cases, blindness. If the filler is placed into blood vessels (which provide blood supply to lips or surrounding areas), serious tissue damage may occur. Although the risks of such adverse events are incredibly low, at COCO Skin Clinic, we have developed clinical protocols to ensure that your safety is our main priority.
Are lip fillers permanent?
Depending on what type of product is used, lip fillers can be permanent or temporary. At COCO Skin Clinic, we only use temporary premium filler products. The average longevity of premium lip filler is 9 – 12 months. All fillers used at COCO Skin Clinic can be dissolved. This is useful if there is a complication or if the desired outcome hasn’t been achieved.
The key takeaways.
Lip filler can look natural and as if you were born with beautiful plump lips. From a safety perspective, at COCO Skin Clinic, we only use premium lip fillers. All our cosmetic injections are personally performed by Dr Jane Lucas, a full time and highly experienced Cosmetic Physician.
The key to achieving your desired lip goals is choosing an experienced injector with knowledge of aesthetic proportions and completing a thorough consultation prior to treatment. Lip filler treatment is a process and a medical procedure. There is downtime to take into consideration, but with correct planning – most people only regret not getting lip fillers sooner.