The fullness and shape of the lips play a significant role in the outward appearance of the face. The lips communicate emotion, and are linked to our perception of our own attractiveness and self-confidence.
Over the past several years, I have noted increasing interest in improving the appearance of lips. Some people want a subtle enhancement to their current lip shape; others want a more comprehensive improvement of lip volume similar to popular celebrities. Others want correction of defects or scars from prior surgery or trauma.
The use of dermal fillers for facial enhancement is the second most popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure in this country and, here at Maine Laser Skin Care, second only to the use of Botox. Using dermal fillers in the lips, however, can be challenging because adding volume must appear natural in appearance during movement and at rest.
When I evaluate a person’s lips for filler enhancement, I not only have to consider the shape and volume of the lips. I also have to determine how the lips will look in proportion to the rest of the face.
Because the lips possess large numbers of nerve endings, numbing the area prior to injection is very important. We apply a strong, topical novacaine-type to the lips 15-30 minutes before the procedure.
Additionally, the patient is seated upright during the injections. In having the patient sit this way, I am better able to see the normal gravity effects on the lips, which is important in making the lips look as natural as possible.
I usually have the patient pout their lips, similar to how one would blow out a candle, before I start injecting the filler. After injecting, I will frequently have them repeat these motions and smile so I can see how the lips look with movement after filler is added.
Once the injections are completed, I gently massage the lips to make sure that filler is evenly distributed and not lumpy in texture. This massage technique also helps to limit any bruising in the lips. Because the lips are very vascular, bruising and swelling are possible but generally not very common, and of short duration.
The most common area of injection is into the vermillion border, which is border between the red or mucous part of the lip and the skin above the upper lip (or below the lower lip). As a result of the natural aging process, the vermillion border loses definition and loses volume. The principle of using filler is to increase the volume of the area and improve the prominence of the lip border while not overcorrecting the area.
My general approach to enhancing the lips is to follow the adage that less is more. I would much rather have to add more filler later in order to achieve a natural looking lip than to regret using too much in the first procedure.
I want to improve a person’s self-image and self-confidence, as the lips are a significant focal point of the face as a whole. If you come with a picture of your favorite celebrity and ask for those lips, I may not be able to accomplish that look if those celebrity lips will not fit your face.
To achieve the optimal appearance of the lips, the person who is injecting the filler must have a thorough anatomical understanding of the face and a large amount of experience with injecting filler into the lips. With a decade plus of experience with the use of dermal fillers, I have full confidence that I can help you deal with volume and appearance issues you may have with your lips.
If you would like to have a free and confidential consultation about your lips and if you think you would benefit from filler injections, call us at (207) 873-2158 to schedule.