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HD Connection: Lip Filler — is it worth it?

Lip filler has become a popular trend over the past several years. It seems like after Kylie Jenner’s lip transformation, everyone wanted to plump their lips with filler. However, lip injections have started to get a bad reputation recently as we see tons of pictures of overfilled lips and filler migration trending on social media. Before falling victim to the social media “news” scene, there are a few things you should know about lip filler prior to deciding for or against the trend.

The first thing you should know is that I can guarantee that Kylie Jenner did not go from

nearly non-existent lips to her current lips with 1 syringe of filler. That process took multiple syringes (hopefully in spaced-out sessions). It is a huge misconception that 1 syringe of filler is going to fully transform you from paper-thin lips to looking like Angelina Jolie. Everyone’s lips take to filler differently and if your goal is just a natural plump or to look more hydrated then 1 syringe will probably do the trick. But if your goal is a “voluptuous lip” then be prepared to require more than 1 syringe.

The second thing I like to educate people on is the basic concept of filling and overfilling. Lips are a small area of our body. They will stretch and accommodate to extra volume, but if volume is added too fast, the volume is going to look for another space to settle. This is where we start to get into people‘s lips looking “overfilled” and where filler migration becomes a risk. Filler migration is simply when filler moves or shifts into an area that it wasn’t meant to be. Often we see filler migration above the lip or in the wet border when the lip is flipped up. Now, filler migration can happen for multiple reasons, including too much product being added at once, too much product being added over time, poor placement technique, manipulation of the area before the product settles, or simply because your body recognizes the product as a foreign substance that isn’t supposed to be there. My rule of thumb when it comes to lips is I will inject 1 syringe per session. 2 weeks after injections we can re-evaluate if you think you want more, but I prefer to wait 4 full weeks prior to adding an additional syringe. By giving the lips adequate time to adjust to the new volume, this decreases the chance of migration and allows the product to setting into the tissues more naturally.

Next, make sure your injector educates you on the different filler options that are appropriate for lips. Not all fillers are the same. For example, a Juvederm Ultra XC is a heavier product that is very hydrophilic (it attracts water) so 1 syringe will create a fuller look than say a syringe of Restylane Kysse. Kysse still allows for structure-building but is a less concentrated filler which will create a softer look. You could also opt for product like Juvederm Volbella XC or Restylane Silk, but these are very light products that may create more of a hydrated look and less of a ”va-va-boom” lip. Of course these are not the only products, which is why it is important to talk to your injector, but these are good examples of how 1 ml (1 syringe) of filler is not always the same.

It is also important to remember that lip filler is not permanent, but is also not easily reversed. Each product has an estimated lifespan, but each person will metabolize these products differently. Whether you metabolize slowly or quickly, you will need touch ups to maintain volume. On the other hand, if you don’t like the final result and can’t wait for them to fade overtime there is always the option to dissolve hyaluronic acid fillers. Filler dissolving is painful and can take multiple sessions. Also keep in mind that while the target is the filler, filler-dissolvers can also impact your own hyaluronic acid and leave you looking more deflated than before (not always but this is a risk).

Lastly, please keep in mind that getting lip filler is a medical procedure. You are getting a foreign substance injected into your body which does not come without risks. It is really important to make sure that your injector is a medical professional who has had anatomical training and can act quickly if you have a complication. Groupon is not a place to find filler — do not bargain shop when it comes to your safety and your face!

All and all, lip injections are a personal choice. If you go into the process understanding the risks, willing to ask questions, and being patient your experience will be that much better. If done correctly, lip fillers can give you a boost of confidence and make you feel beautiful!

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