Full and nicely-shaped lips – a sign of femininity and youth. Enticing curved lips, along with bright eyes, are the centers of attraction in a pretty face! There are some very young women with slim, skinny lips, but as time goes by every woman lip looses volume to some extent. Fine wrinkling increases in the red of the lips and vertical pleated lines extend from the vermilion border into the adjacent skin (white of the lips). Both the volume and the contours of the lips can be improved in a harmonic way through injection of fillers. Crucial to a successful procedure are the simultaneous treating of the fine lines and wrinkles around the lips and the slight elevation of the corners of the mouth to restore a friendly, relaxed facial expression. The ideal filler for a gentle treatment of lips – both adding volume and changing contours – is hyaluronic acid! This resorbable material is well-tolerated and ideal for the soft lip tissue. With a series of treatments, it is possible to carefully and in a step-wise fashion obtain the desired results, always alert to create an image appropriate for age. Less is often more in this site!
What is hyaluronic acid?
Hyaluronic acid is a natural tissue component of all mammals and occurs in some bacteria with exactly the same chemical structure. These streptococcal bacteria are used to commercially produce the substance. Hyaluronic acid is a long-chained sugar molecule with an amazing capacity to bind water. This is the main property of cross-linked hyaluronic acid which makes it such a suitable filler. It is well-tolerated and completely metabolized by the body; thus we speak of a resorbable filler. The duration of effect in the lips varies from person to person. After about 6 months, a second enhancing treatment is desirable. After multiple treatments, the pleasing results may be stable for longer periods of time such as 1-2 years. I use only the officially licensed products: Juvéderm®, Belotero®, Restylane®.
Is anaesthesia necessary?
Lips are sensitive. The treatment can be performed with skin surface anaesthesia using anaesthetic cream or with local anaesthesia in the form of a dental block. In most cases the hyaluronic acid products already contain lidocaine, a local anaesthetic.
What happens afterwards?
Right after the treatment the effects of the filler injection is visible. There may be excessive swelling and redness of the skin, which usually completely disappears in 1-2 days. The repeated use of cold packs reduces swelling and accelerates the healing process. Tiny bruise marks may appear but usually can be easily covered with make-up. The long-term effects of the injection can be assessed best after 14 days. During this time period, possible slight under- or over-corrections tend to disappear, either by increased water uptake by the hyaluronic acid or by fluid resorption.
Which combinations are reasonable?
Regular treatment with botulinum produces a permanent smoothening of the skin. Fine dynamic folds do not develop or worsen following this treatment, an advantage of botulinum prophylaxis. In some cases, an additional marking of the lip border with permanent make-up can even make the new lip contours more attractive.
What else can you do?
A well-balanced lips pommade also helps to make the results last longer.
I would be happy to give you my recommendations for treating your lips in a personalized consultation. “Thick lips” must be avoided! Nonetheless, a natural increase in volume with enhanced contours of the lips is crucial to producing a more youthful appearance. One must remember that not every lip – seen in a glossy magazine – can be reproduced exactly in each patient; the underlying anatomy of each person’s lips and face sets the limits. I would also be happy to share with you a series before and after pictures from patients whom I have treated successfully.