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Your (No Nonsense) Guide To Lip Fillers

28 May 2020 by Omniya Clinic

Lips, since times immemorial, have enhanced facial beauty. The lip area is a particularly important area when it comes to aesthetic enhancement of the face (unless you're a turtle). Lip fillers, a minimally invasive cosmetic facial procedure, have become incredibly popular in recent years as a method of enhancing the plumpness and volume of the lips, smoothing lines and wrinkles around the mouth and producing a more radiant and youthful appearance. Although the lip filler procedure has been in use for decades, the technique has been improved to increase tolerance and efficacy in recent years with the replacement of collaged-based fillers with hyaluronic acid, a molecule naturally produced by cells.

Why Have Lip Fillers?

During the ageing process, changes in facial appearance will expose the effects of gravity, sun damage, day to day environmental exposure and the general effects of facial movement - including smiling. The mechanisms that maintain the integrity of the facial structure can break down resulting in fine lines and wrinkles; lips are not excluded from the ageing process, but they can also become thinner due to a number of other factors including smoking. Also, genetics is also a defining factor in physical appearance and inheritance of thin lips is not uncommon.

Soft tissue fillers, such as a lip filler treatment, can reverse the appearance of thinness and the depth of lines around the mouth due to its volume and plumpness-enhancing ability. Many individuals partaking in a lip filler procedure will testify to the immediate and more pleasing aesthetic look to the face, as a result of the treatment with an expert clinician.

How Do Lip Fillers Work?

Typically, lip fillers now include hyaluronic acid, this is a polysaccharide naturally produced by the body's cells, but levels of hyaluronic acid often decrease due to the ageing process. Hyaluronic acid has attributes that make it an appealing substance in dermal fillers, this includes its ability to bind to large amounts of water molecules, and its natural hydrating presence is already present in the skin. Collectively, these positive qualities provide a naturally occurring 'miracle molecule' that forms a gel-like substance able to plump and volumise the lips, competing with the ageing process to produce a radiant and youthful look.

Which Part Of The Lips Are Filled?

Lip augmentation consists of the enlargement or reshaping of the visible portion of the lip (the vermilion); modifying the shape of the Cupid's bow and lip fillers can also alter the relationship between the vermilion and the skin underlying the nose. A professional analysis of the lip anatomy and contours by experts will ensure optimal results are achieved using the natural contours of a face, to produce the most pleasing look.

The Lip Filler Procedure

  • Pre-treatment

There will be a pre-treatment consultation with a professional clinician to ascertain the suitability of the procedure. The consultation will take into account medical and cosmetic history; this will ensure the safety of the procedure and identify any contraindications.

  • Lip filler procedure

Typically, a lip filler procedure will take approximately 30 minutes. The facial area where the procedure is to be performed will be cleaned to ensure a sterile working environment and prevent infection. A topical pre-injection anaesthetic can be provided; ensuring local pain relief and the minimisation of any potential discomfort during the injection of the dermal filler. Once prepared, the dermal filler will be applied to the lips by injection, enhancing the region of interest and producing the desired effect.

  • Post-treatment

The clinician will discuss follow up care following the treatment. It is advisable to avoid alcohol, the sun, or wearing makeup for approximately 12 hours following the procedure to ensure optimal results.

How Quick Are The Results?

The results from the lip filler treatment will be observed immediately; however, optimal effects will be seen after ten days.

How Long Will The Results Last?

The duration of the results will vary between individuals; in addition, the concentration of the hyaluronic acid and overall filler product will determine the results [1]. Frequently, the results can be observed for 6-9 months, although some may see visible changes for up to 12 months. Considerations including sun exposure, lifestyle choices such as smoking may impact the duration of the results. The clinician will provide advice on how to maintain the enhancement effect.

Is The Lip Filler Procedure Painful?

The lip filler procedure is relatively painless, the sensation of a light scratch may be felt on the application of the needle. There is often the option to have a topical anaesthetic to minimise any discomfort during the procedure should this be required. There may be slight swelling and tenderness to touch following the treatment; however, this will pass within a few days. On occasions, there may be a small amount of bruising.

Is The Lip Filler Procedure Safe?

Due to the fact the hyaluronic acid is naturally occurring in the skin, this produces low risk for potential adverse reactions [1]; this is in contrast to the filler predecessor, bovine-collagen that was known for inducing allergic reactions. Scientific research has been undertaken to establish the safety of hyaluronic acid-based lip fillers and the procedure itself. As with all procedures, risk cannot be excluded; however, the general consensus is that the treatment is minimally invasive and well-tolerated [2] and complications are extremely rare [3]. It is prudent to be aware that the overall safety of the procedure will be determined by the professionalism and expertise of the practitioner. It is advisable to discuss with the practitioner the product that will be used in the lip filler procedure to ensure that the ingredients are suitable, and an allergic reaction is unlikely to occur.

Pros And Cons Of Lip Fillers

  • Pros

The lip filler procedure will ensure immediate results with only one treatment required to achieve the desired results. Lip filler treatments can be repeated, upon advice from an expert clinician.

  • Cons

The results for the procedure are temporary, usually 6-9 months. During this period, the rest of the face will continue the ageing process; however, there are treatments that can be considered to slow this process down. Problems may arise if a suitably qualified practitioner is not chosen; therefore, it is prudent to use a reputable clinic for any cosmetic procedures to ensure safety and efficacy.

Lip filler treatments that are hyaluronic acid-based have been proven to be safe and effective when used to enhance the lips. Any concerns can be discussed with a suitably qualified clinician ensuring the treatment is suitable; and will produce the desired effect. If for any reason the lip enhancement is no longer required, our specialised practitioner will be able to dissolve the hyaluronic acid with the clinically approved naturally occurring enzyme hyaluronidase. Clinicians in the Omniya clinic are skilled in a range of treatments and can discuss all options that may be available for facial enhancements including the 8 Point Facelift, Cheek Fillers, Botox Wrinkle Injections, Non-Surgical Rhino and more.


  1. Tezel, A. and G.H. Fredrickson, The science of hyaluronic acid dermal fillers. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, 2008. 10(1): p. 35-42.
  2. Lowe, N.J., et al., Hyaluronic acid skin fillers: Adverse reactions and skin testing. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2001. 45(6): p. 930-933.
  3. Luthra, A., Shaping Lips with Fillers. Journal of cutaneous and aesthetic surgery, 2015. 8(3): p. 139-142.

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