20 Things to Know About Lip Injections
LIP INJECTIONS | Brooke Shunatona | COSMOPOLITAN MAGAZINE |
Thinking about getting a fuller set of lips compared to the one your momma gave you? David Colbert, MD, founder and head physician of New York Dermatology Group, Francesca Fusco, MD, a New York-based medical and cosmetic dermatologist, and Shereene Idriss, MD, board certified cosmetic dermatologist, share their insider tips on what you should know before getting lip injections.
- Like an artist with paint, every doctor has a favorite formula they like to use. Dr. Colbert and Dr. Fusco agree that the easiest and most natural temporary filler is a hyaluronic acid (HA) gel such as Juvéderm Ultra. Dr. Idriss adds that Juvéderm Volbella, one of the newest HA fillers made specifically for the lips, is great for targeting both fine lines around the area and volume to the lips as well as leaving a natural sheen.
- You can completely erase HA fillers if you don’t like how your lips turn out for whatever reason. Because HA is not permanent, your dermatologist can inject an eraser enzyme called hyaluronidase. The enzyme will dissolve the filler in five minutes if you’re unhappy with the initial results. On the contrary, Dr. Idriss says that permanent and semi-permanent fillers, while tempting, are not reversible and little can be done to fix them.
- It can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 to get your lips done, depending on the doctor and region you live in. Either way, start saving your pennies.
- HA fillers last about four to six months. But if your body is on the thinner side, you’ll metabolize the formula faster and the injections won’t last as long.
- You will see the results almost immediately. Your lips will be a little swollen at first but you’ll see the effects of the fillers pretty quickly. Give your lips 24 hours to settle and the swelling to calm. Then you’ll be seeing your filled-out lips as they will be for the next few months.
- If done correctly, lips with injections don’t feel any different than real lips. Not even when you’re kissing.
- At the beginning of the procedure, it feels like a pinch and then it stings as the filler is being injected. Afterward, the doctor will massage your lips a little, ice them for 10 minutes, and then let you go about your day.
- You can choose to have your lips numbed beforehand with a dental nerve block or a topical anesthetic. The doctor can numb the area around your lips with an injection into your gums (just like a dentist would before a dental procedure) or you can opt for a numbing cream.
- There’s practically zero downtime. The procedure takes about 15 to 20 minutes total and the numbing will start to wear off after about 15 minutes. You can go about your daily life afterward but shouldn’t make any big plans (like a wedding or an important event) for at least three days in case you bruise.
- You shouldn’t exercise the day of the procedure. You especially should avoid activities that increase blood flow to your face, like getting a massage or a facial.
- You don’t have to go all out. You can choose which areas of your lips you’d like the focus to be. Whether you want to do both lips, just the bottom lip, or the middle of the top lip, you can plump wherever you and your doctor decide will best complement the rest of your facial features.
- To get your lips injected, you should only see a professional, such as a dermatologist, plastic surgeon, or nurse practitioner. To avoid a botched job, you’ll want to go to an expert who is highly experienced in this specific procedure.
- Ten days prior to your procedure, avoid painkillers (except Tylenol), fish oil, and vitamin E, which tend to thin the blood. Thinner blood will make the area more prone to bruising and bleeding.
- Some slight bruising and bleeding at the site of injection is normal and expected. The bruises should fade after five to seven days. Your doctor could also use a laser to dissolve a blood clot if necessary.
- You can take an oral or use a topical Arnica to reduce post-filler bruising and inflammation. Dr. Idriss recommends it for her patients to speed up the healing process, but also notes that patients who have had blood clots or take blood thinners should not use the oral form.
- Don’t expect to get Angelina Jolie’s lips. You can bring in inspiration photos, but ultimately, you and your doctor should decide what look is best for your face. You should also expect to increase the size gradually over time — not all at once — for the most natural results.
- The bumps and lumps in the lips you see sometimes are the result of the filler being too close to the surface. It usually goes away and can be corrected, but it ain’t cute.
- Anyone who has a history of cold sores should take prevention medication two days before the procedure. Injections could trigger a cold sore.
- If you eventually decide to stop getting injections, your lips will return to their original state. Contrary to what you might think, your lips will not turn into saggy, wrinkly skin bags. However, the HA that was injected into your lips has been proven to jump-start more HA production at the site of the injection, so your lips could naturally remain a bit larger, thanks to the previous injections.
- Understand that lip injections are invasive procedures with risks. Dr. Idriss says although it is a “lunchtime” procedure, the patient needs to consider possible serious risks, such as vascular occlusion, before making the final decision to go through with it.