Kylie Jenner famously admitted to having lip fillers, as she was self-conscious about her lips, and since then the popularity of dermal fillers has exponentially increased. Non-invasive procedures have turned into an extremely lucrative business, with people who have no medical background training up to inject filler close to major arteries and important nerves. And whilst I believe that getting fillers is a personal choice, there are a certain group of patients that should be cautious when considering cosmetic procedures – those with body dysmorphia.
Whilst I don’t believe that fixing an insecurity is wrong, it is important to make sure you aren’t hoping a cosmetic procedure will change your life and finally make you pretty. I have detailed the condition of body dysmorphia in this post here -> Am I Pretty Yet?: Body Dysmorphia but the main symptoms of this condition are; constantly scrutinising your appearance; being obsessed with mirrors; excessively dieting or exercising; comparing your appearance to other people.
If you decide that you are a suitable candidate for lip fillers, (e.g. not basing your entire self-worth on how amazing and different you will look after the procedure) you should ensure you undergo the process safely and here’s how:
What are lip fillers?
Hyaluronic acid filler is used to plump the lips; Juvederm and Restylane are both brands that contain this filler but are also constituted with other different chemicals to give different effects. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the body and is also broken down by the body meaning the results are only temporary. If you use Juvederm, injections around every 9 months are required to maintain the desired lip size.
Who should do your lip fillers?
Research, research and research. This is a medical procedure and you want someone who you can trust! Dentists, doctors, nurses and pharmacists are all respected health professionals that can train to perform dermal fillers and have a wide knowledge of the body – you want to know they know where your arteries and important nerves lie. However, many “trained” aestheticians have little more than a few days training. Once you find someone you like the look of, ask for pictures of their work and their credentials – a professional will understand these valid concerns.
Before lip fillers:
Don’t take medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) – ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen- as these thin the blood which can increase bruising and swelling.
Many people take arnica supplements to prevent bruising, however, the evidence for this is limited.
During lip fillers:
The procedure should take around half an hour. After going through some paperwork, the practitioner will use a numbing cream on the lips; EMLA cream is often used but if you find it painful there are stronger creams available. Once the lips are numb, the fillers will be injected in a few different sites and the filler massaged in. I recommend icing the lips immediately to soothe the pain and reduce swelling.
Everybody’s pain tolerance is different and some people may find it quite sore while others find it slightly uncomfortable, but in any case the pain doesn’t last very long.
After lip fillers:
The filler is mixed with an anaesthetic meaning that the lips will be numb making it hard to drink, eat and talk. I would encourage the lips to be iced all day – less pain and less swelling!
I would also recommend to sleep propped up and avoid alcohol.
The amount of swelling and bruising will vary from person to person, some may have extremely swollen lips and some lucky ones may have barely any. In a week the lips should have settled to reveal the new lips that will stay for up to 9 months (if Juvederm is used).
What can go wrong?
Some people can go overboard with the fillers making their lips unnatural and scary looking! It’s important to use a professional that you trust and you should respect their opinion. If you want significantly larger lips you might need around 3ml of filler but a maximum of 1ml should be injected every three months. It is much better to undergo procedures cautiously and with patience, as it is your face after all.
If the filler is not injected deep enough it can cause a filler cyst which is a hard lump of filler that might need to be dissolved. A small lump may be able to be massaged away but if it persists go back to the practitioner. And if you don’t like the lip fillers they can be dissolved easily.
Lip fillers can empower you and fill you with a great sense of confidence – but they aren’t miracle workers; if you have low self-esteem then a 2ml injection won’t cure you. If getting lip fillers is something you are eager to do then be responsible and find a respected practitioner. And if you’re not quite ready for fillers, check out this plumping lip gloss that actually works!