Let's talk Fillers : What they are, the risks, the benefits, the costs and the alternatives...
These days most people are familiar with the word "Fillers," but what exactly is being filled or injected into the lips?
There are many different brands of fillers available these days, but the best technology available consists of a gel made out of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is naturally occurring in the skin and is an important nutrient that hydrates skin and keeps collagen happy. Thus, injecting HA into the skin is technically good for it. The best hyaluronic filler for lips in my experience is Juvederm (made by Allergan) and Restylane. Between the two products though, Juvederm provides the softest and most plumped look that, in my opinion, lasts the longest and has less downtime post injection. There are two Juvederm products: Ultra and Ultra XC Plus. The latter lasts longer and plumps/builds the body of the lip more. It also is slightly more expensive (by about $50).
As with all injections, needles are inserted into the skin.... thus, bruising, swelling, redness, and tenderness can occur and can last up to two weeks. It is very important to stay off anything that increases these side effects; such as aspirin, advil, fish oil or supplements that thin the blood and reduce clotting because they increase bruising. Also, avoid spicy foods, heating the area and working out post procedure because this increases blood flow and swelling. Do NOT plan to have your procedure done within two weeks of any important social event. The lip is a very vascular and sensitive area that will swell post procedure. Don't be surprised if your lip looks huge for a couple days after the injection. In fact, prepare for this outcome so that it doesn't catch you off guard. There are some remedies to help prevent or reduce the chance for bruising and swelling, but these are all standard side effects that come with the territory of injecting the lips. Some not so standard adverse effects would be infection, lumps, "duck lips" or asymmetry. If these things occur, contact your practitioner immediately. Antibiotics or Hylauronidase (enzyme that removes the filler) may need to be administered.
When lip filler is done by an expert with an aesthetic eye, then the outcome can be a natural and healthy accentuation of the lip that you will fall in love with. The duration of the look will vary based on the product used, but can range from 6 months to over a year. Juvederm Ultra Plus XC lasts the longest. Make sure you discuss with your practitioner how big you want to go. The syringes come pre-filled in 1cc sizes. There is a 1/2 cc, but only in Restylane.
Topical lip plumper and glosses help to temporarily accentuate the lips.
Approximately $350-$450 for 0.5 syringe. $525-$675 for full syringe.