There are many options for improving the appearance of your lips to make them fuller and to reduce the associated fine lines and wrinkles. Injections or implants can enhance and improve your natural look. The upper and lower lips can be “outlined” by injecting a thin line of Restylane® or Hylaform along the vermillion border and can also be made fuller with fat injections. Lip enhancement procedures are contraindicated in patients with certain diseases such as diabetes, lupus, and blood clotting problems and should also not be performed in people who have active cold sores or extensive scarring of the lips. Lip enhancement is performed using a topical anesthetic with or without a dental block.
Many people say that they are afraid to have their lips enhanced because you see so many celebrities with “bee-stung” lips. Lip enhancement can be done in such a subtle way that no one will be able to tell that your lips have been injected at all. It can offer a pretty and feminizing effect, especially in lips that have lost definition with age.
Recovery time will depend on your lifestyle, the type and extent of the treatment and how much material is injected. Most injectable fillers have short recovery periods and you can return to work the same day or the next day. If you are having superficial injections, your recovery can take a few hours. Most people experience some swelling and redness for the first 24-48 hours. When large amounts of any substance are injected into the face, swelling may last from several days to one week. Bruising is common, but can be covered with camouflage makeup as needed. Bruising can be minimized by avoiding the use of aspirin or aspirin containing product or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin, Advil or ibuprofen for seven to ten days prior to the planned injections.
There may be bruising and swelling following any dermal filler treatment. Itching and mild discomfort is not uncommon. You may develop asymmetries or irregularities that can usually be corrected with massage or additional injections. Some substances such as bovine collagen require pre treatment testing for allergic reactions. Although less than three percent of people are allergic to bovine collagen, a reaction may cause itching, hives, redness, and prolonged swelling. With a few exceptions, most commercially available filling substances have no anesthetic added, making injections somewhat uncomfortable. Topical anesthetic agents are often used for numbing and a dental or lip block may be utilized for very sensitive areas like the lips and around the mouth.
Many products and drugs are used in the cosmetic field even though they may not have FDA approval for a specific cosmetic indication. This does not necessarily constitute an illegal use of an approved substance. A physician may obtain access to an unapproved drug by participating in a clinical study as an investigator. In some cases, “off label” use means that the drug or filler is approved for a use other than facial wrinkles. For example, botulinum toxin type A has FDA cosmetic approval only for the application of facial glabellar wrinkles, although it has been widely used for treatment of other facial lines and creases as well as for migraine headache relief and treatment of excessive sweating of the palms and armpits.