Lip Fillers: Is This The Best Option For You?

A beautiful smile is one of the first things people notice about you, and while we can’t help you whiten or brighten up your teeth, we can provide you with fuller, plumper lips. Lip fillers are a popular and easy cosmetic option, quickly adding volume to your lips, and we have several lip augmentation options to consider.

But, first, let’s talk a little bit about lips and whether or not lip fillers are the best option for you. As we age, the collagen in our skin and lips begins to break down, and this is why our lips tend to get a bit thinner in our 40s and beyond. Lip fillers can help restore this youthful fullness, and at Stewart & Thaxton, we offer two lip augmentation options.

Hyaluronic Acid Fillers | Juvederm®

Hyaluronic acid is a substance that is produced naturally by our bodies. There are several companies out there that produce lip filler injections using a substance known as hyaluronic acid. Juvederm® is the brand name of the hyaluronic acid filler we commonly use.

Our skin includes a protein known as collagen, and this protein is what provides our skin with its strength. Our skin also contains hyaluronic acid, which helps to keep collagen moist and nourished. As we age, our body produces less collagen and hyaluronic acid, which is what leads to fine lines, wrinkles and thinner lips.

By filling the lips with Juvederm®, we can recreate that youthful look that you want, and the process is quite easy and minimally-invasive.

Before we begin injecting Juvederm® formulas into your lips, we begin by cleansing the area with an antibacterial substance. We then numb the area with a topical cream to reduce the discomfort. This is a sensitive area of the body, so some discomfort is to be expected with these injections.

Fortunately, the process only takes a few minutes, so any pain or discomfort is short-lived. Typically, your lips are tender for a day or two after the procedure, and some swelling can occur. An ice pack can alleviate swelling, and generally any tenderness or swelling abates within a day or two at the most.

Results are immediate, and last for up to 12 months. This can be a great option for anyone who wants to try lip fillers, but isn’t 100% sure that they want a permanent change.

The downside to Juvederm® lip fillers is, of course, the lack of permanence. While the hyaluronic acid in Juvederm® lip fillers doesn’t cause an allergic reaction, very rarely a patient will be allergic to other ingredients in the lip filler, and you’ll need to consider other cosmetic options.

For patients allergic to any of the ingredients in hyaluronic acid lip fillers (again, this is very rare) or those searching for a more permanent option, the following might be ideal for you.

Fat Injections

While Juvederm® lip fillers are minimally-invasive and require no surgery, cosmetic surgery, known as liposuction, will be necessary for fat injections, or fat grafting. For this procedure, we surgically remove fat cells from another part of your body and inject this fat into your lips.

While surgery is required, the results of fat grafting last for many years, so if you want a long-lasting change, this can be an excellent option. Fat grafting also produces a very natural look, and feels very natural, as well. Additionally, allergic reactions to fat grafting are almost unheard of. After all, we are simply taking your own fat and injecting it into another part of your body.

Keep in mind, there is surgery involved, so the recovery time will be longer. With Juvederm®, you can immediately go back to work and continue with your normal day. With fat grafting, it might be a few days before you can return to normal activity, but of course, the permanency of this procedure often outweighs this extra recovery time.

Who Should Avoid Lip Fillers?

In general, just about anyone can be a good candidate for lip fillers. As we stated before, a few rare individuals might be allergic to components of Juvederm® fillers, but we almost never see this issue. Obviously, with fat grafting, surgery is required, and not everyone will be a candidate for liposuction surgery.

In some cases, we might not recommend lip fillers for people with suppressed immune systems, such as those with diabetes or perhaps diseases such as lupus. Additionally, if you have any blood-clotting issues, you may or may not be a good candidate for lip fillers. Please let us know if you have any allergies, and also tell us about any medical conditions, medications (prescription and over-the-counter) and supplements you are taking.

A Few General Lip Care Tips

While lip fillers definitely boost the look and shape of your lips, there are a few other ways to maintain your lips and keep them as full and plump as possible. For instance, sun damage can cause a reduction in collagen and hyaluronic acid production, so be sure to use lipsticks and lip balms that provide sun protection.

If your lipstick, powder or gloss contains no broad-spectrum SPF coverage, apply a base of lip balm that does include this sun protection. We also highly recommend using makeup up products on the face that include some level of sun protection, as this is one of the best ways to maintain a youthful look, not to mention reducing your skin cancer risk.

Staying hydrating is also helpful, as dehydration can cause the skin to become dry and lose its youthful appearance. Hyaluronic acid and water are best friends, working together to keep your skin youthful, so be sure to stay hydrated. Your skin will thank you, and your entire body will as well.

Chronic dehydration isn’t just a cosmetic issue, although it certainly can affect the health and appearance of your skin. Dehydration can damage your entire body, so it’s crucial that you drink plenty of water.

The rule of thumb has long been that everyone should drink about 60 ounces of water per day, although keep in mind that some foods, such as vegetables and fruit contain water, so if you drink a bit less but also enjoy a healthy diet, you probably are getting some water from food. Likewise, if you exercise daily, you might need a bit more water, as exercise does cause the body to lose some of its hydration.

But, back to those lip fillers . . .

No matter what type of lip fillers you want, finding a qualified cosmetic surgeon is the key to success. At Stewart & Thaxton, we are board certified plastic surgeons and have been providing hyaluronic acid lip fillers such as Juvederm® and fat grafting fillers for many years and we can provide you with quality lip augmentation services that truly enhance your beautiful look.

If you have questions about lip fillers, or wish to set up an initial consultation, give us a call at (304) 925-8949 or select the Contact Us tab at the top of this page and fill out our quick contact form or send us an email. We provide a wide range of surgical and non-surgical procedures for clients throughout the Charleston area and beyond.