Frequently googled and popularised by celebrities like Kylie Jenner, many people are curious about lip fillers. What is a lip filler? Can lip fillers be dangerous? Is the procedure painful? Top surgeon Mr Kambiz Golchin explains this modern lip augmentation technique.
What are lip fillers?
Lip fillers are a sort of gel that is injected into the lips to lift them and make them appear more plump and full. Most modern fillers are made of hyaluronic acid (HA), which is found naturally in the human body, and is an ingredient in many skincare creams. In such creams, the effect is limited as it doesn’t penetrate the skin, whereas injectable fillers cause a noticeable difference.
What is HA?
Our body produces hyaluronic acid naturally. It is present in many different types of cells, and is thought to have different functions, but in the skin, where it is a major component, it hydrates and is used in tissue repair when the skin is injured. Youthful skin contains a lot of HA, making it plump and full, but as people get older they produce less, causing the lips to become thinner and the skin slacker.
Because it is naturally produced, the body doesn’t reject injections of HA (even when artificially produced in a lab), which can restore the lovely, plump complexion of youth, giving volume to the cheeks and smoothing out wrinkles. This is why it is so effective in lip augmentation.
Hyaluronic acid filler doesn’t contain any animal ingredients.
Are lip fillers safe?
If you are being treated by a qualified, reputable professional, it is unlikely that something will go wrong. However, as with all surgery, there is a small risk of side effects, such as bruising, redness, or occasionally bad reactions. This is why it is essential to inform the surgeon of any allergies you have before having the injections. In the unlikely event that something goes wrong during the lip augmentation procedure, the doctor can use another injection to effectively dissolve the filler, providing an “antidote”.
You should never have lip fillers done at a salon or spa, as beauticians are not trained in the same way as cosmetic doctors, and cannot administer or prescribe medication if there is an emergency.
Where should I get it done?
Recommendations, preferably from someone you know and trust, are a good way to find a doctor to perform any kind of cosmetic lip surgery. Failing that, research clinics online; check out their website and read testimonials. If possible, find photos of their results – in finding good lip fillers before and after pictures can show you how effective their lip augmentation procedures are.