If you have been reading my previous blogs, you know this much about me…..I am passionate about continuing education/training in facial aesthetics and the overall health of the skin. When it comes to injectable fillers, I take my trainings very seriously and take every opportunity to do so with the best in the business (Shout out to a few of the amazing nurses and nurse practitioners that have trained me – Erika Barry @botoxbunny, Lori Robertson @injectionexpert, Melissa Berg @thebeautynurse, and Shelby Miller @aesthetic_injector). Some may even be frustrated by my schedule (ie: my office staff in scheduling LOL), but I desire to be known as one of the best and am passionate about obtaining the most current knowledge and techniques to deliver my patients with the BEST results!
On Instagram, I recently posted several stories and posts sharing my training in Norway with, the one and only, Julie Horne! Guys! She has unmistakably earned the reputation as one of the best lip filler nurse injectors in the world! What an experience! I have long admired Julie, her results and desired to learn her technique. It was a privilege to have trained with her.
A shining moment in my career was being complimented on her technique!
So, in honor of my trip to Norway and recent training, I thought it appropriate to address the daily questions I receive from my readers and future patients about this treatment.
What Is Lip Filler?
Injectable fillers are made from a range of different substances, but the main ingredient, in the most commonly used injectable fillers, is a modified version of hyaluronic acid. This acid is a water-loving molecule, found naturally in the skin. You may recognize hyaluronic acid as a common ingredient found in popular skincare creams. This molecule is the backbone of many soft, gel-like injectable fillers, which are injected under the skin to give cheek hollows, lips and deep facial wrinkles a lift and plumping boost.
What Kind of Lips Do You Want?
Are you looking for more definition? Volume? Symmetry? Hydration? All things to consider before your consultation.
I love when patients bring in photos of lips they idolize! This gives me a clear idea of their end goal AND if it is possible. The most important concept to understand is that it is not possible for filler to correct or change your anatomy. If you naturally have a rounded cupid’s bow, it is difficult or may not be possible to make it pointy. If you have a naturally small, tucked in upper lip, it is hard to relax this muscle and pull it upwards. However, I can take what natural structure you have and enhance it (make it more defined and volumized). When this concept is understood, the outcome is a beautiful, natural lip proportionate to the facial structure.
What to Expect
When it comes to lip filler, we say #trusttheprocess. Swelling is normal and to be expected! Lips are highly vascular (this is why they are pink in color) and reactive to bumps and pokes. Lip filler requires several small needle pokes to effectively deliver the hyaluronic acid to hydrate and plump the lips. The first two to three days you will experience swelling. They are bruised, may be a bit bumpy. Don’t stare at your lips too closely as they may swell asymmetrically and appear uneven. This is part of the healing process, as the filler integrates with your own tissue. The use of all-natural remedies such as arnica or bromelin for bruising and swelling will assist in the healing and may be taken before and after your treatment.
Keep your head elevated as much as possible for the first day/night to prevent extreme swelling. Do not apply makeup until the next day, unless it is your new glamorous lip gloss! New lip gloss is important, as your existing lip gloss may have bacteria that could lead to an infection post filler. You may even be nervous when first looking at your new lips! As the week progresses, they will start to soften, you will get use to your new look and soon be in love!
When to Plan Your Filler Appointment
Most find they love their lips the most when they are a bit swollen, and a month later are already thinking about their next appointment! Since it can take a few weeks for your new lips to settle, I do not advise having lip filler injections close to an important event – I recommend allowing at least 2-4 weeks for the lip filler to fully heal and settle before an event. In the meantime, a great concealer and glamorous lip gloss will do the trick!
When I finish lip filler injections, I give my patients two options – hide yourself and hibernate OR put on lipstick and go dancing!
What Is the Procedure?
Typically, a topical numbing cream is applied on the treatment area 20-30 minutes, prior to the treatment. I prefer the use of an injectable numbing agent, to fully numb the area and allow minimal discomfort to my patients. Once the area is numb, I begin the injections. This is very detailed and intricate work, so the length of the procedure is dictated by perfection (in other words, I don’t stop until your lips are perfect)!
How Long Do Injectables Last?
Just as the fat underneath our skin fades over time, so do injectable fillers. Most hyaluronic acid filler formulas will last from six months up to a year depending on the product and amount of filler used. Movement in the treated area and how quickly your body metabolizes the filler all affect how long the injectable fillers will last. Since we are constantly moving our mouths to speak, eat, etc, I find that most patients desire more filler between three to six months. Also, keep in mind, your perfect lips are not always revealed after one lip filler session. Most lips take several injectable visits to reach the patient’s goal size and shape.
It all starts with a consultation to learn about your dream lips! If you’re interested or have remaining questions, schedule your consultation today!