Get Fuller, More Defined, and Smoother-Looking Lips in Albuquerque
One of the first things that others tend to notice about you is your smile. With that in mind, many people are self-conscious about having lips that have always been small, have a chapped and lined appearance, or started to lose fullness as they got older. If practices such as using makeup, staying hydrated, and boosting blood circulation to your lips haven't made the difference you want to see, it might be time to consider using fillers to get the effect you want. Lip injections are ideal for Albuquerque patients who want to enhance the shape of their lips or restore a more youthful appearance to an aging smile.
The fillers we use at Western Dermatology Consultants for lip injections can improve symmetry, make the lips plumper, and minimize the perioral wrinkles that occur on or around the lips due to aging and skin damage. We offer three types of hyaluronic acid-based lip injections: Juvederm Volbella®, Juvederm® Ultra, and Restylane® Kysse. Each is formulated slightly different from the others and has its own unique applications. The Western Dermatology team will talk about the pros and cons of each of the lip injections available and help you discover what's right for you.
Explore the benefits of lip injections from Albuquerque's Western Dermatology Consultants. Get in touch with our cosmetic skincare team by calling 505-855-9267 or submit a contact form to schedule a free consultation.
How Do Lip Injections Work?
Lip fillers are essentially soft gels that are added into the lips to adjust their volume. The main active ingredient in the Juvederm® and Restylane® lip injections is hyaluronic acid, a chemical found naturally in your body that has the capacity to retain up to a thousand times its weight in water. The hyaluronic acid that is found in your skin keeps it stable and healthy by drawing in water from its surroundings. The molecule is also found in numerous water-based moisturizers.
Your chosen filler will be administered directly into your skin at a certain depth to blend in seamlessly and mold to your lips. The filler used in lip injections acts as a “replacement” for fat and collagen in your skin.
This treatment is generally easy and straightforward. Lip injections are minimally invasive and typically take no more than 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
Your lips will first be numbed with a topical or local numbing agent to relieve any discomfort, and then injected with very small, blunt-tip needles in the appropriate injection sites. Results will be visible right away after the lip injections, which make the lips look slightly poutier and silkier.
No matter what, it's important to go to a qualified, experienced injector and maintain realistic expectations when considering lip injections.
What Causes Thin or Wrinkled Lips?
Some patients have always had thin lips due to genetics, while others deal with aging as the main cause for a lack of fullness. The same process that causes changes over time on other areas of the face—like wrinkles and dryness—also affects the lips, as well as the skin surrounding them.
Starting from as early as your late teens, your lips can start to become deflated, and the M-shaped curve called the Cupid's bow that outlines the upper lip can flatten.
The fat pads below the skin begin to break down over time, and collagen is lost because of repetitive movements involved in talking, smoking, drinking from straws, and making facial expressions. Exposure to UV radiation from sunlight also damages the collagen in lips and can give them a sandpapery, wrinkled texture. Furthermore, smoking cigarettes prevents oxygen from getting to the lips and creates smoker's lines around them.
This is important to know, because collagen is one of the main building blocks of the skin that holds it together and keeps it looking full when we're younger.
Some people don't notice any visible changes to their lips as they age, but thinning lips are a problem for many people, especially for those who naturally had smaller lips to begin with.
What Types of Lip Injections Are Available?
Juvederm® Ultra is designed for adding fullness to lips and for reducing wrinkles around mouth, such as smile lines. These lip injections are great for patients who want to add significant volume. Due to its thicker consistency, it can feel firmer when compared to Volbella® and Kysse.
Volbella® is a thin, lightweight type of lip filler that works best for making subtle refinements to the lips. These lip injections add a small amount of volume to the lips that looks very natural, defines the borders of the lips, or softens small wrinkles on or around the mouth.
Kysse is the newest lip filler available from Galderma. A smaller amount of this filler is needed to achieve similar results as other lip injections. The XpresHAn Technology used in the manufacturing process for these lip injections gives them a more versatile quality. The results of these lip injections look natural and soft, even when facial expressions are being made. They are also FDA-approved for treating perioral wrinkles above the upper lip.
Aftercare for Lip Injections
Patients typically have some mild, temporary side effects after lip injections, including swelling, bruising, and tenderness for several days. There is virtually no downtime required, however, and patients can resume their usual activities right after their injections. That said, vigorous exercise is discouraged for a few days, environments with high temperatures like saunas need to be avoided, and patients are advised to refrain from placing too much pressure on the lips while recovering. If you have a special occasion coming up, it's better to give yourself time to recover.
Although patients might feel like their lips are firmer than normal after lip injections, the lips can still look natural, even when talking or smiling. Once they've completely healed and the filler has “settled,” the lips will feel softer. Patients can apply an ice pack or ice cube to ease the swelling and use some types of over-the-counter pain medications.
How Long Do the Effects of Lip Injections Last?
Hyaluronic acid lip injections aren't forever. Eventually, you will have to come back for more injections to maintain the results, but you can expect to enjoy the benefits for up to a year. Also, if you don't like the look of your lip injections, the fillers can be dissolved with an enzyme injection—but we recommend waiting before making such a decisions, since initial swelling can sometimes make the results look a bit larger than hoped for, but will resolve in a short amount of time.
More Than Lip Injections: Other Skin Procedures
Aside from lip injections, there are other types of fillers available for contouring areas of the face. Voluma® allows patients to sculpt cheekbones if they want a more chiselled look or make the cheeks rounder and higher if they have a sunken appearance due to aging. Dermal fillers are often used for smoothing out static wrinkles on the center and lower part of the face, such as nasolabial folds that are caused by aging, environmental damage from sunlight or other aggressors, or gravity. The thick filler gels fill in the thinning areas below the surface of the skin where collagen has been depleted to give it a more supple, lifted appearance.
Other types of skin resurfacing treatments available from Western Dermatology Consultants—which you can use in combination with lip injections to improve the overall quality of your facial skin—include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and facials. These treatments help to even out the skin tone and texture.