Updated: Apr 6, 2020
Because of how expressive the lips and mouth area are, this is often one of the first places that people start seeing lines and wrinkles. Often, patients will ask for help getting rid of laugh lines and bar code lines, while also getting lip filler to create volume or change the lip shape. When injecting multiple areas around the mouth at once, you need to make sure you do not negatively affect the lip shape and proportions. These tips can help you plan filler appointments appropriately, based on the areas that the patient wants to address.
Avoid Using Too Much Filler in These Areas
As a general rule, the lips and mouth area do best when a conservative amount of filler is used. Using too much filler in these areas can not only result in a fake appearance, but it can also have unwanted effects on the shape of the lips. For example, putting too much filler in the nasolabial folds can lower the lip. Using too much filler to treat bar code lines above the upper lip can cause the top lip to curve inward.
Remind patients that it can take up to two weeks to see their full results, so they should wait at least this long to have more filler added if needed. It is easier to add more filler than it is fix an overfilled look.
Know Which Filler to Use in Which Areas
As you know, there are numerous filler options available, but each brand is formulated a little differently. While a stiffer product like Restylane® works well along the vermilion border to change the shape of the lips, it can cause the top lip to curl inward if too much is used. Similarly, Juvéderm® Vollure is a great choice to add volume to the body of the lips, but using too much can cause a swollen “duck lip” look.
Know Which Areas to Inject First
Any time you are injecting the lips and other areas of the face in the same appointment, always do the lips last. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that the lips have more bacteria than other areas of the face, so you don’t want to transfer any bacteria. Always change the needle and your gloves if you are switching between the face and lips.
Secondly, you always want to inject areas like the nasolabial folds, marionette lines, or bar code lines first because this can sometimes help to curl the lip up. You can then use less filler in the body of the lip for a more natural appearance. For the same reason, inject the lip line before moving to the body of the lip.
Treat Oral Commissures to Avoid a Downturned Lip
Some patients might only have a minimal amount of lines or wrinkles that they’d like to address, and some may not be worried about wrinkles at all. However, you may still need to treat the oral commissures – the corners of the mouth where the top and bottom lips meet – and the marionette area. Otherwise, the heaviness of the lip filler may cause the sides of the mouth to turn downward into a frown.
Filler injections are very much an art. The proper placement, order of injections, and amount of filler used will affect the final outcome.
If you have additional lip filler tips to share, please connect with me (Dr. Leslie Baumann) via LinkedIn!
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