What are lip fillers?

Lip fillers can be a source of worry for many patients who are looking for treatment, fueled by media articles in magazine gossip columns. Main concerns vary - from pain and poor results to filler migration and medical complications. Whilst some of these concerns are founded in real stories, most can be negated by choosing your practitioner wisely. There is an assumption that lip fillers are just a treatment for beautification, requiring large volumes and unrealistic shaping, however most lip augmentations performed at Alpha Aesthetics are for rejuvenation and anti-ageing. As we age, there is a complex process taking place which leaves us with more than just superficial wrinkles. Our bone is shrinking and changing shape, our muscles are overworked, our fat compartments are shrinking (mostly) and our skin is losing its elasticity. It is easy to recognise the signs in our mid face but this also affects our lips and the area around our mouth (peri-oral). Ageing Also washes out the colour of our lips, we lose volume and the muscles around our lips start to crease the skin giving us those ‘smokers lines’, which unfortunately happen to non-smokers too! The result of all this? Thinner, dehydrated and wrinkled lips.

So what is the solution? Dermal fillers are very versatile which means almost everyone can be provided with a suitable option. The first thing to consider is the choice of product and then what volume of dermal filler to use. Dermal fillers used at Alpha Aesthetics are hyaluronic acid sterile gels but each product will have different concentrations which determine how thick it is. In the lips and peri-oral area, because they are very mobile, we choose a soft product, giving natural bounce and feel. In comparison our cheeks or jaw need a product which provides support and structure. The dermal filler lip products can be so soft that they provide hydration but no change in volume or shape and some patients may require a thicker lip filler to give increased definition. The softer the product, the less time it lasts. The product we choose depends on the patients goal and their anatomy. This may mean that during the procedure we inject the correct amount of filler for the best result, but not a prescribed volume which leaves the results not looking the best they can. At Alpha Aesthetics we charge the amount agreed in your consultation for the results you are looking for. That way, you can avoid the malpractice of paying X amount for X millilitres of product whether it is appropriate or not. Similarly, we may decide results will be best achieved with a cannula or needles. Choosing the right method of administration will eliminate any filler migration and unnatural looking results.

Prior to treatment we apply prescription only topical anaesthetic cream which makes the treatment more comfortable. We only use products which contain injectable numbing solutions too so that treatment is also more comfortable as we inject the dermal filler. We do not use injectable numbing, like at the dentist, prior to treatment as this may mask any vascular problems during or immediately after treatment. Complications from dermal filler blocking blood vessels is rare but it is a risk that patients should be made aware before consenting to treatment. It is also important to be aware that, although dermal fillers do not require a prescription, so can be administered by anyone, the drug used to reverse serious complications needs to be prescribed. Check your practitioner has this in the clinic, along with a protocol for administration. Common side effects are swelling and bruising. These side effects settle down within 2 weeks. Another concern is lumps and bumps in the lips. Initially, the patient may feel some lumps which settle between 2-4 weeks as the filler integrates but occasionally they may persist and need treatment. Most lumps and bumps can be avoided by choosing an appropriate product and method of injection.

Lip fillers need not to be feared. They are a fantastic way to look youthful and refreshed and fake looking results are not what we are aiming to achieve here at Alpha Aesthetics!

L x

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