Lip Augmentation and Facial Fillers Myths

Written by: Anna Avaliani, MD

fillerLip augmentation is the number one requested injection procedure following right after Botox®. Many women who think about getting their lips done for the first time are very afraid to do so because they fear of walking around with “deformed” lips for life.  It’s a myth and I will try to explain it. 

One important thing to consider is that not all fillers are the same and the price you pay for your lip injections really determines the quality of the product and expertise of the person injecting you. Expert physicians like myself have been performing lip augmentation for some time now and in my practice, I do lip augmentation every single day. I also only use FDA approved products. 

In this blog I will try to answer the 12 most common myths about lip augmentation.

Myth #1: Fillers are irreversible

Dr. Avaliani only uses FDA approved fillers from Juvederm® (Juvederm Ultra®, Juvederm Ultra Plus®, Juvederm Volbella®) and Restylane® (Restylane Silk®) family line of products. These fillers are made out of Hyaluronic acid, are very safe, and are completely reversible!

Myth #2: Fillers stretch your lips and make them deflated

It is absolutely not true as lips anatomically have a very small space to accommodate extra volume. That space is between the lip muscle and the skin overlaying it. Fillers never cause any stretching of the lip muscle or lip skin. What happens is that people who get their lips done on regular basis forget what their original lips looked like before they started injecting them, making them think that their lips became flat.  Your body is always able to hold it’s natural and true shape.

Myth #3: Fillers cause permanent bumps

One of the common side effects of lip filler injections is the development of tiny bumps. These bumps can be felt inside the lips or actually be visible outside. They happen because your body is protecting itself and not allowing the filler to incorporate, or because the filler moved from its original space where it was injected, or rarely, due to filler being injected superficially.  Even, an expert like myself, I occasionally can cause a tiny bump, but mine are always invisible and always go away in 1-2 days.

Myth #4: Fillers cause scars

The fillers used by me are 100% authentic Hyaluronic acid fillers from the manufacturer directly. All come with serial numbers and tracking information. There has never been a case reported of scarring after getting lip injection in any of the clinical studies performed around the world using authentic real products. Fillers that would cause scarring or deformity are usually cheap quality, black market injections sold at spa’s or other places for a very cheap price and luring naïve customers.  You really get what you pay for and sometimes the price certain people pay is not worth the couple of hundred-dollar savings.

Myth #5: Fillers cause cold sores

Fillers do not cause cold sores. They are packaged sterile and come with a single use sterile needle. The only time one might develop a cord sore after a lip injection would be a person who already has a history of cold sores and because lip injection can cause stress on the lips, the cold sores can potentially be reactivated. You must inform your doctor if you are prone to getting cold sores and she or he will prescribe prophylactic medication in case you develop one.

Myth #6: All fillers cause “duck lips”

Fillers do not cause duck lips, it’s rather a desired outcome of the patient or simply an inexperienced or improper technique utilized by an injector.  A true expert will always respect natural lip anatomy and proportions in order to avoid an awful “duck lip” look.  I always ask my patients to bring in the photos of the lips they desire and we carefully discuss pro/cons of each picture in order to achieve the most desirable look for them.

Myth #7: Filler injections hurt

If you go to a cheap salon, you will have an awful experience.  This is a very comfortable procedure and most of my patients rate it as 1-2 out of 10 on a discomfort scale.  I always use a specially formulated topical numbing cream which I apply for 15-20 minutes and it will decrease any bruising and will also numb the lips very well.

Myth #8: Fillers change natural anatomy of lips

Too much filler will make your lips appear distorted or deformed, but once the filler is gone, your lips always go back to their original anatomical way.

Myth #9: Big lips are achieved in one single visit

We will use the most common example in today’s lip world: Kylie Jenner. To go from her original lip size to her current lip size it took 3 full syringes (3ml) of product, 3 visits and 3 months!!! It’s always good to be safe and add a little at a time. I never inject more than one syringe to anyone’s lips at a single visit. EVER.

Myth #10: Once you start doing lip fillers, you have to continue for life

It’s absolutely false as once the filler effect gradually weans over time, your lips will be back to their original size. People who choose to continue getting lip injections are doing so at their own will because they like their lips fuller, not because they have to do it.

Myth #11: All lip fillers are the same

Absolutely not. The best and the safest fillers for lip augmentation are made from hyaluronic acid. They differ from each other in the amount of HA acid in them and also their thickness. Every expert physician will determine the best possible filler for their patient in order to achieve their desired look.  Not all fillers are the same and not all people can get the same fillers either.

Myth #12: Fillers come in quarter and half sizes

This one is even annoying to write about. Authentic product from manufacturer of Juvederm only come in 2 sizes: 0.4cc and 1cc syringes. Restylane family only comes in 1cc syringes.  Places that offer or sell quarter, third or even half a syringes use black market, fake and diluted product which might be contaminated and will lead to infection, scarring or even death. Syringe splitting is considered a violation of health code and carries a high risk of infection.

If you choose to have less than a full syringe injected into your lips, it’s a personal choice that needs to be communicated with your physician, but depending on the product used, you either have 0.4 cc or 1cc size to choose from.  Please be very careful!!!!!