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  • Writer's pictureMegan Cook

12 Things To Know Before Lip Fillers

So you’re thinking of having lip fillers? This increasingly popular treatment can have some amazing outcomes, but before you go under the needle, check this blog for answers to commonly asked questions first!

  1. Does it hurt? One of the biggest things which puts people off the procedure is the anticipated levels of pain. Having had lip fillers myself, I’d rate the pain a 4 or 5 out of 10. I’ve also carried out hundreds of lip filler treatments on others (as a qualified medical professional) and people’s experiences of pain do seem to vary. Most practitioners will apply a numbing cream prior to the procedure to help take the edge off. Some practitioners will give you a dental block to numb the whole mouth. However painful people find the experience, most clients say the worst bit isn’t the needle going in, but the product going in. This is because the products mostly contain lidocaine (a numbing agent) which can cause some stinging. The treatment itself takes around 5 – 10 minutes to complete, so the amount of time you spend in pain (if you do indeed find it painful) is minimal. Almost every single client I’ve ever treated says they can’t wait for more filler once they see their results in the mirror though!

  2. How Long Does the Filler Last? There are different brands of filler, and within different brands there are different types. Practitioners should not be using a hard filler in your lips (without at least having a lengthy consultation with you first as to the reasons why you would benefit from this type specifically) as this can cause them to feel and look unnatural. The filler used in lips should be fairly soft so that your lips still look and feel soft, and most importantly so that they still move! This preferred type of filler will last approximately 6 – 12 months according to most manufacturers guidelines. You can do things to prolong filler life, such as avoiding sunbeds (which I’m sure I don’t need to tell you will damage your skin in so many ways!) and drinking plenty of water.

  3. When Will My Filler Need Topping Up? The answer to this depends very much on your starting point and your end goal. For example, if your lips barely exist and you’re looking for a full, Angelie Jolie style pout then you would benefit from having more regular treatments (4 – 12 weeks apart) initially whilst you reach your end goal. Once you are at your end goal, it is recommended that you have top up treatments every 6 – 12 months to continue to maintain that shape. Some people have faster metabolisms which can cause the filler to break down more quickly though so this is just a rough guide!

  4. What Is In Lip Fillers? Most fillers contain hyaluronic acid and lidocaine. The hyaluronic acid can be made up of different molecular weights and cross links to help achieve different looks in different areas. For anyone who has a sensitivity, or more rarely an allergy, to lidocaine, there are some fillers available which do not contain this, meaning treatment can be safe for you too!

  5. Can Lip Fillers Go Wrong? Put simply, yes! You only have to type “Lip Fillers Gone Wrong” in Google and you’ll soon see lots of scary pictures accompanied by horror stories about how lip fillers have ruined someone’s self esteem or in some cases even scared them permanently. That’s why it’s important to research your practitioner thoroughly. Your practitioner should welcome you in for an initial consultation, and offer to treat you at a later date to allow you plenty of time to consider the treatment prior to making you commit to it. There are a number of risks and complications associated to this specific treatment. These include (to name a few) bruising, hematomas, vascular occlusion, allergic reaction and more rarely, blindness. Due to these risks (some of which will resolve themselves), it is so important to make sure you chose a practitioner who is trained and competent in dealing with any potential issues. In aesthetics, there are lots of treating practitioners who are happy to take your money but who are unable to either prescribe or stock emergency medication in the even that you may need it. You should always ask your practitioner if they are equipped to deal with complications, and what they can do in the event of a complication. You need to know that they can see you quickly, and with the necessary medications or tools to resolve any arising issues. If you have any doubts about their ability to manage a complication, think twice. If you practitioner does not have quick access to emergency medications or a prescriber (if they are not one already), then you may be putting your health at risk by allowing them to treat you. Always prioritise your safety ahead of price.

  6. What Training Should My Practitioner Have? Everyone has to start somewhere, so there will be some aesthetic practitioners who have completed a basic aesthetics course, and others who have gone on to complete advanced and masterclass courses, or who may even deliver their own courses! It is recommended that you are treated by a practitioner who has a governing body. This ensures your safety and makes them accountable for their actions post treatment. Practitioners who are registered with the NMC, GMC or GDC will be nurses, midwives, doctors or dentists. Anyone registered with these professional governing bodies has to abide to a strict code, which includes to “do no harm” and to act in your best interests at all times. If any practitioner registered to these bodies neglects to care for you appropriately, you are better protected as a consumer, and you should receive ethical treatment at their hands. Whether you prefer to be treated by a medical professional or not, you should be confident in your practitioner’s ability to treat you, understand your needs and manage any potential complications and should never feel forced in to any treatment.

  7. Will I Bruise? The face is extremely vascular so there is every chance you may bruise. If you are prone to bruising, you can take Arnica tablets a few days prior to your treatment and for a few days following treatment to reduce the chances of bruising. You can also buy Arnica cream to use post procedure if you don’t have time to take the tablets beforehand, or if you don’t like to take tablets. If you are particularly worried about bruising, it is best that you book treatment for a time when you do not have any important engagements.

  8. Will I Swell? As with bruising, there is every chance you will swell as most lip filler procedures involve multiple injections or cannula use, which can cause disruption to tissues. The body’s natural response to trauma includes swelling. Most people who have had lip fillers tend to find that they swell more the day following treatment, and then the swelling slowly reduces over the course of three days (on average). Occasionally, some clients find their swelling lasts for 2 or even 4 weeks post treatment. There are things you can do to reduce the swelling, such as taking antihistamines. However, you should always consult your treating practitioner first.

  9. Can I Go Back To Work? Other than feeling a little numb after the procedure, then you can get straight back to your daily activities! As above, you will be slightly swollen and may have some evidence of bruising, but many people choose to have treatment during their lunch break. You will be advised not to touch the area or wear make up for at least 6 hours post procedure so it is worth considering this if you don’t like to be spotted without your lipstick!

  10. Can I Fly? Yes! The changes in altitude affect gas, not liquid so it is perfectly safe to fly when you have fillers. However, you should wait at least 3 days between having treatment and flying, in the rare instance that you may experience a complication.

  11. What If I Don’t Like Them? If you have done your research in to your practitioner, checked their work out and looked at their qualifications, met them and felt comfortable with them, it is HUGELY unlikely that you will not like them! Most clients feel very nervous that their lips will be too big after having treatment, and almost all of them want to return once the swell has gone as they would like them bigger. In my experience, the only time people have not liked their lips is because they have been treated by someone who has not listened to what they wanted, or who has given false expectations on what can be achieved in one sitting. If for some reason you don’t like your new fillers, you can get them dissolved, but this does not mean that you should take the decision to have them any more lightly. Dissolving fillers comes with its own risks, including damage to the natural tissue, allergic reactions and pain!

  12. How Much Is It? Expect to pay from £150 for 0.5ml dermal fillers, and more for 1ml. Prices will vary depending on the training your practitioner has had, and the area they work in. For example, you are likely to pay more in London than you are in Lincolnshire! However, a high price does not necessarily equal more qualifications, but be vigilant if you find cheap fillers. There are several cases a week on online forums where young men and women have gone to practitioners charging very little for their services, and when the client has been unhappy, the practitioner has refused to see them again. This can result in you paying someone else to dissolve them, as very few reputable practitioners will patch up someone else’s work! If you’re enjoyed reading this article, please feel free to follow myself: Facebook: Instagram: Website: Email: Call: 07943 800824

Subtle difference for this client to add slight volume and give strong definition to the Cupid’s bow and border.

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Nov 08, 2023


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