Hyaluronic acid is now considered a staple in lip dermoaesthetics. But what exactly is its function?
Hyaluronic acid fillers are the most popular cosmetic lip treatments, thanks to their excellent results. However, very few women fully know the reasons why the filler is employed, and above all what the effects and possible issues of the treatment are.
In which cases is it appropriate to reshape, plump or volumize the lips?
The most typical case requiring hyaluronic acid injections is that of over-thin lips. In addition to being unsightly, with age very thin lips may fold inside the oral cavity and lose much of their functionality. Another typical situation is hollowed-out lips. It is both an aesthetic and a functional problem, as in some cases folds tend to form on the sides of the mouth which get inflammed due to the humidity of the peribuccal area. This can lead to bacterial superinfection and cause angular cheilitis.
Sometimes, a filler is simply used for psychological and aesthetic reasons. The patient’s mouth may be perfectly balanced with his/her physiognomy, but they may wish for plumper or more evident lips, in line with today’s beauty standards.
In all the above cases, lip-specific cross-linked hyaluronic acid-based fillers can be employed. What makes these products specific for the lips is the small amount of anesthetic they contain – quite useful, given the mouth is very rich in nerve endings, making injections in this area possibly particularly painful.
What is the procedure for lip treatments? And what are the rules?
Injections in the lips can be performed along the outline, a technique for contour redefinition, or in the body of the lip itself, to restore volume and protrusion. However, precise rules must be followed: the amount of product injected into the lip should be highest in the central area, creating a midline protrusion, and gradually fade towards the periphery. Furthermore, the volume of the lower lip should be prominent compared to that of the upper lip: in a well-proportioned mouth, the lower lip constitutes 2/3 of its volume and the upper only the remaining third. Last but not least, there should be no point-accumulation of the product.
Are there any potential side effects or contraindications?
It is essential for the implant to be performed in the highest safety conditions. This area of the dermis is home to important arterial and venous vessels, whose anatomy must be well-known to the operator, in order to avoid side effects related to the accidental injection of the product into an artery or vein. It is therefore paramount to avoid going to nonspecialists, and, when possible, to ask for photographic documentation of previous patients treated by the doctor who will perform the procedure.
The contraindications, on the other hand, are the same as for any type of filler implant: a high risk of bleeding, ongoing autoimmune diseases, and the presence of infections. Nor should we forget the prior experiences related to the previous use of non-absorbable fillers, such as silicone, methacrylates and microspheres. In any case, the doctor will decide, together with the patient, if and how to intervene.