We humans have an intrinsic appreciation for a full, pouty set of lips. It’s an attraction that knows no geographical or societal bounds; beautiful lips area admired by men and women from any city, be it Tokyo, Sao Paolo or Newport Beach. Lip enhancement procedures, coincidentally, are now being called the best thing to happen for lips since lipstick. Today, there are a number of FDA-approved lip enhancement treatments available, most of which are minimally-invasive and very low-risk.
For patients receiving lip enhancement for the first time, most doctors recommend an injectable with temporary results. The leading temporary lip enhancement injectables used today contain hyaluronic acid – a naturally occurring substance found in the connective tissues of the body. These injections essentially plump the underlying tissue by promoting skin hydration, for a fuller look and a feel that passes the “kiss test.” The results usually last around eight months before the body metabolizes it naturally. Brand names include Juvederm, Restylane, Perlane, and Pervelle. In the past, collagen was also used for lip enhancement, but most surgeons now prefer hyaluronic acid, as it has a lower risk of allergic reaction and lasts longer.
Permanent lip enhancement is more complex and carries more risks and expenses. The most common procedures implants skin or fat from your own body or a cadaver into your lips. It is difficult to get natural-looking results with a fat graft, as the body tends to reabsorb some of the tissue. Synthetic materials which aren’t reabsorbed, such as silicone or saline, can also be implanted, but may cause allergic reactions or form hard nodules. Permanent lip implants may also react to cold weather and feel unnatural while kissing or eating. Because of the possible complications, it’s best to consult an experienced and highly medical specialist, and explore all of your options before moving forward with a permanent lip enhancement.
In summary, it is possible to correct thin lips, “marionette lines” and other signs of aging apparent in the lips. In fact, proximately 21,651 non-filler lip augmentation procedures were performed in the United States in 2009. But because many lip enhancement procedures are relatively new, it’s best to ensure that your surgeon is using an FDA-approved injectable or filler with an established track record.