What you need to know about lip fillers

Lip augmentation has been making regular headlines for many years now whether it was the ‘did she didn’t she’ Kylie Jenner lips, or more recently Molly-Mae having her lip fillers dissolved. More worryingly how under regulated the dermal filler industry has become.

So we thought we’d write an article for those who are considering lip fillers or are simply curious.

What are lip fillers?

Lip fillers are natural or synthetic gels that are injected into the lips to define, enhance or correct their shape. Most dermal fillers are completely biodegradable and temporary, however there are some permanent fillers available as well. We DO NOT advise the latter. This is because although the idea of a more permanent filler may seem more appealing, they are generally associated with more complications and longer-term problems and rarely used in reputable and safe practice.

How long does it last?

It does depend on various factors including patient age and brand used, they can last up to 9 months but top-ups are typically required every 4-6 months to keep your desired results.

Does it hurt?

Dermal fillers often contain local anaesthetic but certain areas such as the lips are more sensitive. We therefore advise using a topical local anaesthetic cream be applied for 30 minutes prior to treatment.

Am I suitable for treatment?

Your practitioner should take a detailed medical history and an assessment of your needs and expectations to ensure this is an appropriate treatment for you. This must be a practitioner who is qualified, registered with a professional body and insured to conduct the treatment.

✓ Dermal fillers cannot be used in pregnant or breast-feeding women.

✓ Not suitable if you are currently taking certain medicines, particularly drugs that affect the immune system.

✓ If you have previously experienced adverse reactions to dermal fillers or local anaesthetic.

✓ Treatment is not recommended if you are suffering from any skin infection in or near the treatment area or are unwell in any way (even a cold).

✓ Not suitable for patients with bleeding problems.

✓ If you are taking any medicines which affect bleeding, such as warfarin.

Is it safe?

All treatments carry a degree of risk and should be discussed with you at consultation and prior to any treatment being agreed.

Dermal fillers should be administered by a healthcare professional with specialist training.

Adverse events are uncommon, although side effects include, but are not limited to:

✓ Redness

✓ Swelling

✓ Bruising

✓ Itching

✓ Tenderness

✓ Asymmetry

✓ Lumps

Choosing your practitioner

Ensure you know the following information:

✓ The full name of the practitioner who is treating you

✓ Their qualification (doctor, dentist, registered nurse or other)

✓ Contact details (telephone and email)

✓ An emergency contact number for out of normal office hours


✓ Do not book and pay for treatment in advance of meeting the practitioner. These treatments are not suitable for everyone and cannot necessarily achieve the results you want within your budget. It is also important for you to 'interview' the practitioner to make sure you trust them and feel safe with them.

✓ Do not feel pressured to make any quick decisions.

✓ Do be honest about your medical history, including any previous facial surgery as this may alter the anatomy under the skin.

✓ Any medications you are taking, particularly any medications that may impair your

immune system such as steroids.

✓ Any current illness or long-term conditions that you have.

✓ Any recent or planned dental treatments (this may affect the anatomy or may increase

your risk of post treatment infection).

✓ Do be honest about your expectations.

✓ Do listen to the practitioner's explanation of possible risks, side effects and complications,

previous positive experience does not indicate protection or immunity from the risks


Registered nurses, midwives, doctors, dentists and pharmacists are accountable to the

standards of their statutory bodies, you can check their registration and they must hold

indemnity insurance for the treatments and services they provide.

Before treatment

✓ All make up will need to be removed prior to treatment as contamination with make-up can cause infection.

✓ Taking the following within 72 hours of treatment may increase your risk of bruising –

Alcohol, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, St. John’s Wort, Fish oils, Gingko Biloba, Vitamins C and E.

✓ Do cancel if you are at all unwell, even minor coughs and colds can increase your risk of

post treatment complications.

✓ Reschedule if you think you have or are developing a cold sore. Treatment around the

mouth can trigger or spread cold sore infections.

✓ Do contact the clinic to discuss any illness or new medicines prior to attending.

What happens immediately afterwards

Most people can continue with normal activities. Some will have some redness, pinprick marks and/or swelling which should settle within a few days. Bruising and swelling may be more apparent the next day and can take up to 14 days to disappear. Tenderness should settle within 48 hours.

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