Before she came clean and admitted to having had injections to plump up her lips, there was a lot of speculation surrounding reality TV star Kylie Jenner’s pout. The gossip and rumors about her lips reached a point where people, mainly teenagers, were going to great, mostly unsafe lengths to get her look.
The “Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge” involved sucking on a small cup or glass, such as a shot glass, to plump up the lips. While many people who tried it did see volumized lips, many also had to deal with painful and unpleasant results, such as bright red marks or purple bruising around their lips. There was also the risk of the cup breaking and cutting the skin, especially if it was made of glass. Damaged caused by the “Lip Challenge” wasn’t just superficial and temporary. The pressure from the glass can hurt the muscle and skin tissue in the lip area, causing permanent injury and making the lips less full looking.
Fortunately, most have agreed that sucking on a shot glass isn’t the way to go about getting fuller, plumper lips. Even Kylie herself has admitted to having worked with a surgeon to plump her pout. If you are looking to add volume to your lips safely, you have a few options.
Depending on how long you want your results to last, lip augmentation using injectable fillers might be the way to go. While years ago, collagen injections were commonly used to add volume to the lips, today, many facial plastic surgeons prefer to use injectables made from hyaluronic acid.
Fillers that contain hyaluronic acid offer a number of benefits. They tend to be more lighter and more natural feeling that certain other options. Since hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance and isn’t derived from animals, the chance that it will cause an allergic reaction is greatly reduced. Another major benefit of hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Restylane and Juvederm, is that the surgeon can reverse the treatment by injecting an enzyme that dissolves the material, if a patient doesn’t like her results. Alternatively, if a patient decides she wants a bit more volume, the surgeon can easily inject more of the filler into the lips.
The treatment process is relatively straightforward and simple. Most treatments take less than half an hour. Before injecting the filler, the facial plastic surgeon will apply a topical anesthetic to the area, to minimize discomfort. He will then use a very fine needle to administer the filler. Many patients are able to return to their regular lives immediately after the treatment. It is usually recommended that you wait a few hours or a day before you use lipstick or lip balm again.
The big downside of hyaluronic acid fillers is that the results are very temporary. For the most part, people can expect to see fuller lips for about six months.
If you have a bit of extra, unwanted fat on your body, one option is to put it to good use by having it injected into your lips. Fat transfer, sometimes call lipotransfer or fat grafting, involves using liposuction to remove fat from an area such as the hips or thighs, cleaning the fat using a centrifuge, then injecting it in the area that needs to be volumized. It can be used in a variety of areas, not just the lips, such as the cheeks and under the eyes.
Fat transfer does take a bit longer to perform compared to injectable fillers, since the surgeon needs to first remove extra fat and prepare it. There’s also a slightly longer recovery period after the injection. Bruising, redness and excess swelling are common after the procedure. It might seem at first that your lips are too full, but that extra fullness will diminish as swelling decreases and as your body reabsorbs some of the fat.
How long the results last depends on your body and how it reacts to the treatment. Fat grafting can provide a permanent results for some people. It’s also possible that your lips will reabsorb a considerable amount of fat and that you’ll want another treatment. No matter what happens, you can expect the results from fat grafting to last longer than the results from an injectable filler.
Fourth generation, Ohio-based facial plastic surgeon Dr. Stephen Smith offers both fat transfer and a variety of dermal fillers for lip augmentation. He can help you decide which method best meets your needs. Dr. Smith’s practice as two locations in Ohio. For an appointment at either location, call (614) 702-7342.