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Lip Injections are a fast-track enhancement option that can last up to or beyond 6 months. Popular with (primarily) women ages 18 – 80, a fuller lip compliments just about anyone’s look.

Unofficial lip filler poster child, celebrity Kylie Jenner, has made full lips a trend in recent years. Perhaps because of her example, or due to the notoriety of  “duck lips” and “trout pout” in the media,  those who are new to lip fillers fear that lip fillers will leave them looking too “done”. A good doctor or nurse injector will help you to see that lip rejuvenation is about restoring volume and careful accentuation of your natural lip contour. It’s all about aesthetic balance: Less is definitely more!

Some are born with naturally thin lips, but in others loss of lip volume is a natural result of aging. With age, lips deflate, the mouth thins out, and lines form above and below the lip line (ie. “smoker’s lines”). Luckily, regardless of the cause, lip fillers make lack of volume an issue that can be addressed relatively quickly and with next to no downtime.

Surgical options like fat transfer or lip implants are more invasive, but are also longer lasting (some patients “graduate” to surgical lip enhancement after experiencing great results with low-commitment fillers). The beauty of lip fillers is that they are generally hyaluronic acid (HA) based products like Belotero that integrate into tissue when introduced, are naturally absorbed over time, and actually even help to form new collagen!

Here are 11 things to know before getting lip injections:

1. HA fillers last about six months. How long your results last beyond this time frame depends. The more active the area is (smiling, eating, talking), the faster the formula is reabsorbed.

2. You will see the results almost immediately. Your lips will be a little swollen at first, but you’ll see the effects of the fillers pretty quickly. Give your lips at least 72 hours to settle and the swelling to calm. Then you’ll be seeing your filled-out lips as they will be for the next few months.

3. Lips with fillers don’t feel any different than real lips. Lip fillers may feel slightly “bumpy” at first, but within a week things generally settle and will feel natural again.

4. At the beginning of the procedure, your lips will be iced and injected with numbing medicine (if you choose) for your comfort. Afterward, the doctor will massage your lips a little, ice them for 10 minutes, and then let you go about your day.

5. There’s practically zero downtime. The procedure takes about 15 to 20 minutes total, and the numbing will start to wear off after about 15 minutes. You can go about your daily life afterward but shouldn’t make any big plans (like a wedding or an important event) for at least three days in case you bruise.

6. You shouldn’t exercise the day of the procedure. You especially should avoid activities that increase blood flow to your face, like getting a massage or a facial.

7. You can choose which areas of your lips you’d like the focus to be. Whether you want to do both lips, just the bottom lip, or the middle of the top lip, you can plump wherever you and your doctor decide will best complement the rest of your facial features.

8. About 2 weeks before your procedure, avoid painkillers (except Tylenol), fish oil, and Vitamin E, which tend to thin the blood. Thinner blood will make the area more prone to bruising and bleeding.

9. Some slight bruising and bleeding at the site of injection is normal. The bruises should fade after five to seven days. Topical Arnica gel may be applied to further reduce the chance of bruising.

10. Expect natural-looking results. Your doctor will ultimately decide what look is best for your face. If you are looking for more pronounced results, understand that the size can increased gradually over time for the best results.

11. If you eventually decide to stop getting injections, your lips will return to their original state. However, the HA that was injected into your lips may trigger collagen and natural HA production at the injection site, which could result in lips naturally retaining some volume due to the previous injections.

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