How to achieve luscious younger looking lips; explore all your options


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How to achieve luscious younger looking lips; explore all your options

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One of the first features people notice is your smile. Most of us do not have naturally beautiful lips. In fact, as we age, the fat and muscle in our lips atrophy. The corners of our mouth begin to droop and cupid’s bow (v-shaped area of the lip) begins to flatten out. The upper lip elongates and the lower lip drops. We can fight the aging process! There are non-surgical solutions such as injectable fillers and surgical procedures such as lip implants and lip lifts that you may want to take advantage of to enhance your lips.

Non-Surgical Lip Augmentation
There are various products that can be injected into the lips with minimal pain, little swelling, and virtually no side effects. Most substances are quickly absorbed into the lips with excellent, but temporary results.

Collagen. Bovine dermal collagen (animal derivative) has been used safely to treat wrinkles and scars over the past 20 years. Periodic injections of this material into the border of the lips achieve fuller-looking lips and softened lipstick lines (small vertical wrinkles around lip area). The enhancement typically lasts three to five months, with no recovery time. Products include FDA approved Zyderm® and Zyplast®. A skin test is required to ensure that you are not allergic to the bovine dermal collagen.

Human Dermis. Dermalogen® is derived from human dermis (the second layer of skin), purified, and made into an injectable liquid. The results are similar to collagen, but may last slightly longer. CosmoDerm and CosmoPlast are additional products. Since it is naturally occurring in your body, there is no need for an allergy test.

Autologen® is prepared from a patient’s own skin. Usually harvested at the time of another procedure, such as a facelift, the skin is sent to the lab where the collagen is squeezed out of the skin, prepared, and preserved. The results can be long lastingyour own tissue is not reabsorbed like collagen or Dermalogenbut it is more costly.

Fascian® is derived from human skin, specifically the dense white connective tissue called fascia. It is injected deep into the skin; results are temporary.

Fat. Fat can be extracted from your body using a small needle, purified, and then re-injected into the lips. There is no risk of allergy or rejection and the results are still temporary.

Hyaluronic Acid. Restylane® and HylaForm® contain hyaluronic acid, a biodegradeable but long-lasting injectable agent. Once it is injected, it works together with the body’s own hyaluronic acid and creates volume. The results can be seen immediately, with the majority of patients enjoying the effects from six to nine months. Restylane® is FDA approved, while HylaForm® is still pending approval.

Polymethyl Methacrylate and Collagen. Artecoll® is a permanent injectable filler that consists of small polymethyl methacrylate microspheres or beads that are suspended in a solution of bovine collagen and a small amount of local anesthetic, 0.3 percent Lidocaine. The collagen dissolves within one to three months after injection leaving the microspheres encapsulated within fibrous connective tissue. FDA approval is pending for Artecoll.

Product used is Advanta. Before(left) and after photos courtesy of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Surgical Lip Augmentation
If you are looking for a longer-lasting result, you may want to consider having material implanted into your lips or a lip lift. These procedures are more invasive than soft filler injections.

Calcium Hydroxlapatite. Radiance is a new biocompatible implant material for long lasting soft tissue augmentation. Radiance is composed of tiny microspheres of calcium, hydroxlapatite (CaHA), which is suspended in a carrier gel of sodium carboxymethylcellulose, glycerin, and water. Augmentation of the lips can last between three to five years.

Human Dermis. Alloderm® is human dermis, processed, rolled-up, and inserted from the corners of the inside of the lips. A few hidden stitches are made, with mild swelling for three to five days. The results typically last between six and 12 months due to eventual absorption.

Synthetic Implants. There are many kinds of synthetic implants. The following are the most common.

  • Gore-Tex® is biocompatible with the body. It is surgically placed like Alloderm and the results are permanent.
    UltraSoft® comes in round tubes which are surgically inserted. The tubes are hollow so tissue can grow through the tube to stabilize it. The results are permanent.
  • Advanta is designed with a soft central core and smooth outer layer that results in a more natural healing response. The implant is ideal for reducing wrinkles around the mouth and enhancing the lips. The implant is made from expanded polytetraflouroethylene (ePTFE), a non-toxic synthetic material that has been used in a number of medical applications for the past 25 years. The implant is inserted beneath the skin and is permanent.

Lip Lift . If you have very little pink lip showing, you may consider having a lip lift. A lip lift shortens the distance between the bottom of the nose and the top of the upper lip to give the appearance of greater fullness. There are variations of lip lifts depending on your specific needs, including a bullhorn lip-lift, vermilion lift, and the V-Y lip augmentation.

Come in and discuss your options so we can help you decide which treatment is right for you.