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As you age, lips can lose their volume and fullness. Fine lines and wrinkles can also develop around the lips, leaving you looking much older than you feel. A lip augmentation is a cosmetic procedure that uses an injectable dermal filler to enhance the appearance of your lips. The procedure is designed for anyone who is not satisfied with the appearance of the lips, and for patients who want more appealing, plumper lips.

Why Lips Get Thinner as We Age

Lips get their shape to some extent from collagen – the main structural protein in human connective tissue. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and the substance that essentially holds the body together.

Collagen production begins decreasing at the age of approximately 20 at the rate of 1% less collagen produced in the dermis (skin) every year. Ultraviolet light (sunlight) exposure and other environmental factors can also cause significant loss of collagen and elastin in the lips, and in the skin overall. Factors in addition to aging that can cause collagen damage and reduce lip volume include:

  • High sugar consumption
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to sunlight
  • Auto-immune disorders

Fillers vs. Lip Augmentation Surgery

The lips are among the first places on the face to show the signs of age. When they lose their volume, and become thinner, they can make a person appear old, tired, or unhappy. However, age is not the only culprit. Some people have thin lips as a result of heredity.

Fortunately, lips can be enhanced without surgery. Dermal fillers can give you the plumper, “bee stung” lips you had in your youth and lost, or that nature denied you. Some plastic surgeons perform surgery to insert implants for lip enhancement, but we prefer the use of injectable fillers. Lip enhancement with fillers is a minimally invasive procedure, without the risk of exposure or infection associated with implants. We also prefer fillers for purely aesthetic reasons, as they allow for fine contouring of the lips that is not possible with implants.

Benefits of Lip Augmentation with Fillers

Lip augmentation is becoming more popular every year. CBS News reports that it is the fastest growing cosmetic procedure in the U.S. The number of lip enhancements procedures performed has increased by 50% since 2000, with another 5% jump in 2015.

The popularity of lip enhancement with injectable fillers can be explained by its important benefits:

  • Simple, gradual treatment: The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and generally takes less than an hour to complete. One treatment only is usually sufficient to produce the desired results.
  • Less bruising and swelling: As compared to lip implants, augmentation with injectable fillers will cause fewer side effects and leave the patient with less bruising and swelling. This is a minimally invasive procedure, with less risk of infection or complications.
  • Less downtime: After lip augmentation with injectable fillers, you can expect to return to your normal activities almost immediately. You can expect some swelling after the procedure, which will subside in a few hours to a few days time.
  • Visible results right away: It doesn’t take long for the swelling to subside, and you will be able to see the beautiful results of your procedure – fuller, poutier, younger-looking lips.
  • Long-lasting results: How long the effects will last is determined by several factors, including the patient’s anatomy. Generally, lip augmentation with hyaluronic fillers lasts approximately six months.
  • Reversible treatment: If for any reason, you are unhappy with the appearance of your lip enhancement, you have the option to change your mind. Lip augmentation with injectable fillers is reversible with a product that dissolves the filler.

Women with Full Lips Look Younger

Research has shown that full lips make a difference in a youthful appearance. A study in seven different universities, involving hundreds of women, found that rosy, firm, full lips make a woman appear younger, even when she has wrinkles, eye bags, or other facial signs of aging. The findings of this study confirmed accepted standards of beauty which we have seen, over the decades in actresses such as Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren, Angelina Jolie, and Scarlett Johansson.

Lip Augmentation Gallery

Meet Dr. Ataii

Medical Director of Laser Cliniqúe

P. Alexander Ataii M.D. is the Medical Director and Founder of Laser Cliniqúe in San Diego. He is a skilled skin care specialist who focuses on all aspects of the skin both diagnostic and cosmetic.

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