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Lip and Cheek Fillers Before and After

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What to Expect When Getting Lip and Cheek Fillers

While some are naturally gifted in the "defined and youthful cheeks" department, others have to go the extra mile to achieve a more balanced facial profile.

Dermal fillers offer a popular non-surgical solution for lip and cheek augmentation that provides beautiful, natural-looking results. But what exactly are dermal fillers, how do they work, and what should you expect during treatment and recovery?

Let’s get in the thick of dermal fillers for the lips and cheeks, including seeing actual patient before and after images, as well as practical tips so you can make an informed decision about these facial rejuvenation options.

What Are Dermal Fillers for Lips and Cheeks?

cheek filler treatment

Dermal fillers are injectable treatments composed of hyaluronic acid, a molecule that occurs naturally in the skin.

When expertly injected under the skin, hyaluronic acid fillers provide immediate volume and fullness. The results may not be instant for all patients, though.

There are several popular hyaluronic acid fillers on the market that plastic surgeons and cosmetic dermatologists use in the lips and cheeks, such as:

  • Juvéderm Volbella XC
  • Restylane Silk
  • Juvéderm Voluma XC
  • Restylane Lyft

These fillers differ in density, which makes some better suited for the lips and others ideal for the cheeks, based on the amount of augmentation desired. Doctors also utilize collagen-stimulating fillers like Sculptra and Radiesse for gradual cheek enhancement.

How Do Fillers Augment the Lips and Cheeks?

When injected, hyaluronic acid fillers attract and bind water molecules, which help hydrate and volumize the skin. They supplement diminishing collagen and elastin reserves which become depleted with age.

The material attractively adds volume through the process described above. This, in turn, adds youthful volume and fullness that were lost due to natural processes like aging and genetics.

Additionally, hyaluronic acid binds to water molecules at the injection sites and supports hydration. This contributes to a juicy, refreshed look on the lips and cheeks.

Different Types of Lip Fillers

The lips are a delicate area requiring specially formulated fillers that are soft, pliable, and designed to retain natural movement. Popular options include:

TreatmentKey Benefits
Juvederm Volbella XC- Subtle, natural-looking lip augmentation- Improves vertical lip lines- Contains lidocaine for comfort
Restylane Silk- Designed specifically for lips and fine lines around the mouth- Provides subtle lip plumping- Smooths lipstick lines
Restylane Kysse- Provides fuller, pillowy lips- Enhances lip texture and color- Allows full range of expression- Lasts up to 1 year

Which lip filler brands can be compared?

We've compared notable lip filler brands as follows:

BrandIngredientsDurationReversibilityNumber of TreatmentsCost per Syringe
JuvedermHyaluronic acid9-12 monthsReversible1$500-$800
RestylaneHyaluronic acid6-12 monthsReversible1$400-$700
SculptraPoly-L-lactic acidUp to 2 yearsNot reversible3-4Higher due to multiple treatments
RadiesseCalcium hydroxylapatiteApproximately 1 yearReversible1-
BellafillPolymethylmethacrylatePotentially permanentNot reversible1$800-$1200

Do Lip and Cheek Fillers Make You Look Better?

Dermal fillers offer patients an opportunity to address various aesthetic concerns without undergoing surgery. Proven aesthetic benefits of lip and cheek fillers include:

Enhanced Facial Symmetry

Fillers can be strategically placed to improve facial symmetry by balancing out any areas that have lost volume compared to the other side. They essentially sculpt and reshape the face in a very natural way.

Plumper Lips

Thin lips can be given a boost in size and definition with lip fillers. They enhance the edges of the lip line and increase the fullness of the lip body to make lips look naturally voluminous.

Improved Facial Contours

Cheek augmentation via fillers lifts and rounds out the cheek area for a more lifted, heart-shaped facial profile. Youthful cheek volume gets restored for beautiful facial definition.

Wrinkle Reduction

Hyaluronic acid fillers smooth out pesky wrinkles and fine lines like smoker's lines around the lips and parentheses lines around the mouth. Filling them from the inside out makes these wrinkles practically disappear.

Long-Lasting Results

While not permanent like implants, lip and cheek fillers generally provide results lasting 6-12 months. Maintaining outcomes with periodic touch-up injections yields an enduring enhancement.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Lip and Cheek Fillers?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to cosmetic procedures. The best candidacy for lip and cheek fillers depends on a few factors:

  • Ideal candidates have mild to moderate signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and volume loss in the lips, cheeks, and midface area. Those with severe sagging, drooping, or excess skin may need surgery or other treatments in addition to fillers.
  • Patients should be in overall good health without any uncontrolled medical conditions. Good skin elasticity and quality allows fillers to work optimally.
  • Having realistic expectations about the degree of enhancement possible is important. Fillers provide subtle to moderate improvements, not dramatic transformations.
  • Both men and women make good candidates if they have the right indications. Patients tend to be in their 30s-60s but results vary individually.
  • Being a non-smoker is ideal since smoking impairs healing. Avoiding sun exposure protects skin and maintains results.
  • While allergy testing is not required for hyaluronic acid fillers, patients should disclose any allergies or potential reactions to components like lidocaine.
  • Pregnant and nursing women should not receive fillers. Patients with autoimmune diseases need physician clearance.

In summary, the ideal lip and cheek filler candidate is in overall good health with mild to moderate signs of facial aging and reasonable expectations about the degree of improvement possible. A consultation helps determine if a patient is suitable.

What are some before lip filler tips?

Seek out an injector with an artistic eye and extensive experience - this should be your #1 priority when considering lip fillers.

  • Schedule consultations to view before and after images and read reviews to verify natural-looking results.
  • Beware of deals or discounts that seem too good to be true on lip fillers - quality injectables don't come cheap.

To reduce risks like bruising during your treatment:

  • Avoid taking blood thinning medications or supplements for 1-2 weeks beforehand like aspirin, ibuprofen, fish oil, and vitamin E.
  • Stop using retinoids such as tretinoin 2-3 days before your appointment - they thin the skin.
  • Skip alcohol the night before your visit - it can heighten bleeding.

Arrive at your appointment:

  • With a clean, makeup-free face so the area can be properly sterilized.
  • Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) an hour before your visit to minimize discomfort.
  • Apply numbing cream if offered by injector to reduce injection pain.
  • Have arnica tablets or gel at the ready for post-treatment to reduce bruising/swelling.

Be patient with the results:

  • It takes 2-4 weeks for swelling to dissipate before your plump pout is fully visible.
  • Have realistic expectations - 1-2 syringes are considered subtle lip enhancement for most.
  • Effects last 6-12 months, so maintenance touch-ups are needed annually if you wish to sustain your results long-term.

What Is the Lip and Cheek Filler Treatment Process Like?

Wondering what it's like to actually get lip and cheek fillers? Here's an overview of the in-office treatment process:

  1. Numbing - For comfort, the provider applies a topical anesthetic to numb the skin 20-30 minutes prior to injecting.
  2. Marking - Your unique facial anatomy is assessed and the injector maps out the precise locations for filler placement, marking injection sites with a surgical pen.
  3. Injecting - Using a fine needle, the filler material is injected in small amounts into the subcutaneous tissues of the lips and cheeks. Juvederm Voluma XC is often used in the cheek area, while silkier fillers are favored for the delicate lip region.
  4. Massaging - After injections, the provider massages the areas to evenly distribute the filler and ensure proper contouring.

The entire appointment takes about 30-45 minutes for a lip or cheek treatment, and up to 90 minutes if both areas are addressed. Patients sometimes describe an odd pinching sensation during injections, but the procedure is not considered painful.

Where Specifically Are Fillers Injected?

For lip augmentation, common injection sites include along the cupid’s bow for definition, the vermillion border to smooth lines, and the body of the lips for fullness.

However, exact placement should be customized to each patient's goals and anatomy.

For the cheeks, strategic points often include the upper cheekbones for lift, underneath the eyes to rejuvenate the midface, and along the sides of the nose and mouth to correct drooping. 

What About Filler Amounts?

Expert injectors take great care to determine optimal filler amounts and depths based on your distinct facial contours and treatment objectives. More is not always better.

Overfilling or improper placement can lead to an overly plumped, unnatural look. An experienced provider intimately understands nuances of facial anatomy to enhance beauty while avoiding telltale signs of filler.

It's best to start conservatively and allow time between treatments for ideal results. 

What Is the Recovery Like After Lip and Cheek Filler Injections?

While dermal fillers do not require lengthy downtime, there are some common side effects to expect during the recovery period after lip and cheek augmentation:

  • Swelling - Some degree of swelling is typical after filler injections. It usually peaks at 24-48 hours and subsides within a week. Using cold compresses can help minimize swelling.
  • Bruising - Bruising may occur when the needle hits a small blood vessel. It usually resolves within 7-10 days. Avoiding blood thinning medications before treatment can reduce bruising risk. Applying arnica cream may help bruises fade faster.
  • Tenderness - Mild tenderness or discomfort at the injection sites can last for a few days as the area continues healing. Acetaminophen is recommended for pain relief instead of NSAIDs like ibuprofen which may increase bruising.
  • Avoid Alcohol - Refrain from alcohol consumption for at least 24 hours after treatment, as alcohol may contribute to increased bruising and swelling.
  • Results Timeline - Some improvement may be visible immediately, but optimal results are seen gradually over the next 1-2 weeks as the filler integrates with the facial tissues. Larger amounts of filler may take longer to fully settle.

How soon after lip filler can you exercise?

Most patients resume regular activities immediately or the next day. However, strenuous exercise should be avoided for the first 24 hours. Vigorous facial movements are also best avoided for the first few hours.

How Long Do Lip and Cheek Fillers Last?

Dermal filler results are temporary, but the duration can vary. Here are general timelines for popular options:

  • Juvederm Volbella XC (lips): Approximately 1 year
  • Restylane Silk (lips): Approximately 6 months
  • Juvederm Voluma XC (cheeks): 1-2 years
  • Restylane Lyft (cheeks): Up to 1 year

Patient factors like metabolism, smoking, sun exposure, diet, and skincare can impact how quickly fillers break down. Those with faster metabolism or unhealthy habits may need more frequent touch-ups.

The injection technique also affects longevity. The depth, precise placement, and amount of filler injected impact how long the results will last. An experienced injector tailors this to the individual.

Maintaining results with regularly scheduled touch-ups can allow you to preserve your beautiful lip and cheek enhancement.

How Often Do Lip Fillers and Cheek Fillers Lead to Complications?

Dermal fillers generally have an excellent safety profile and a high patient satisfaction rate when performed by an experienced provider. 

A 2014-2016 study found 1,748 injury events linked to cosmetic skin fillers. Main complications: swelling, infection, nodules, and pain.

Cheek fillers account for 43% of the causes, while lip injections are responsible for 30% of the said issues.

To confirm here are all the minor side effects that patients may experience:

  • Bruising, swelling, and redness at injection sites. Typically resolves within 1-2 weeks.
  • Temporary tenderness or soreness for a few days.
  • Small bumps under the skin. Often dissipate quickly.
  • Rarely, the filler may migrate slightly from the injection site.

More serious but very rare risks include vascular occlusion leading to skin necrosis or blindness, infection, and allergic reactions. Proper injection technique including avoidance of intravascular injection is critical to prevent vascular complications per medical organizations.

Do cheek fillers cause more discomfort than lip fillers?

Both lip and cheek fillers are generally not very painful procedures when performed by an experienced provider using numbing agents. However, lip fillers tend to be less painful overall.

With lip fillers:

  • The lips are highly sensitive with many nerve endings.
  • Patients commonly report feeling a pinch/sting when the needle goes in.
  • Pressure or a cold sensation may be felt as the filler is injected.
  • Significant pain is rare.

With cheek fillers:

  • The cheeks are less sensitive than the lips.
  • Can cause mild pain, tenderness, or pressure during injection.
  • But most patients tolerate the procedure well with numbing.

Why an Experienced Provider Matters

Who you choose to administer your lip and cheek filler treatment is one of the most important decisions. An unskilled provider can result in lumpy results and misshapen contours, to cite a few undesirables.

Seek an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon or cosmetic dermatologist who has specialized injector training and artistic skills for gorgeous outcomes. Their expert technique helps avoid side effects.

What Do Lip and Cheek Filler Results Look Like?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words! Now let’s take a look at real patients’ before and after photos to showcase beautiful, natural-looking dermal filler results for the lips and cheeks:

[Incorporate several before and after photos illustrating subtle, natural-looking lip augmentation filler results]

As shown, lip fillers provide definition to recreate the natural fullness of youth, without that overdone “duck lip” look. A skilled injector enhances the cupid’s bow and vermillion border for balanced lip enhancement.

[Incorporate several before and after photos showcasing cheek augmentation with fillers]

A Note on Realistic Expectations

While a qualified injector strives for beautiful, proportional results, lip, and cheek filler outcomes vary based on your individual features and anatomy. Things like your natural lip shape and thickness influence results. Discuss realistic expectations customized to your unique characteristics.

Take the First Step Toward the Lips or Cheeks You've Always Wanted

Lip and cheek dermal fillers offer an effective aesthetic solution for enhancing areas that have lost natural plumpness and volume due to aging and genetics. They provide dramatic yet natural-looking results that enhance beauty and balance facial features.

From subtle lip augmentation to midface lifts using cheek fillers, dermal fillers skillfully administered by an expert injector rejuvenate the face with long-lasting outcomes and little downtime.

When choosing an experienced, board-certified cosmetic provider known for their artistic eye and commitment to patient safety, dermal fillers can beautifully shape and define your lips and cheeks.

Get Expert, Professional Guidance Now

Ready to learn more about enhancing your pout or boosting cheek fullness? Schedule a customized consultation with Dr. Lanna Aesthetics.

Known for her natural-looking results, Dr. Lanna offers a range of leading fillers including Juvederm Voluma XC, Restylane Lyft, Juvederm Volbella XC, and Restylane Silk. Contact our office today to meet with a trusted filler expert.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can the same filler be used for lips and cheeks?

Yes, the same hyaluronic acid filler can typically be used safely and successfully on both the lips and cheeks. These fillers are very versatile and can be injected into multiple areas of the face.

Should you smile after getting lip fillers?

To minimize post-treatment swelling in the first 24 hours, avoid extreme facial expressions, such as wide smiles or frowns. Gentle movements are fine, as they help the filler settle into the tissues without shifting.

Completely avoiding smiling for the first day is usually not necessary.

Can lip filler migrate into your face?

Lip filler migration happens when filler spreads beyond the lip border, often due to poor injection technique, overfilling, wrong placement, frequent injections, or using the wrong filler. It's more common with hyaluronic acid fillers but can be reversed with hyaluronidase. 

Why didn't my lip filler work as expected?

Lip filler longevity varies due to factors like lip movement, genetics, injector skill, filler choice, aftercare, and health conditions. Frequent lip movement can hasten breakdown. Incorrect placement, inexperience, and overfilling may shorten results. 

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