Dr Arnold Klein in the USA was one of the first to describe treatments to give patients fuller and livelier lips. Revolutionary and confronting at the time, filling lips is now one of the most commonly performed procedures in cosmetic medicine. We all do lips every day.
Loss of tissue volume is one of the cardinal processes of ageing, and one of the prime causes of wrinkling. If our faces lose volume, and our skin is too old to shrink to fit, then Glogau Type 4 wrinkles result: “too much skin”, as the surgeons may say.
Perhaps the first location of the face to manifest the consequences of volume loss is the lip. Plump and pink in youth and adolescence, and notably more generous in the world’s more vivacious and gregarious peoples, full lips are admired and coveted.
Those who would improve the volume of their lips would do well to start with temporary filling, and to attend to someone experienced in this craft. “Duck lips” and “trout pout” are terms to describe those who have been treated by novices, or who have unwisely decided that if a little is good then more must be better. As the craft of lip remodelling has advanced, we have all become more sophisticated about lip shape, and so unnatural results should not arise if the injector is experienced and in possession of a good eye.
Having said that, the results of lip filling are limited by the anatomies of the patients. We can only work within the skin and structure that is there, so we can’t make everyone look like Angelina Jolie. Occasionally a patient will attend with a glossy magazine in hand and a request to make her lips look like the ones in the picture, but this is generally unrealistic (excepting when the patient is a professional model, as happens, and the picture is of their own lips).
Most people should reach first for a temporary filler when they want their lips fuller. There are a range of specific brands and kinds of temporary fillers available, a number of which I have lectured on to other doctors.
When my older patients arrive for lip filling, I will consider going straight to a permanent filler. My very old patients have lips that are so empty that temporary fillers seems to practically disappear into them, so at least if they have something permanent the gains they achieve can be built upon whenever they choose.
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