Growing up, I always hated that when I gave a big smile, my lips would pull a disappearing act. I never imagined that there was something I actually could do about it. Then, I met my dermatologist husband, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, who first introduced me to the idea of injectable lip filler.
I have had a few treatments over the years to help add a bit of volume. Nowadays, I wouldn’t consider myself as having large lips, but the treatments have definitely plumped up what I thought I was missing. If you, too, are curious about getting lip fillers, here are some of my essential tips.
[Editor’s note: Injectable filler is a temporary treatment that adds volume to areas of the face such as the lips, cheeks, and laugh lines. Like any medical treatment, it has potential risks and side effects. Be sure to talk to a doctor to see if it’s right for you. Have more questions? Chat with our team of trained aesthetics specialists now.]
1. Choose your injector wisely.
What I love most about Dr. Z’s approach to lips is that he focuses on accentuating your natural shape and lips’ proportions, but of course, I am biased (I am married to him, after all!).
Before you let anyone touch your pout, you need to do your research to find a qualified, licensed injector for you. I suggest you ask your friends who they see, and that you look at any recommended doctor’s before and after photos. If you are looking for a subtle enlargement to your lips and your doctor of choice shows only photos of lips that look overinflated, then that is likely not the right doctor for you. (Bigger isn’t always better!)
I advise that you set up a consultation before committing to the doctor — this will help you determine whether or not you are both on the same page. Even if you have to pay for the consultation, it is worth it not to walk out of the office dissatisfied with your results.
It is not worth getting lumps, asymmetry, or fake-looking lips if you are injected by someone who does not have enough experience. 2. Lip injections can hurt, but I found it to be tolerable.
I certainly wouldn’t say that I have a high tolerance for discomfort, so I was nervous before getting my lips treated for the first time. But after wearing a numbing cream for 20 minutes in anticipation of my treatment, I was surprised to find that there was almost no discomfort at all.
My lips felt tender for about two days post-injections. (Of course, all individual results vary, and if you have questions about managing your discomfort, consult with your injector about your options.)
3. The actual treatment can be pretty quick.
My lips were finished in 15 minutes, which surprised me. Dr. Z has explained to me that every doctor has a different style when it comes to lip filler — the time spent in the office and number of injections will vary depending on your doctor’s technique. After the actual injections, your doctor will likely massage your lips to make sure there are no lumps.
4. You may experience swelling.
Immediately after the treatment, my lips were swollen — and the next morning, they were even more swollen. To help reduce them, I used ice packs on and off for the first day. (FYI, bruising can happen too.)
Because of the potential for swelling and bruising, it’s essential that you plan your appointment in advance. You wouldn’t want to get your lips treated right before a big event and risk experiencing these side effects during the event.
5. Fillers can be expensive.
The price for lip injections varies based on a variety of factors, including where you live in the United States and who you’re seeing for them. In New York, lip fillers can cost between $600 and $1,000. A reputable, experienced injector may be on the pricier side, but the difference in price is well worth it. It is not worth getting lumps, asymmetry, or fake-looking lips if you are injected by someone who does not have enough experience.
6. Plan accordingly if you’re prone to cold sores or thinking of getting any other procedures near your lips.
This is one additional, unexpected concern my husband warned me about. If you have a history of cold sores, lip injections may trigger a flare-up. Also, he advises patients not to have dental work after the treatment to let the lips heal properly and to prevent bacteria from being spread from inside the mouth.
[Editor’s note: If you’ve ever been a victim of cold sores, or plan on getting any procedure in or around your mouth such as dental work, ask your doctor if you’re currently a candidate for filler.]
So there you have it... what you should know if you are considering getting lip injections. Dermatologist recommended, and DermWife™ approved.
DermWife™ is a trademark of Cori Zeichner.