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All Eyes on the Mouth

Lip augmentations are now more popular than ever

The mouth is not only our most beautiful tool for speaking and kissing. Our lips convey emotions. They express what we’re thinking and feeling right at this moment. They influence how our environment perceives us. With a radiant smile we appear more friendly while drooping corners of the mouth make us look sad and ill-tempered. Whether it be in conversations with friends or with the boss, on a date or in the duckface pose for the next Selfie.

The ideal lip shape

But what does the most attractive lip shape actually look like? First of all: It is definitely not the ubiquitous pout, seen every day on numerous Instagram feeds. In a US study published by researchers on the Jama Facial Plastic Surgery platform, 428 people were presented with 100 portraits of women. The outcome was that the ideal is not the full, evenly-shaped lip. Which shape then? Optimally, the lower lip should be twice the size of the upper lip and occupy about 10 percent of the lower third of the face. At first glance, this may sound rather disproportionate. But in actual fact, it’s not. The pleasing, natural lip shape of model Miranda Kerr comes quite close to the ideal. But not everyone is lucky enough to have this and some would like a little help.

Lip enlargement with hyaluronic acid

“Lip augmentation is a frequently desired treatment to enlarge inherently narrow lips, especially with our younger patients. But it also plays an important role with older age groups in order to optically rejuvenate the area around the mouth. The aim here is to rebuild lost volume,” says Dr. Sonja Sattler from the Bellari Institute in Frankfurt and Hamburg. The most important aspect of lip fillers is the use of high-quality hyaluronic acid products. Cheap suppliers often use non-crosslinked hyaluronic acids, which only have a short-term effect. “Products which claim ‘lasting’ results are strongly discouraged, as they can lead to inflammatory nodules and asymmetry, even years later,” says Dr. Sattler. And: Since small injury points are caused by the needles being repeatedly placed on and under the red of the lips during an injection, frequent injections can lead to minor scarring here. The product should not contain any additives but should consist of pure hyaluronan. Dr. Sonja Sattler: “Unfortunately, we frequently see patients who come to us in desperation after suffering serious permanent consequences (bumps, etc.) from an incorrectly performed lip injection”.

No duck lips

To prevent this from happening, it is important to know that the lips consist not only of the visible, dark red part, but of lip white as well. The common misunderstanding that the lips are only red can lead to unnatural results, especially with lip augmentation. These are often referred to as “duck lips”. Natural-looking lips require a holistic view of the mouth/chin region. Often too little volume in the lip red itself is not the problem and for this reason, the lip white should be primarily treated during an injection. In most cases, an injection into the red part of the lips is then no longer necessary.

Injection with the tower technique

Depending on requirements, deep injection points are placed in the white of the upper and lower lip. Hyaluronic turrets are then injected into the tissue (the so-called tower technique) and this cushions the lip white from the inside. As there is an increase in volume due to the padding of the lip white, the lip red appears larger as well. In this way, the naturalness is preserved.

Smoothing wrinkles

In order to smooth out the small wrinkles around the red of the lips which cause lipstick bleeding, this region can be additionally treated with a finely cross-linked hyaluronic acid preparation. The hyaluronan is injected superficially, mainly along the lip margin, thus smoothing small lines. The injection takes place via tiny punctures at the corner of the mouth. The cannula is then moved back and forth, continuously releasing the low-viscosity hyaluronan, until the wrinkles disappear.

Just a slight prick

Modern hyaluronic acid preparations ensure that the hyaluronan decomposes more slowly than usual. In addition, some products now contain the anesthetic lidocaine, which makes the treatment almost painless for the patient. Since the effect of the lidocaine is immediate, only the slight prick at the beginning of the treatment is felt. The lip treatment lasts about 30 minutes and does not require any subsequent downtime. It is helpful to cool the area directly after treatment which also prevents the formation of smaller bruises.

Sponsered by Bellari – Lead photo © Shutterstock/ Ekaterina Jurkova

hyaluronic acid, lip augmentation, lip shape, no duck lips, smoothing wrinkles

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