Ten Do's and Don'ts of Lip Augmentation
Updated: Jan 6, 2019
Lip enhancement remains one of the most common procedures I perform in the cosmetic sector. Lip fillers are great because they can be done in a matter of minutes, can be tailored to the individual and are completely reversible
However there are some common issues that crop up time and time again: bruising, swelling and discomfort.
Here are my ten top tips I gathered from performing over 300 lip enhancements.
1. Avoid Aspirin: Aspirin is a blood thinning agent which increases the likelihood of bleeding and hence swelling. Its effects last for one week, so I advise clients to avoid Aspirin for a week before their procedure. Other similar medications are Ibuprofen, St. John's Wort and Vitamin E. However if you are on a prescription medication to thin your blood you should NEVER stop it without consulting your doctor.
2. Take your cold sore medication: If you are prone to cold sores, lip fillers can trigger an outbreak. It is a good idea to take cold sore medication 1-2 days before your procedure to reduce the chance of an outbreak.
3. Try to avoid THAT time of the month: Most women will agree that they are more sensitive to pain at different times of their menstrual cycle. If this applies to you, it might be a good idea to time your lip augmentation procedure to avoid your sensitive time of the month.
4. Do an Alicia Keys and Go Natural: So many of my clients come to their appointment with a full face of makeup. Makeup can trap bacteria or even promote black heads and it is just not hygienic to have injections performed through the make up. My hands also touch other areas of the face during the procedure so its not good enough just to remove your lipstick. Obviously I remove all the make up and clean the skin with an anti-septic solution before any procedure, but to reduce the chance of infection I strongly advise my clients to come to their appointments 'au naturel". The same goes for after your procedure, avoid lipstick and make up around your mouth for 24 hours.
5. Use anaesthetic cream: I apply anaesthetic cream to my patient's lips for a minimum of 15 minutes before their lip enhancement. If you think that you are super-sensitive, it might be a good idea to purchase a tube of the anaesthetic cream and apply it before you come to your appointment. It costs under £10, you don't need a prescription to buy it, and it can be bought from most pharmacies. This is a golden nugget of advice guys.
6. Use Cling Film: Some of my clients have reported that if they put cling film OVER the anaesthetic cream it increases its pain relieving properties. It's worth a try, but it means you can't have a chat whilst the cream is on, so it might not be for everyone.
7. Friday is Lip-day: The ideal day to do your lips is on a Friday, especially if it's the first time you are having your lips augmented. The active ingredient in the filler, hyaluronic acid, works by drawing water to itself. This creates volume. As a result some swelling post-treatment is completely normal. If it's your first time having filler it would be difficult to predict HOW much swelling you will experience. Having lip enhancement on a Friday allows you to rest at home and then reappear at work on Monday when the swelling should have subsided.
This is a very important tip. Many clients come on the same day of a business meeting or date and don't won't anyone to know about their treatment. I can't guarantee that no-one will notice, especially in the first 24 hours. Almost all patients will have some swelling immediately after their procedure and it would be dishonest of any clinician to say otherwise.
My advice is to have your procedure at least a week before any major social event, allowing the swelling to subside. In the worse case scenario you also have enough time to dissolve the filler if you really can't stand the result.
8. Use Ice; Ice or any cooling pack applied immediately after the procedure will greatly reduce any bruising and swelling. I advise my clients to apply ice for 5-10 minutes immediately after the procedure and for 10 minutes every hour for a couple hours.
9. To massage or not to massage?: Your clinician should feel your lips at the end of your procedure and address any small lumps that are present. Massaging can induce more swelling or change the shape of the lips, so we only advise further massaging if you feel any lumps. Remember these can be dissolved so don't feel trapped with lumpy lips.
10. Have a lazy day: Vigorous exercise and facial massages increase blood flow to the face, and hence swelling. So if you are worried about this, ditch the gym and the facial for 24-48 hours after your lip enhancement. The same goes for alcohol which increases bruising and bleeding.
Saunas are also a no-no as the heat in the rooms can soften the filler and cause the shape of your lips to change. These should be avoided for one to two weeks post-procedure.