Thursday, October 21, 2021

How Long Do Lip Fillers Last? Best Brands, Tips and Other Questions

  • Lip fillers are temporary treatments that last for several months
  • These fillers effectively plump and define lips, and provide a youthful appearance
  • Repeat treatments are required to maintain results
  • A healthy lifestyle can contribute toward longer-lasting results

Lip fillers are minimally invasive injectable cosmetic treatments that add volume and definition to thin lips, and address lip lines and wrinkles for a rejuvenated look. Unlike surgical augmentation, lip fillers are temporary with effects fading away after several months. That said, there are some factors that can affect how long lip fillers last.

How Long Do Lip Fillers Last? 

How long fillers last depends on the filler used and your aesthetic goals.

Hyaluronic acid injectable lip fillers are natural compounds that are commonly used to add fullness to the lips. Once injected, the acid both attracts and binds to water in the surrounding tissue, which serves to lift and plump the skin.

These fillers typically last between six and nine months as the filler gradually breaks down and is absorbed by the body.

Collagen is another type of filler that is used less frequently due to side effects and allergic reactions. These fillers last approximately three months before the body degrades the material.

When used to shape and define the edges of the lips, smaller amounts of filler which may result in the filler degrading at a faster rate. 

Do lip fillers last longer the first time you undergo the procedure?

No, the filler material is absorbed by the body at the same rate, whether the treatment is a first or subsequent one. 

Which Lip Fillers Last the Longest?

Hyaluronic acid injectable lip fillers are the current industry standard when looking at longevity, effectiveness and safety. These fillers can produce results that last between six to nine months, and in some cases, can last up to twelve months.

Juvederm and Restylane are the leading hyaluronic acid-based filler brands approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They have comparable longevity.

Does longer-lasting mean better?

No, long-lasting results do not necessarily mean better outcomes. Longevity is not the only factor in choosing a lip filler; texture, natural look and safety must also be considered.

As an example, polyalkylimide is a biocompatible material that may be used as a dermal filler and is considered semipermanent. However, the unpredictable degradation process makes it a poor choice as a lip filler.

Other lip augmentation options such as semipermanent fat transfers and permanent lip implants are significantly more invasive. As such, they are associated with a higher risk of complications. 

How Much Do Lip Injections Cost?

Most dermal fillers are available in vials or syringes of 1 mL each. You can expect to pay about $650–$700 per syringe of Juvederm or Restylane.

The final cost depends on how much filler is used, plus any applicable facility or physician fees. Most people require 1–2 vials of hyaluronic acid filler to achieve optimal lip filling results. Less common lip filler options such as collagen cost about $400–$800 per treatment.

Do Lip Fillers Last Longer in Some People?

As people may differ in how quickly their bodies metabolize and degrade hyaluronic acid fillers, it is possible that results can last longer for some; however, studies have not yet tested this theory.

How Can You Make Lip Fillers Last Longer?

Several lifestyle factors can influence how long lip fillers last in some people. Generally, these factors correlate with overall health: results tend to last longer in people who maintain a healthier lifestyle. These factors include:

  • Hydration: As hyaluronic acid works by binding to water, maintaining good hydration will help support the effects of the filler 
  • Physical activity: Maintaining a moderate level of physical activity contributes to better overall skin health and longer-lasting results; contrarily, excessive exercise can result in faster absorption
  • Skin care: People who maintain good skin hygiene tend to have healthier skin; clean and moisturized skin can contribute to longer-lasting results
  • Stress: Higher levels of stress impacts healthy skin and as a consequence, results in a shorter duration of filler effects

What not to do after lip injections

After receiving lip filler injections, you should not massage the area, as this may contribute to filler migration. You may use ice packs or cold compresses to reduce the swelling.

You should avoid excessive sun exposure and if you are outdoors, apply sunscreen. The sun can cause cold sores in and around the injection sites. 

Although moderate physical exercise can help keep your skin healthier in the long term, excessive exercise—particularly in the immediate post-treatment period—can speed up the rate of filler break down.

How Often Can You Get Lip Fillers?

For a consistent look, repeat lip filler treatments are generally best had before the results of the previous treatment have completely worn off. For example, if your results are expected to wear off after nine months, you could repeat the treatment after seven to eight months to maintain your appearance.

There are no hard and fast rules on how many repeat lip filler treatments you can receive. Looking at safety, in the short term, most common side effects are mild and self-limited. More serious complications such as infections and tissue damage are rare.

However, some studies suggest that hyaluronic acid injections may be associated with a slightly increased long-term risk of inflammatory reactions. Studies indicate that late-onset inflammatory reactions can occur 2 months to 1 year after the last injection. This may be a reaction to the filler itself or to the manufacturing process. 

Do Lip Fillers Permanently Change the Shape of Your Lips?

No, lip fillers do not permanently alter the shape of lips. As hyaluronic acid is completely biodegradable, the body slowly absorbs the entire volume that was injected, leaving no residual effects.

In the event you are dissatisfied with the results of your procedure, you can receive hyaluronidase injections to reverse it. Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that can break down hyaluronic acid and remove its effects.

How Do You Prepare for a Lip Injection Procedure?

To ensure a successful outcome, it is of utmost importance to pick the right provider. You should choose a qualified, board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist whose sense of aesthetics aligns with yours. Ask if they can share before and after pictures of their previous patients who had lip injection procedures.

Let your physician know if you have any medical conditions or take medications. This includes over-the-counter products such as aspirin or ibuprofen, which are blood thinners and may increase the risk of bleeding.

You should avoid vigorous exercise for 48 hours before the procedure. Maintain hydration and drink plenty of water beforehand for best results and to support the healing process. After the procedure, avoid direct sun exposure for 48 hours and refrain from touching or massaging your lips. 

Takeaway  

Hyaluronic acid lip fillers are widely used to plump and define thin lips, and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles in the lip area. Unlike collagen fillers, these rarely cause allergic reactions as hyaluronic acid is naturally present throughout the body.

Juvederm and Restylane are the most popular hyaluronic acid-based filler brands and usually last between six and nine months before being completely absorbed by the body.  

Repeat treatments are required to maintain results. Adequate hydration, moderate exercise and maintaining good skin hygiene can help keep your skin healthier and make your results last longer.

Sources

  • Geronemus, Roy G. MD; Bank, David E. MD, FAAD; Hardas, Bhushan MD, MBA; Shamban, Ava MD; Weichman, Barry M. PhD; Murphy, Diane K. MBA. (2017) Safety and Effectiveness of VYC-15L, a Hyaluronic Acid Filler for Lip and Perioral Enhancement: One-Year Results From a Randomized, Controlled Study. Dermatologic Surgery: March 2017 – Volume 43 – Issue 3 – p 396–404. doi:10.1097/DSS.0000000000001035
  • Haneke E. Managing Complications of Fillers: Rare and Not-So-Rare. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2015;8(4):198-210. doi:10.4103/0974-2077.172191
  • Schelke LW, Velthuis PJ, van Dijk MR. Polyalkylimide: A Nonstable Filler Over Time. Dermatol Surg. 2018 Apr;44(4):563-567. doi:10.1097/DSS.0000000000001388
  • Brody, H. J. (2001), Complications of Expanded Polytetrafluoroethylene (e‐PTFE) Facial Implant. Dermatologic Surgery, 27: 792-794. doi:10.1046/j.1524-4725.2001.01014.x
  • Glogau, R. G., Bank, D. , Brandt, F. , Cox, S. E., Donofrio, L. , Dover, J. , Grekin, S. , Lawrence, I. , Lin, X. , Nestor, M. , Shamban, A. , Stewart, D. , Weiss, R. , Axford‐Gatley, R. A., Theisen, M. J. and Smith, S. (2012), A Randomized, Evaluator‐Blinded, Controlled Study of the Effectiveness and Safety of Small Gel Particle Hyaluronic Acid for Lip Augmentation. Dermatol Surg, 38: 1180-1192. doi:10.1111/j.1524-4725.2012.02473.x
  • Bhojani-Lynch T. Late-Onset Inflammatory Response to Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Fillers. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2017;5(12):e1532. Published 2017 Dec 22. doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000001532
  • Luthra A. Shaping Lips with Fillers. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2015;8(3):139-142. doi:10.4103/0974-2077.167269

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