Skin Deep

How to avoid bad lip fillers and dreaded ‘duck lips’

Are you thinking of trying lip fillers for the first time? Maybe you’d like to achieve a fuller, poutier look just in time for Valentine’s Day. If so, keep these tips in mind to help ensure beautiful results and avoid complications.

Dr. Leslie Baumann.jpg
Dr. Leslie Baumann

Choose a reputable provider

The most important step before getting any type of injectable filler is to do your research and choose a reputable, licensed, and experienced provider. There are many illegal injectors out there, especially here in Miami. Your safest bet is to choose an injector who works under a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

Understand lip shape and anatomy

Understanding some basic lip shapes and anatomy can help you explain to your injector what you’d like your lips to look like after fillers. A few of the basic terms to know are:

Cupid’s bow. The double curve of your upper lip, which resembles the bow of Cupid, the Roman god of love.

Philtrum. Made up of two philtral columns on either side of the “dip” of your Cupid’s bow, and a philtral dimple, which is the indentation beneath the tip of your nose.

Vermilion border. Your lip line.

Tubercles. Natural “bumps” on the surface of your lips. You have three on the top and two on the bottom.

Choose hyaluronic acid fillers

I recommend hyaluronic acid fillers because they can be dissolved with an enzyme called hyaluronidase if you are unhappy with your results for any reason. Other types of fillers cannot be dissolved, so you’ll have to wait until they break down on their own, which can take months. Permanent fillers should be avoided altogether.

Have realistic expectations

One of the biggest concerns about lip fillers is ending up with “duck lips.” Avoid this dreaded look by choosing a skilled injector with an artistic eye and having realistic expectations for your final results. Fillers can help you achieve a fuller pout and create subtle changes to your lip shape, within reason. Overfilling the lips will result in a fake look.

Schedule your appointment two weeks before a big event

Fillers are often described as “lunchtime procedures” because they don’t take very long to administer. However, this description is not accurate because you won’t necessarily see your final result immediately. It can take up to two weeks for the filler to settle into place and for any swelling or bruising to go down. Make sure you schedule your appointment at least two weeks before an important event so you’re not stuck with swollen or lumpy lips.

Bottom line

Lip fillers can help you get that perfect pout you’re looking for, but it is important that you work with a licensed injector and keep these tips in mind throughout the process.

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