Do lip fillers hurt?
Article medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)
Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics
Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections. Read More
Are lip fillers painful?
Fuller lips are becoming increasingly popular, but many patients wonder do lip fillers hurt?
In short no, lip injections aren’t painful.
The procedure is generally pain-free. A topical numbing cream is applied to the injection sites prior to the procedure and reduces how much you feel.
If you have any concerns about pain and discomfort, you can discuss this with your practitioner prior to the treatment.
What are lip injections made of?
In Australia, there are several dermal filler brands our injecting practitioners can use. We’re not able to name these products due to Therapeutic Goods Administration rules.
Lip fillers are commonly made from hyaluronic acid, a substance that is found naturally within the body. Hyaluronic acid filler helps to absorb water and replaces natural volume loss.
What do lip fillers feel like?
After applying the numbing agent and waiting 30 minutes, the sensation around your lips will have reduced by at least 80 to 90%.
Dermal filler is done using a very fine needle.
Most patients have commented that they experienced slight pressure or a slight pinch as the needle pierces the lips. This is followed by a cold sensation as the hyaluronic acid is injected and spreads throughout the person’s lips.
How to minimise lip filler pain
When you’ve made the decision to get an augmentation, it’s important that you look and feel great. You also want to feel confident that you can still go to work and have a social life after the treatment without feeling self-conscious. It’s incredibly important to us that you have a positive experience with your treatment. We use all appropriate methods available to help minimise discomfort and pain.
The techniques we use during your procedure include:
- Ice – Pain and temperature sensation travel along the same nerve pathway. When we use ice on your lips and skin before the dermal injections, you will feel less pain.
- Local anaesthetic cream – Before your treatment, we can apply local anaesthetic cream to the injection site to help numb it.
- Inhaled anaesthetic gas – Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is commonly used during labour and dental procedures. The effect of the inhaled anaesthetic gases we use during your treatment tends to wear off quickly so you don’t have any lingering effects once it’s over.
- Combining local anaesthetic and lip fillers – Some come with local anaesthetic agents already built in while others can be mixed with a local anaesthetic. This will help you feel less stinging while the product is injected.
What should I expect when doing lip filler?
Your experienced injector will have a detailed discussion with you about your desired outcome. Using the latest techniques, we can help you maintain a fresh, youthful look that is authentically you. Then we will examine your medical history to ensure this treatment is completely safe to carry out for you.
One of our practitioners will consider the appropriate amount of filler needed to enhance your lips and balance out the areas that are concerning you. For example, if you have a small face, eyes and nose, smaller lips may be more suitable.
We then advise you on the treatment areas and types of fillers to use. This includes price, after care and possible side effects of your treatment.
How do I prepare for lip fillers
To reduce any side effects such as swelling, there are a number of recommendations on how to prepare for your appointment.
One week prior your appointment:
- Avoid blood thinners such as Aspirin and Ibuprofen
- Avoid supplements such as St. John’s Wort, Ginkgo Biloba, Primrose Oil, Ginseng, and Vitamin E.
Two days prior your appointment:
- Avoid topical products such as Retinoids and Glycolic Acid
- Avoid any hair removal, such as waxing, tweezing or bleaching, around the injection site
24 hours prior your appointment:
- Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages
- If you have previously experienced facial cold sores, there is a chance that the needle punctures could contribute to another eruption. Please let your nurse practitioner know if you’re prone to cold sores.
- Do not get dermal filler if you are breastfeeding or pregnant, have an allergy to any ingredients or suffer from any neurological disorders. Please discuss this with your doctor or nurse practitioner prior to the procedure.
During the lip filler procedure
The injection site will be thoroughly cleaned with medical grade cleaning solution and a topical cream will be applied for up to 30 minutes to minimise any discomfort. After the cream has numbed the lips, they will be cleaned again and the procedure will begin.
Your injector will focus on the areas that you would like to improve the most. Dermal filler can enhance the size of your lips, create better symmetry, definition and improve the overall shape.
After the treatment
After the treatment is complete, your injector will clean the area and apply ice if required, to help minimise any swelling.
You will be provided with aftercare instructions and your injector will schedule a follow up appointment to check on your progress, and assess whether more filler is needed to achieve your desired outcome.
How to care for your lips after filler
After you’ve had your filler treatment and admired the results, you should use an ice pack on your lips. This will reduce any likelihood of swelling. We also suggest you avoid strenuous exercise and UV exposure for at least 48 hours after your treatment. If your lips feel dry, we suggest you use a lip balm.
PCA Peptide Lip Therapy is an ideal hydrating treatment. The shea butter keeps your lips soft while the peptide stimulates collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines.
What will your lips look like after lip injections?
As many patients choose to enhance the body of their lips, you can expect added volume in the top and bottom lip, everting the inside of your lip out slightly. When the philtrum (the two lines that connect your upper lip to your nose) is enhanced, your upper lip will have more curve and shape so it appears more sensual.
Using dermal filler in the vermillion border (area between your skin and lip surface) we can define and enhance your lips. The effect of this treatment is similar to wearing a lip liner. The treatment can also soften and smooth vertical upper lip lines.
We can also help add volume to the corners of your mouth. During the ageing process this area loses volume, resulting in a downward turned mouth. Enhancing this area with dermal fillers will help your lips turn upwards so you appear happier and more youthful.
Another treatment area to consider is your cupid’s bow – the V shaped area in the centre of your upper lip. Enhancing this area will add plumpness and improve the overall shape.
While a lip enhancement can improve your lips and make your mouth fuller and more youthful looking, it won’t be able to change the shape of your lips entirely.
Lip fillers using cannulas minimise bruising and pain
Many patients have concerns about whether getting lip injections hurt. Our patients can be rest assured knowing that we have taken measures to minimise pain during the lip augmentation procedure.
Traditionally dermal fillers were injected using needles to pierce the skin and inject the substance into subcutaneous tissue (the deepest layer of the skin). Our practitioners prefer to use cannulas over needles as they give you less bruising and a shorter recovery period.
Our cannula technique has the following advantages:
- A needle can’t discern what it’s going through, and will pierce through anything. A round-ended cannula, allows your practitioner to feel each structure as it passes through. If resistance happens, an alternative pathway is found. This means you will experience much less bruising than a needle and can avoid damage to your veins and arteries.
- Cannulas are longer than needles, meaning your practitioner can fill in a number of areas on your face from one single entry point. This results in less bruising and trauma to your skin, with a better and smoother result.
How to get natural looking temporary lip fillers in Melbourne
If you’ve been wondering how lip augmentation can help restore volume to your lips, reduce wrinkles and redefine your natural lip line, we’d love to help you. At the Victorian Cosmetic Institute, our team of dedicated doctors and nurses can help you achieve the optimum lip shape. Click here to book a consultation or call our Customer Care Team on 1300 863 824.