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Treating ageing lips with filler

Can you thicken your lips as you age?

Treating ageing lips (and shrinking) with filler for volume augmentation can be done with a cannula, which means you do not have to have local anaesthetic cream on the lips before hand and it does not involve many injections. Generally cannula treatment is thought to be safer than direct needle injection, though the central upper lip may require a little needle supplementation.
Lips require to have good colour, adequate volume, lovely shape and be in harmony with the other facial features, yet avoiding looking overdone or overfilled.
The older patient is often told that they cannot have lip filler because they are too mature or old. However, they can have gentle delicate lip filler by cannula to give them a really natural look, refreshed and more in balance with the rest of their face. You can have very gentle enhancing lip filler to help the shape and provide a better lip structure and volume.
In older patients there are changes in the bone which alter the shape of the mid face and lower face. There is loss of bone, there is change in dentition and there are changes in the skin and the soft tissue. Any treatment of patients for lip augmentation has to be done extremely carefully because of the risk of blood vessel injury and necrosis or ischaemia. The other thing about treating ageing lips is we think of the lips as just being the Cupid’s bow, the coloured bit, but actually the whole lip extends a couple of centimetres above and around and below and the volume of that area also has to be considered. To me the lip is between the base of the nose, the nasolabial folds and the opening to the teeth, for the upper lip and the lower lip is between the opening to the teeth down across the red or pink part of the lip and down beneath the supposed lip by about a fingers breadth. It is the area that encloses the mouth and so there are two sides to it; there is the mucosal lining and there is the skin surface. It is like building up a wall which has 2 sides; an outside and an inside. Therefore any treatment with filler can often be felt by the patient on the inside by their teeth and their tongue because it is not directly supported on its under surface by bone, as the cheeks are, or the temples are, but only by muscle and mucosa.
Treating ageing lips with cannula certainly requires fewer entry points than needle treatment, and is considered a safer technique than needle due to its blunt tip. I do mainly cannula treatment, but some areas of the lips such as the Cupid’s bow are best done with needle. Proportionally a slightly fuller lower lip looks more attractive, but just lifting the upper lip to stop it looking thin and mean can change the appearance of a patient. Lip augmentation is becoming more popular in older patients both women and some men just to give more structure and shape and not to try and have big lips, but to maintain the balance between the lips and the rest of the face.


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