Dermatologists Say Lip Filler Needs Its ‘Own PR Agency’ and Here’s What They Want Patients to Know

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Performing a good amount of neurotoxins and fillers at her practice, Brookline, MA dermatologist Papri Sarkar, MD currently has a very-specific PSA on her aesthetic agenda—and it makes a strong defense for the storied, nonsurgical option of the lip filler.

“Lip filler needs a PR agency,” she says. “Say ‘lip filler’ and most people think of lumpy, uneven, angular, and overfilled duck lips—but I’d argue that they’ve only ever noticed bad lip filler. The best-filled lips are the ones that you’d never catch. They look natural, healthy, soft and, most importantly, match the face that they’re blessing.”

And, just like faces, Dr. Sarkar points out that no two lips should look alike.

“But there are some things that make them stand out—symmetry, hydration and the ability to move naturally,” she stresses. “Go look at your neighborhood teenager with perfect lips. You’ll see that natural lips have texture!”

Also giving a big nod to natural, Davie, FL dermatologist Marianna Blyumin-Karasik, MD tags lip fillers as a treatment that can sometimes lead to a “shame-or-glory” type of response, depending on the outcome.

“Whether because of a practitioner’s poor technique, wrong choice of filler, client’s perplex desires for overdone appearance, display of status symbol or spousal pressure, etc., the results can be haunting—hence PR ‘ghostbusters’ may need to be called, as well as a certified injectable expert to help to dissolve or adjust the filler.

For more glorious results, I strongly recommend personalized, graceful and natural-looking results. Less is more and the slow-and-steady mottos win the race with lip fillers!”

“I think it is always best to take it slow,” agrees Louisville, KY, dermatologist Tami Buss Cassis, MD. “One syringe at a time. I have also found so many people like the doing a little Botox in the upper lip and that is all they need. Nobody looks younger or more beautiful if they have lips that look so unnatural.”

While Saddle Brook, NJ dermatologist Dr. Fredric Haberman doesn’t disagree with the above, he says his best recommendation for getting good-looking lips via fillers is to go to an expert injector who first understands how to work with the structure of the face.

“I always tell my patients that the types of filler I choose around the lips depends on the frame of the lips and the frame of the lips is made up of the nasolabial folds, the chin, the corners of the mouth, and the masseter, which is what gives the muscle the lift to face.

Patients with a more prominent nose and good structure around the lips can achieve better projection. In these cases, I choose to use Juvéderm Ultra. If the facial structure is thinner, I like to use Juvéderm Volbella. I have also used Restylane Refyne for someone who needs more structure or wants more volume to the lips.”

Plus, as Glenn Dale, MD dermatologist Valerie Callender, MD points out, in regards to the personalization route, no one ages at the exact same rate, and that also is in reference to the lips. “Most women of color have naturally full lips,” she says. “However, with age, the can consider getting lip filler to restore the lip volume that they used to have in their 30’s and 40’s.”

“When contemplating whether or not to do lip filler, as with any kind of aesthetic treatment, it is absolutely essential to consult with a knowledgeable, well-trained, experienced board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon and know one’s treatment options,” stresses Bloomfield Hills, MI dermatologist Linda C. Honet, MD. “After all, since there are now numerous dermal fillers available on the market and as many injection techniques, finding a cosmetic specialist who is well-versed and globally experienced in dermal fillers and lip injections is essential to having a successful experience and beautiful cosmetic result.

Choosing the right filler, deciding on the method by which it is done, and finding the experienced specialist to do them make all the difference in the cosmetic outcome. Although certainly every cosmetic specialist has her/his own style and technique, seeing their befores-and-afters, comparing one’s own expectations with the outcomes of their patients, and understanding the breadth of the specialist’s experience need to be carefully considered as well. Customizing the procedure to the patient’s desires and aesthetic goals are paramount to me when I’m consulting with a patient—but I also must respect and maintain the structural balance of the patient’s face when I assess and examine the patient. In addition, the patient should be open to listening to my professional opinions and suggestions.”

With this merging of exacting standards, expectations and doctor-patient aesthetic goals, Dr. Honet is quick to point out she’s never had a patient regret getting their lips filled.

“That’s how beautiful and gratifying revolumized lips can be. In fact, most of my patients come back for more—and they definitely have repeat performances to maintain their lip volume, hydration and definition that result from lip filler. Lip filler is one of my most favorite procedures to perform because it can be so incredibly and beautifully impactful for the patient.”

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