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Red or Dark Spots on the Lips After Lip Filler: Why You Have Them and What to Do About It

There is a reason why a dermatologist always says that wearing sunscreen is one of the best beauty secrets and it is because it prevents the formation of the unsightly signs of sun damage like freckles. Freckles that can be found on the upper lip and lower lip are harmless and they will not stop you from getting the lip fillers that you want. But sometimes, there are colored spots that are often red or dark that pop out. 

So what are the red or dark spots on the lips after lip fillers? When freckles appear darkened after a lip filler treatment, it’s rarely a serious complication and could be a sign of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation which is caused by the damage to the dermis during the injection. It’s normal and can be corrected with topical creams, laser treatment, chemical peel, and IPL therapy. 

Read More: How Do You Inject Small-Particle Hyaluronic Acid Dermal Fillers?

Discover Your Beauty Potential with Aesthetica

Aesthetica can assist you with all your beauty needs, helping you achieve your maximum beauty and aesthetic potential. Call or contact us today to learn more about our cosmetic services.

What Do Dark Spots Mean After Lip Injections?  

Dermal fillers are a popular cosmetic injectable for lip augmentation for plenty of good reasons: they’re convenient, minimally invasive, and require zero downtime. There are different dermal filler products such as Juvederm and Restylane which are considered safe and excellent for lip rejuvenation. 

Like with most cosmetic treatments, getting lip fillers come with potential risks and one of the possible uncommon effects of fillers are dark spots or freckle-like spots on the lips. Dark spots or the discoloration of your lips and freckles may be attributed to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Here is everything you will need to know about post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH: 

  • These indicate a pigmentation problem: Pigmentation is a skin condition that affects the color of your skin and freckles are a common type of skin pigmentation issue. During a lip injection procedure, the needle causes temporary damage to the skin which causes overproduction of melanin, resulting in hyperpigmentation and darkening the color of the freckles. 
  • These are different from scabs and scars: The dark spots caused by post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are usually flat discolorations on your skin unlike scab or acne scars which appear raised or bumpy. 
  • These are more common among people with darker skin tones: Individuals with dark skin type are said to be more prone to pigmentation issues since they already produce greater amounts of melanocyte skin cells to give their skin its color. When exposed to anything that could trigger an increase in melanin, they can experience hyperpigmentation problems.
  • These can also be caused by exposure to sunlight after treatment: After receiving lip injections, one of the most essential aftercare reminders is to wear sunscreen protection. While it won’t necessarily affect your dermal filler, sun exposure can irritate your skin and cause worsening of your freckles and sun spots. 
  • These can be remedied with other cosmetic procedures: Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation isn’t a serious side effect of lip injections and can be treated with cosmetic skin resurfacing treatments. 

If Not Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation, What Are These Red and Dark Spots? 

Red and dark spots after lip filler injections can also be a vascular lesion caused by bleeding beneath the skin surface. This may happen due to a poor injection technique where the needle hits small blood vessels which can lead to benign skin growths or telangiectasia (broken blood vessels) on the lips. 

Very rarely, these red spots could be a sign of a granuloma which is a complication that may occur due to the wrong placement of the fillers or an allergic reaction. Granulomas are foreign body reactions, appearing as lumps or bumps on the skin which are accompanied by redness and swelling. The best way to avoid this is to make sure that you get your lip fillers from experienced injectors who are trained in safe injection techniques. 

How to Treat These Dark Spots on Lips 

It’s best to consult with your cosmetic surgeon to get an accurate diagnosis for the dark spots and red spots that you see from a lip filler treatment. If it is confirmed to be a symptom of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, these are some of the best treatments to minimize its appearance: 

1. Topical Creams 

Skin care products and brightening topical creams can help lighten the patches of skin discoloration and control the overproduction of melanin in your face and lips. 

The best topical treatments are those that contain tretinoin, glycolic acid, hydroquinone, kojic acid, azelaic acid, niacinamide, and vitamin C. These active ingredients help address hyperpigmentation by fading brown spots and can also improve skin tone and complexion. These topical skin products can be bought over-the-counter or by prescription from your dermatologist. 

2. Laser Treatment 

Lasers are a good treatment choice for skin resurfacing and treating areas of sun damage and pigmentation. Laser therapy works to get rid of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation by sending pulses of laser energy to target the melanin and use heat to destroy them. 

By penetrating and heating the dermal layers, they’re also exfoliating your dead skin cells and replenishing your body’s collagen supply to remove pigmented areas and restore better skin texture and complexion. There are different lasers that can be used depending on your skin condition and skin type. Some of the best devices for pigmentation and freckle removal laser treatment are the YAG laser and BBL or broadband light treatment.

3. Chemical Peel 

You can also try chemical lip peels for lightening the dark spots or hyperpigmentation issues on your lips. What a lip peel essentially does is it exfoliates and gently removes the outer layer of damaged skin on the lips. It is great for treating dry skin and chapped lips, as well as removing upper lip wrinkles and vertical lip lines. 

One of the best peels for lip augmentation uses glycolic acid which isn’t as harsh as other chemical solutions. It’s a mild and gentle exfoliant that will not irritate your skin. If you want to get a chemical peel to treat your dark spots after the filler procedure, it is best to wait for two weeks before getting the peel treatment. 

4. IPL Treatment 

IPL, or intense pulsed light treatment, is another advanced skin treatment that uses light technology. It’s an effective and minimally invasive procedure for skin pigmentation, age spots,  liver spots, and freckles. IPL works by heating your pigmented skin cells by using light energy and when the pigments are destroyed, you can naturally see the brown spots and dark spots fading away. 

IPL therapy can be safely administered in multiple areas of the face including the upper lip so you can get them to treat the lip freckles and red spots after fillers. Similar to chemical peels, you should get IPL treatments after several weeks post-filler injection. 

5. Hyaluronidase

If you don’t like the results of your dermal filler, a hyaluronidase injection can help dissolve the filler gel material to remove them from your lips. Hyaluronidase is a special enzyme that can break down hyaluronic acid dermal fillers. This treatment especially works well if you notice lumps, vascular issues, infection, or prolonged swelling in your lips. It is a safe injection and will naturally return your lips to their original shape. 

Learn More: Autologous Wrinkle Fillers: How Much Do They Cost and How Long Do They Last?

Other Lip Filler Side Effects You Need to Know 

Although the dermal filler procedure for lip augmentation is much less invasive than other alternatives, there are still side effects to getting injections and they typically only last for several days before resolving on their own. The common side effects of lip fillers are: 

  • Swelling, bruising, and tenderness 
  • Pain at the injection site
  • Redness 
  • Temporary itching, rashes, or pimple-like skin eruptions  
  • Lumpiness, fullness, or feeling the filler material underneath the skin 

Why Do Dark Spots or Freckles Show on the Lips  

Freckles, or melanotic macules, are generally harmless beauty marks that show as patches of dark brown spots across your skin. They’re most likely to develop on areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun such as the face, cheeks, lips, and even arms and shoulders. 

One of the reasons why freckles form on the lips is because it has thin and very sensitive skin. The lips are one of the most exposed areas to the sun and this sun damage can result in the production of extra melanin in the skin, causing visible freckles and dark spots on your upper  and lower lips. Here are other possible reasons why you have dark spot or freckled lips: 

  • Genetics - there are two kinds of melanin namely eumelanin (common in dark skinned individuals) and pheomelanin (for people with light skin color). It is said that eumelanin is the type that protects against the sun while pheomelanin offers little protection and makes it more likely to develop freckles. 
  • Dehydration 
  • Vitamin deficiency 
  • Repetitive lip licking or sucking 
  • Excessive cigarette smoking 

Should You Be Concerned About Having Freckles? 

Lip freckles aren’t always a cause for concern since they’re a normal reaction to sun exposure. However, skin cancer is one of the risk factors for having freckles and it’s important to get checked by your doctor if you notice that your spots are: 

  • The shape and size of your freckles are asymmetrical 
  • You notice some bumps along the outer edges of its shape 
  • You notice changes in the color and texture of your freckles 

Lip freckles aren’t always a cause for concern since they’re a normal reaction to sun exposure. However, skin cancer is one of the risk factors for having freckles and it’s important to get checked by your doctor if you notice that your spots are: 

  • The shape and size of your freckles are asymmetrical 
  • You notice some bumps along the outer edges of its shape 
  • You notice changes in the color and texture of your freckles 

In some cases, freckles or dark spots on your lips can be mistaken for other skin conditions: 

  • Fordyce spots or angiokeratoma of Fordyce - these are spots of oil glands and they can appear as white or yellowish bumps on the outer corners of your lips. 
  • Seborrheic keratosis - Seborrheic keratosis refers to the non-cancerous skin growths or benign growths that look slightly raised. It’s a common skin lesion that can show on the upper lip and while harmless, it’s best to get them treated by a medical doctor. 
  • Perioral dermatitis - this is a condition characterized by rashes, redness, or tiny acne-like bumps that can form around the mouth and lips. 
  • Actinic keratosis - this is another skin lesion caused by sun damage and it often shows as rough patches commonly found on the face and lips.

Best Tips for Lip Filler Aftercare  

Recovery after lip filler injections should be minimal and most side effects are easily manageable by following these aftercare instructions: 

  • Apply a cold compress or ice pack to your lips to control post-treatment swelling and bruising.
  • Avoid taking blood thinners or any drugs that may aggravate bruising and interfere with your healing.  
  • Try to avoid touching or massaging your lips after the injection so you won’t accidentally displace the filler material.  
  • Don’t wear makeup or lip products like lip balm for the first 24 hours after the injection.   
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated since this can help your body recover from the procedure.

Learn More: How Long Do You Have to Wait After Fillers And Botox to Get Dermaplane Hair Removal?

Achieve Fuller Lips With Safe Lip Injection Treatments at Aesthetica 

woman receiving an injection of a dermal fillers in her lips

When it comes to cosmetic injectables for lip enhancement, dermal fillers are one of the best treatment options. These are safe for everyone, with only little downtime. If you’re going for supple and plump lips while maintaining a natural look, dermal fillers are definitely the way to go. 

At Aesthetica, we can help you achieve your beauty goals with our advanced skin treatments and cosmetic services. All our procedures are done by expert doctors and staff to guarantee the best possible results. Explore your treatment options by visiting our website or by contacting us.

Discover Your Beauty Potential with Aesthetica

Aesthetica can assist you with all your beauty needs, helping you achieve your maximum beauty and aesthetic potential. Call or contact us today to learn more about our cosmetic services.

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