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

Plump and beautiful lips have always been the desired cosmetic goal for both old and young individuals. For the past years, non-surgical lip augmentation with dermal filler injectables has made that dream possible for many patients. Small-gel particle hyaluronic acid filler is the most popular lip injection today and the quality of its results is dependent on the practitioner’s skill and the injection technique used during the cosmetic procedure. 

So what is the ideal technique for placing small particle hyaluronic acid injectable filler for lip enhancement? Using cannula for facial filler and lip filler injections is a much safer technique that minimizes the risk of bruising and swelling. It also provides the injector more flexibility, control, and accuracy during the procedure. There are also different methods into where and how the injector will place the lip filler into specific injection sites depending on your desired results. 

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

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.

Understanding Lip Fillers: Why People Need It and Where It’s Injected  

Achieving lip fullness is a beauty trend that will never go away. Many celebrities and individuals view having full and luscious lips as a standard of youthful appearance. For this reason, the lips or the perioral region is one of the common treatment areas for facial rejuvenation with dermal fillers. 

Filler injections help improve the overall appearance and condition of the lips that have deteriorated over time. Here are some of the reasons why your lips change as you age: 

  • Loss of collagen and facial volume: The most common sign of aging lips is loss of shape and fullness. In your mid-20s and early 30s, your body naturally begins to decrease its collagen production which makes the skin on your lips appear thin and flat. 
  • Years of facial expression and lip movement: Lips are also involved in facial expressions and constantly doing facial movements can affect the shape of your lips. For example, puckering your lips can wear out your lip muscles and lead to the formation of upper perioral rhytids (wrinkles) and vertical lip lines. 
  • Smoking: Cigarettes contain chemicals that are harmful to your skin and contribute to the breakdown of collagen and elastin, resulting in perioral rhytides and lip lines. It can also affect the melanin in your lips and lead to uneven pigmentation that makes your lips look dark and unhealthy. 
  • Sun exposure: Sun damage can make your upper lip and lower lip appear dry, chapped, and wrinkled. This happens because the UV rays can damage your collagen and skin cells and cause photoaging.

Overview of the Lip Anatomy for Lip Fillers 

The lips are somewhat a complex facial structure and it’s important to have an understanding of its anatomy to set patient expectations about where the lip fillers will be actually placed. Here is an overview of the different parts of the perioral region: 

  • Vermillion: this is the colored surface of the upper lip and lower lip. This is the white roll that gives the lips its shape and forms the border where the lip meets the skin around the mouth. 
  • Vermillion border: the lining at the edge or corners of the lips is called the vermillion border. It visibly separates the lips from the surrounding skin and highlights the color difference between the two. This is where you usually put on your lip liner. 
  • Philtrum: these are two vertical column structures found underneath the nose that form a midline that’s connected to your upper lip.  
  • Cupid’s bow: the Cupid’s bow is an important structure for lip lifts and lip fillers. This is the curved area sitting at the middle of your upper lip border. 
  • Oral commissures: this refers to the outer perioral areas where the upper lip and lower lip connect with the mouth. This is where the first signs of marionette lines appear.
  • Nasolabial fold: this is an indentation of the perioral region that extends from your nose to the corners of your lips and mouth. Due to aging, this area is prone to sagging and you may develop the so-called nasolabial folds or wrinkles. 

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

Different Lip Injections Techniques Using Hyaluronic Acid Filler

The procedure for injection of hyaluronic acid lip fillers typically involves placing the gel material on the upper lip. The reason for this is that most signs of volume loss, lip thinning, and lip lines are obvious on the upper perioral region. This is also often where the drooping corners of the mouth and asymmetrical lip contours start to develop. 

Before any lip injection procedure, you will be asked to come in for a consultation and assessment of your desired treatment areas. Your cosmetic surgeon will walk you through your treatment plan and discuss where they will be placing the fillers. On the day of the procedure, there are two lip injection technique options that may use: 

Needle injection Cannula injection
A traditional way to inject cosmetic fillers for facial and lip augmentation A newer, FDA-approved method for soft tissue fillers 
Needles have a sharp tip point that will penetrate the skin Cannulas are injection devices with a blunt tip needle 
More likely to cause bruising and swelling after the treatment Less risky for lip filler patients and more convenient injection technique for providers 

Needles for Lip Injections 

Traditionally, cosmetic practitioners use needles for lip filler injections. It’s widely available and some dermal filler product packages already come with needles as the suggested method for injecting the material. But with the cannula technique on the rise, the use of needles for lip filler application has been received with several disadvantages. Here are some of the reasons why needles are less being used for lip injections today:

  • Poor needle injection technique may lead to severe bruising and bleeding: If your provider isn’t accurate with their injection, they may accidentally pierce a blood vessel as they inject your skin. This can cause more internal bleeding which can result in bruising and inflammation that may take time to heal. 
  • More painful during the procedure: Although lip filler products today are injected with lidocaine, you can still feel pain during the injections. The sharp points of the needle will pierce through the tissues which can send mild painful sensations to the patient during the treatment. 
  • Riskier under the hands of an inexperienced injector: Needles don’t offer as much control and flexibility compared to cannula injections. A provider must be precise with their injections to avoid accidentally hitting a blood vessel and risking serious complications. 

Cannulas for Lip Injections 

Cannulas are blunt-tipped injection devices that are a great alternative for needles. In this lip injection technique, a needle is simply used to create an entry point on the lips for the cannula and they’ll use it to place the fillers beneath the skin. The cannula technique is being used by many med spas and aesthetic clinics today because it provides lip filler effectiveness without the usual risks from needles. Here are some of the advantages of using a cannula for hyaluronic acid filler injection: 

  • Fewer risks for post-injection bruising and bleeding: Cannulas won’t directly puncture any veins or tissues in the skin so it’s less likely to cause trauma to the skin and will reduce the possibility of bruising and bleeding after the injections. 
  • Fewer injections for the patient: After the needle has opened an entry site for the cannula, you won’t need any more injections or punctures. 
  • Comfortable lip filler procedure: Cannulas are great for those with low pain tolerance levels since they’re not as painful and won’t cause as much injection site pain and soreness compared to sharp needles. 
  • Offers more flexibility for your injector: Cannulas are longer than needles so it’s easier for the provider to control them and handle the direction where they’re placing the fillers. It also allows your injector to reach more areas in the skin. 
  • Provides greater accuracy for lip injections: The lips have a small area for injections so it requires precision from your injector. A cannula allows your provider to deliver the fillers accurately in the perioral areas for lip enhancement. 

Common Lip Injection Sites, Based On Your Desired Outcomes 

Lip injection technique also encompasses the treatment sites where your provider will place the filler products, and this can vary depending on your personal cosmetic goals. Here are the usual lip injection approaches for different lip augmentation goals: 

1. For Contouring and Reshaping the Upper Lip Borders

To enhance and bring out the borders of your upper lip, this could require lip filler injections directly to the vermillion or body of the lip. This will improve the shape and fullness of your lips which will make your lip contours more defined. Your provider can also choose to place injections to the lip borders to make them pop out more. 

2. For Lip Fullness Augmentation 

Restoring lip volume and fullness can be achieved with injections of the dermal filler into the vermillion of the lip. Your provider will carefully mark areas surrounding the vermillion border where they will insert the cannula and slowly inject the HA filler into the lips. This is often done in a linear retrograde injection approach where the needle is withdrawn while placing the lip filler. 

3. For Eliminating Upper Lip Wrinkles and Vertical Lip Lines

If you have mild to deep wrinkles on the perioral region, your provider may inject the fillers directly to vermillion to smooth them away. As your lips regain their shape and volume, the texture and surface of your lips will get evened out, resulting in the elimination of lip wrinkles and lines.   

Which Hyaluronic Acid Fillers Are Commonly Used for Lip Injection? 

There are many possible options for dermal fillers for lip injections but the most common type is the hyaluronic acid filler. Most hyaluronic acid fillers contain small-gel particles which are perfect for restoring shape, volume, and definition to the delicate areas of the lips. These temporary lip fillers are generally safe and provide great support to make your lips look youthful again. 

Here are some of the popularly used dermal fillers for lip injections: 

1. Juvederm

The Juvederm brand is a family of hyaluronic acid dermal fillers that’s widely used for cosmetic treatments today. These filler products are excellent at treating multiple signs of facial wrinkles and age-related volume loss and are popularly injected for cheek augmentation, wrinkle correction, and lip enhancement. They have two specific filler products that are specially formulated for lip augmentation:

  • Juvederm Ultra XC: Juvederm Ultra XC is a small-particle hyaluronic acid dermal filler. Its formulation is ideal for treating perioral lines and restoring lip volume. It’s also used for correcting nasolabial folds and improving cheek fullness. 
  • Juvederm Volbella XC: Juvederm Volbella XC is another hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler that has small particle size and they’re also a great option for cosmetic lip enhancement. It’s placed superficially beneath your lips to provide subtle improvement to your lip shape and erase visible lines and wrinkles.

2. Restylane 

Restylane dermal fillers are another type of HA fillers used for enhancing the lips, cheeks, and other parts of the face that are wrinkled and aging. In general, what differentiates Restylane is that it has a thicker hyaluronic acid gel consistency compared to Juvederm. Its composition makes Restylane more effective at staying at the injection site and providing lasting results for severe wrinkles and sagging skin. 

Restylane Silk is the specific filler product that’s designed for injection in the lip area. It’s a small gel particle hyaluronic acid filler that helps get rid of lines and wrinkles in the lips. It can also be used to achieve lip augmentation and provide smoother, plump, and natural-looking lips. 

How Safe Are Lip Filler Injections? 

Although lip filler injections are safe and non-invasive procedures, you may experience some post-treatment reactions but most of them are minor side effects and can be easily managed. Here are some of the possible side effects of getting lip filler procedure: 

  • Injection site pain
  • Mild discomfort  
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • Redness 
  • Lumps or bumps - this can be characterized as a feeling of fullness from the filler material which will eventually go away in a few days post-treatment
  • Temporary numbness - can be a reaction as the numbing agent wears off 

Some side effects like swelling, inflammation, and bruising can be remedied with an application of an ice pack or a cold compress. Putting on topical creams like Arnica gel can also help reduce bruising from the injections. As much as possible, you should also take it easy after the lip injections and avoid strenuous exercise and activities to avoid encouraging further bruising. 

Get Your Lip Filler Treatments From Expert Lip Injectors at Aesthetica 

woman consulting with doctor about beauty treatment with dermal fillers

Lip augmentation is a simple and safe procedure but its success relies greatly on the injection technique and skill of your cosmetic injector. You can trust that our staff and doctors at Aesthetica are highly trained and experienced in performing effective dermal filler treatments. 

As a premier med spa for anti-aging and facial rejuvenation treatments, we make sure that our team is equipped with the latest techniques in cosmetic procedures and filler injections. All our treatments are done inside state-of-the-art facilities and technologies to assure a comfortable and pleasant experience. Know more about our cosmetic services and products via our website or book an appointment to have your one-on-one consultation with one of our specialists.

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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