“The Way to a More Beautiful Pout”
Your lips are one of the most sensitive parts of your bodies. A large portion of the sensory brain is dedicated to your lips. Your lips sense any foreign item (usually food) passing into your mouth, on its way to the inside of your body. This is defense mechanism to keep unwanted items out of your body. This heightened sensory awareness also explains why kissing is so enjoyable! Thank goodness!
Visually the lips are considered a sign of health and sensuality. Youthful lips are full with smooth (vermillion) borders. In today’s culture they are also considered sensual and a part of one’s sex appeal. We have all heard the phrase “Kissable Lips”!
Our preoccupation with the “Kissable Lips” is demonstrated by the large market demand for lipstick. Even during recessions, lipstick sales soar.
The natural contour of a youthful lip has several components.
1. Plump volume, larger in the middle and tapering to the corners of the mouth.
2. The lower lip volume should be up to 50% greater than the upper lip.
3. A distinct vermillion border should be present with smooth skin around the lips.
4. The middle of the upper lip border is a concave curve aptly named ‘Cupid’s Bow’.
Item #2 above is very important. In order to avoid the “fish lips” look, one must augment the lower lip from 33-50% greater than the upper lip. If the upper lip is augmented more than the lower lip the “Trout Pout” is produced. This is not a natural look.
As one ages the lips lose volume and borders become less distinct. Only up to a point can lipstick hide these changes.
Women turn to injectable fillers and implants to reclaim a more youthful look.
Some of the more popular fillers are hyaluronic gels under the brand names Restylane and Juvederm. The advantages of these fillers are that they are a natural biologic material that are soft, produce smooth contour improvements and have no downtime. These fillers now have local anesthesia mixed within the gel so a skilled injector can make a patient very comfortable with very simple maneuvers.
1. Ice to the lips
2. Gentle, slow injection technique
3. The use of very tiny needles that should be changed frequently.
The downside of hyaluronic gel fillers are that they are temporary lasting up to a year. Bruising can be a nuisance. Patients should avoid blood thinning medications such as aspirin, fish oil, NSAIDs, etc. for one week prior to the procedure.
Are lip implants right for me?
Some women want a more long lasting solution to deflated lips. In the past the materials used were not ideal. Now there is a firm gummy like silicone lip implant that has several improvements.
1. It is soft and natural feeling.
2. Is a tapered implant that is thicker in the middle creating a natural look.
3. It can be placed in both the upper and lower lips under local anesthesia.
4. This implant does not react to surrounding tissues like implants of the past. Therefore if the patient no longer wants these implants it is straightforward to remove.
So now there are several good options for our patients to keep maintain their youthful “Kissable Lips”!
In Beauty and Health,