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7 things you need to know before plumping your lips

What you really need to know before you get lip injections

In my 17 years of injecting filler into patients' lips, I don't think there is a question — no matter how bizarre — that I haven't been asked, and it's usually the next day in a panicky phone call. If you are planning on bumping out that pout, here are a few tips to get you through it.

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1. Botox is not used to plump the lips

Dermal fillers are used for adding volume, correcting smokers lines and generally enhancing the lips.

2. Not all dermal fillers should be used in the lips

Those made of hyaluronic acid (such as Restylane, Juvéderm and Belotero) are the best dermal fillers to use in the lips. They are softer and can be melted or adjusted with a product called hyaluronidase if needed.

3. Not all lips are created equal

You may want your lips to look like Kylie Jenner's, but if your lips are very small and thin, this might not be possible. A better approach would be to enhance your lips to fit your face. Huge lips on someone with otherwise small facial features may not be the best look.

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4. It can be uncomfortable while being injected

That being said, millions of women and men (yes, men) have their lips bumped and live to tell about it — that is if they want you to know! Many injectors like myself use a numbing product on the lips prior to injecting. You can also use ice before, during and after.

5. They are going to swell

How much depends on a few things. Are you taking tons of selfies an hour after your appointment with your favorite new lipstick while doing the trout pout? Or possibly have a hot date with a lot of smooching planned? Then you will definitely have a lot of swelling! If you leave them alone (seriously — leave them alone) and gently apply ice every hour or so, you'll be fine. You can also take an over-the-counter antihistamine to help with the swelling. By the third to fifth day, the swelling should be all gone.

6. It isn't permanent

There are dermal fillers that are considered semi-permanent or permanent. You definitely do not want these injected into your lips! Semi-permanent and permanent fillers stimulate collagen growth that is highly unpredictable. At the very least, you'll end up with hard nodules that will need to be removed via surgery. The best to use is hyaluronic acid which lasts in the lips anywhere from four to 12 months, depending upon how much you have put in and how many times you've had them enhanced.

7. You get what you pay for

If you are having your lips injected at a "lip plumping party" — yes, there are such events — and the price is next to nothing, expect trouble! Dermal fillers (all of them) are expensive. Unfortunately, there are people willing to inject inappropriate products into unsuspecting people, all for the sake of making money. Remember the "butt lifts" that were done with Fix-A-Flat? Make sure you go to either a doctor's office or clinic to have your lips — and any other cosmetic procedure — done. You'll be thankful in the end!

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