Dermal filler can be used to change the shape of the lips but we have to be mindful that lips come in all shapes and sizes and some lips are easier to treat than others. In this short article we will discuss which lips are easier or more difficult to treat and how you can use this to set expectations.
The image below is a stock image of a beautiful lip. She has a beautiful upper to lower lip ratio (1:1.6 upper to lower lip size), a well defined lip border (the border between the red of the lip and the skin) and great volume in both the upper and lower lip. Her lips look natural without the ‘filler look’. If we trace a line around the upper lip we can see that there are smooth curves in the top and bottom borders of the upper and lip. It is easy to place small amounts of filler in this patient to enhance her already beautiful shape and provide more volume. If she came to the clinic, however, we would probably not treat her as her lips are pretty perfect as they are.
The patient below has a more difficult lip shape to treat. She has a good upper to lower lip ratio but the lips are less full at the sides and the mouth is narrow. If we trace the outline of the upper lip we can see that the borders of the upper lip are uneven. Filling this patient’s lip evenly would increase the volume but wouldn’t address the shape of the lip. We want to create smooth curves in lines surrounding the top and bottom lip and this means placing different amounts of filler in each area of the upper lip – not easy.
The image below shows another patient that I would personally find fairly hard to treat. She has great lower lip volume already but a thinner upper lip with an ‘M’ shape to the upper lip. To enhance this patient’s lips we would have to increase the upper lip volume to balance the upper and lower lip size. The lower lip does not need any treatment. Treating the upper lip alone could reduce undulations of the surface of the upper lip giving the appearance of having had dermal fillers. Using filler to reduce the ‘M’ shape of the upper lip is difficult and may take a couple of treatments.
Which lip shapes are easy to treat with dermal fillers?
All of the images below are stock images of beautiful smiles / lips. Tracing the borders of the upper lip shows smooth curves, even in the final image which is a patient in her 50s. All 3 patients have a good upper to lower lip ratio and they are all easy to treat with filler as we don’t need to correct their lip shape.
What does this mean for me?
We have to set expectations for any patient coming to see us for advice and treatment. If you have a difficult lip shape it is going to be harder for us to treat your lips with filler and may need a review appointment to touch up the lips. We are unlikely to be able to change your lips to the perfect lip but by being careful, addressing lip ratio and using small amounts of filler to correct any un-even shapes we can beautify any lip type 🙂