Underlying alterations in a non-negligible percentage of cases, such as the teeth’ misalignment or the disproportion between the maxilla and the mandible, are also responsible for chewing problems.
The following article explains the pros and cons of the most common procedures performed for lip augmentation, but first, it is necessary to know some basic notions about proportionate lips.
Characteristics of proportionate Lip Augmentation
- There should be a volume ratio between the upper and lower lips: the upper lip should measure approximately 40% of the lips’ height, and the lower lip the remaining 60%.
- The lips’ total width should be greater than that of the nose and less than the pupils’ distance.
- Assuming proper tooth placement, a smile is considered pretty when only one millimetre of gum is visible at most when smiling. If the upper gum is exposed more, it is called a gummy smile.
- The relationship between the lower lip and the chin: the existence of depression of approximately 4 mm between the two is considered attractive.
- The lips are more attractive if, in addition to being proportionate, they are well defined both on the border between the vermilion and the skin and on the filtrum (the two vertical lines that descend from the nose) and on the cupid’s bow (the edge of the lip superior among the philtrum).
Taking these principles into account, it is necessary to identify each specific case’s problem to improve the lips’ appearance and achieve better facial harmony.
Types of fillers for Lip Augmentation
- As for temporary fillers: hyaluronic acid is a simple, affordable method with very few complications. It is injected into the lips, and its great advantage and at the same time inconvenient is its temporary nature: the effect disappears between 6 and 12 months after application. It is the ideal procedure if you want to “try” a lip augmentation or look for a drug with more than proven safety.
- Other fillers are permanent, which provides greater comfort to patients who want a long-lasting effect by not being applied cyclically. The problem with permanent fillings is migration capacity. Usually, they do not cause problems, but when they do, they can be an ordeal for the patient and are more susceptible to granulomas or infection. I do not recommend this type of filler.
Laying your tissue: a good option
An excellent alternative to this type of fillers and with a permanent character is the placement of your tissue inside the lip, be it dermis, fat or similar, so that with this type of procedure, there will be no type of rejection and the probability of infection it is much less. It must be borne in mind that when we use fat for filling, there is a more or less variable proportion that is reabsorbed over time, which does not usually happen with the dermis.
The disadvantage of filling the lips with your tissue is that it must be extracted from another site, so it is necessary to leave a scar elsewhere.
They are a good option, for example, in the context of a blepharoplasty, in which we remove the excess skin from the eyelids so that that excess tissue can be used as filler for lips or wrinkles.
Silicone prosthesis to increase the lips
There are also silicone prostheses for the lips, also with a permanent effect. However, their use is not very widespread since the lips have a lot of mobility and, therefore, higher demands for an implant than in other body locations.
The problems that can occur are those described for all prostheses, such as infection, exteriorization or the formation of capsular contractures. Their advantage over permanent fillers is that they are easier to remove.
Lip Augmentation with unreal volume
In some cases, the problem is that the lips seem to have less volume than the real ones. For example:
- Patients with a gummy smile: may have an average lip volume, but they raise the upper lip so much when smiling that it flattens, in addition to showing a lot of gum. In these cases, treatment can avoid this elevation by using botulinum toxin rather than increasing its volume.
- Long and inverted upper lip, or thin: in these cases, it may help shorten the lip by drying out a little skin under the nose so that we produce a shortening of the upper lip while everting the vermilion, achieving a rejuvenating effect and apparent increase in volume. This is what is called a lip lift.
To conclude, it must be said that there are several methods to increase the lips, and there is no one better than the others, and each case has to be discussed individually with your surgeon. It is important to verify the qualification of the professional who performs the procedures and the quality of the products used.