How painful is it?
There may be some pain on injection, but recovery is quick and fairly pain-free. Any bruising or swelling should rapidly disappear.
Who is it most suitable for?
People who desire fuller, plumper lips – the injections are rapidly absorbed over a few months because as the mouth moves for eating, talking and expressions, the collagen is gradually broken up and disperses into the body, usually disappearing completely in three months.
What does the procedure involve?
Collagen or Restatin, a sugar solution, is injected into the lip itself and into the upper rim of the lip to define the ‘cupid’s bow’, the outline of the lip. The injections are painful so anaesthetic cream is applied prior to the procedure, or local anaesthetic nerve blocks are given. Immediately after the injections, there may be small pinpricks that are noticeable for a few hours. There is often some mild redness of the skin, but this settles by the next day. Bruising is unusual. Makeup can be applied immediately if required.
Collagen is the main component of connective tissue and skin. It is extracted from specially raised cattle, ultrapurified, and suspended in saline with local anaesthetic for injection. The popularity of collagen stems from its availability, relative safety, and the immediate improvement obtained. A small needle is used to inject enough material to build up the lip to the desired level.
Restylane is a synthetic, biodegradable acid, which is naturally occurring in the skin. It is produced in a gel form which can be injected directly into the lip to plump it up. The effect lasts for about three months after the first injection. Subsequent injections need a smaller volume and last longer, but the exact length of time depends on the individual.
Will there be any permanent scarring?
There are several types of filler that are used in lip injections, including collagen and hyaluronic acid fillers, the most common of which is Restylane.
The latter tends to be the preferred method, as allergic reactions are much more common with collagen.