The Ultimate Guide To Lip Augmentation

Full, plump lips are a hallmark of youth and will always be IN 💋 When lip plumping gloss, balms, and overlining just aren’t enough to give you the smooth and full lips you’re after, lip augmentation may help you achieve the perfect pout. 

At Southlake Plastic Surgery & Med Spa in Southlake, TX, we see patients across Dallas & Ft. Worth who feel unhappy about the appearance of their lips. We offer a variety of surgical and nonsurgical procedures to correct wrinkles, asymmetry, and other common lip concerns. 

If you think it’s time for you to set up a consultation for a lip augmentation treatment, let’s walk you through what you should know about your lips, how they age, and your treatment options at Southlake Plastic Surgery! 

What makes the skin on your lips unique?

It’s no secret that the skin on your lips looks different from the rest of the skin on your face. But why? There’s several reasons! 

First, because the skin on your lips is much thinner in comparison. Skin has three distinct layers (from top to bottom): the stratum corneum, the epidermis, and the dermis. Lips, however, lack the stratum corneum or protective layers of mostly dead cells. So, where other areas of skin have 15 to 16 layers, including the stratum corneum to protect the skin from UV radiation and prevent dehydration, the lips have only 3 to 4 layers of skin—this is what makes them so soft. 

The thin skin, combined with the lack of melanin in the lips, allows the color of your red blood vessels and capillaries in your dermis to come through. This gives your lips their unique red or pink shade (and is why lips turn whiter or bluer when you’re cold!). 

The lips also lack sebaceous glands. Your sebaceous glands make sebum, natural oil that provides your skin with necessary hydration and antioxidants like vitamin E. Vitamin E plays an important role in fighting oxidative stress, including that caused by the sun’s UV rays.

…And all of this combined means your lips need extra-special care and attention! 

Think about it: your lips move a lot, and this repeated movement leads to wrinkling and dehydration. Furthermore, the thinner the skin, the more susceptible to UV and other environmental damage (like wind and cold). This, coupled with the lips’ lack of natural defenses like sebum, hair, and melanin, means they tend to wrinkle and “deflate” more quickly than your other skin as you age. Dead cells also quickly accumulate, resulting in dry, cracked lips. 

You might not think much about lip balm, or maybe you consider it ‘makeup,’ but what you put on your lips to protect them is super important! We find that patients who regularly use high-quality lip balms with SPF protection and incorporate regular lip exfoliation into their routine (with a toothbrush or lip scrub) put off many signs of aging around their lips, longer! 

We love SkinMedica’s® HA5® Smooth & Plump Lip System!

What common concerns do most patients have with their lips?

Besides sun damage and chronic dehydration, there are other reasons why you may feel unhappy about the appearance of your lips. Whether the causes are due to aging, genetics, lifestyle, or some combination of the three, we want to help you! 

Some common lip concerns we address include:

  • Gummy smiles – when the upper lip becomes ultra-thin while smiling, it may reveal more gums than white teeth and beautiful lips! 
  • Asymmetry – whether your upper or bottom lip is out of proportion, or you notice inconsistencies between the left and right sides, asymmetry can throw your face out of balance.
  • Smoker’s lines & other wrinkles – whether they come from smoking, sipping on straws for decades, or just plain age and gravity, everyone’s lips wrinkle at some time. This can make lips appear more chapped and dehydrated.
  • Volume loss – with age comes collagen and elastin depletion, causing an overall deflated look in the skin and creating a new lip shape or appearance that you dislike.
  • Thin lips – it’s very common for patients of all ages to simply want a fuller pout and more noticeable lips. That’s the great thing about modern aesthetic treatments—you don’t have to live with features you don’t love!

Surgical lip augmentation options

For those who want a permanent, one-and-done solution for their lip concerns, a surgical procedure makes a lot of sense. There are steeper up-front costs and recovery time to consider, however. 

After going over your concerns and goals in detail during your consultation, your Southlake Plastic Surgery provider can present unique treatment plans based on your health, budget, and timeline. 

Lip lift

As you age, the skin between your nose and the top of your lips lengthens, making the lips appear thinner or more droopy than they used to. With a lip lift, we remove a narrow strip of this skin to raise your top lip and roll it back slightly. This effect makes you look instantly more youthful and makes the lips look larger and more defined. It can also treat a gummy smile.

A lip lift is a quick procedure performed under local anesthesia. Patients experience swelling and bruising around their mouths that resolves after 7 to 10 days. Most patients take a week off work and other social activities to properly heal. Though you can eat normally, your surgeon will ask you to avoid excessive oral movement for about two weeks. 

Lip implant

To achieve their goals, some patients require more than lip injections or lifts alone can offer, especially when asymmetry is the primary concern. Lip implants are custom-sized devices made of solid yet pliable silicone that we insert via small incisions in the corners of the mouth. Your surgeon manually molds the implants to create the most attractive shape for your features.

We insert lip implants in under an hour under local anesthesia. Most patients need 3 to 4 days of downtime to recuperate and look like themselves again before resuming normal activities. Your lips will be swollen, bruised, sore, and may appear asymmetrical until the swelling and bruising subside. Within a month, you’ll have noticeably fuller lips permanently!

Fat transfer

Fat grafting or fat transfer (also called “lipofilling”) procedures involve the transfer of fat between areas of your body. We carefully harvest fat from areas where it’s unwanted, like the hips or buttocks, via liposuction. Then we spin it in a centrifuge and re-inject it to areas where more volume is desired. Besides the lips, we also frequently transfer fat to fill hollows under the eyes, minimize deep nasolabial folds or marionette lines, and even rejuvenate aging hands. 

Since this procedure uses your fat rather than a substance like hyaluronic acid (more on this later), it’s the longest-lasting lip injection option, with results lasting virtually indefinitely. 

We perform this 3-step procedure in about two hours, usually with local anesthetic only. Most patients need up to a two to three weeks off in-office work and social activities to allow the swelling, redness, and bruising to subside. Though there will be immediate results, the final effects of a fat transfer procedure take about 9 months to appear. 

Non-surgical lip augmentation options

We get it. Not everyone wants or should have plastic surgery. Others may want fuller lips but aren’t ready to commit to anything so permanent yet. No problem! We offer non-surgical lip augmentations in Southlake, TX, as well.

Filler injections

Lip fillers are gel-like substances made of hyaluronic acid (HA) that we inject just below the surface of the lips to temporarily address lip concerns.

When properly placed, they provide amazing improvement in lip contours by boosting volume, smoothing vertical creases (like smokers’ lines), and correcting asymmetry. We find that fillers from the Juvéderm® family, like Volbella™ or Ultra XC™, or Restylane® Kysse™ best suit the lip and surrounding areas. They produce natural-looking, pillowy-soft lips that never look overfilled or swollen.

With good lip care habits, like wearing lip balm with SPF daily, our patients can expect the results of their lip filler injections to last 6 to 12 months, depending on how much HA we inject and how quickly their body metabolizes it. 

Note: Lip fillers are an excellent way to “try before you buy” permanent solutions like an implant or fat transfer to make sure you like your new look. We can immediately reverse the results of HA fillers if necessary.

Botox for lips? Yes!

If you thought BOTOX® is just good for forehead/brow wrinkles and hyperhidrosis, think again! Many people don’t realize it, but there are actually several uses for Botox to address common cosmetic lip concerns that filler injections or surgical lip procedures cannot.

Downturned mouth

Some of our patients feel self-conscious about a naturally downturned mouth that gives the appearance of a frown while making a neutral face. To soften the appearance, we can place Botox into the depressor muscle that pulls down the corners of the mouth. When this muscle relaxes, it eases the radius of your natural frown and improves your overall facial expression. 

Wrinkles and lines around the mouth

Like we mentioned, your lips have thin skin, and they’re almost constantly stretching or in motion. When you laugh, talk, smile, frown, kiss, smoke, eat or drink through a straw, you create expression lines and wrinkles that develop naturally over time. 

When strategically placed around the mouth, Botox softens many of these expression lines and wrinkles, resulting in smoother, more youthful-looking lips. 

Botox Lip Flip

Have you heard of the Botox “lip flip?” To perform one, our injectors precisely place a few units of Botox along the upper lip muscle, near the border, to relax and “flip” or roll back the lip to make more of the upper lip visible. This creates a fuller, plumper, but natural-appearing upper lip. 

If you feel your upper lip disappears when you smile, you have a gummy smile, or lip fillers don’t quite give you all the volume you want, a Botox lip flip in Southlake at Southlake Plastic Surgery & Med Spa might be exactly what you need! 

Take The Quiz: Which Lip Treatment Do You Need?

Let our team of beauty specialists in Dallas & Ft. Worth help you achieve your goals

Southlake Plastic Surgery & Med Spa is dedicated to providing the best plastic surgery and medical aesthetics procedures in Dallas, Ft. Worth, and surrounding areas. 

Our expert team of talented aesthetic professionals is here to help you look and feel your best. 

Additionally, our AAAASF-accredited plastic surgery center in Dallas is headed by our medical director and board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Mason. He has been helping patients for over 20 years and holds surgical privileges at several hospitals in the Dallas area. 

Contact us to learn about your options and schedule a one-on-one consultation to determine the best course of action to treat your concerns.

Use our instant consultation to tell us about your areas of concern, or schedule your first consultation today.

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