Lip Augmentation

Lip Service: Is Your Pout in Need
of a Little TLC?

On the red carpet, deep, crimson-colored, voluptuous lips sometimes garner more headlines than the actual award winners. It begs the question: Are your lips red-carpet ready?

If not, don't despair. There's a lot you can do to plump your pucker without going overboard, including injectables, lip implants, surgery and even lasers.

Courtesy of AAFPRS

Today's Lip-Enhancing Injectables

Our lips — like our skin, face and body — are vulnerable to aging. The vermilion (pink part of your upper lip) all but disappears and there is also a lengthening of the distance from the bottom of the nose to the lip border, which obscures our sparkling smiles. Factor in the harsh effects of foods, saliva, and cold winter weather, and our lips also may appear dry, chapped and pale.

Luckily, we have injectables for lip enhancement these days. Injectables may spawn memories of the overinflated fish-like pucker (aka trout pout) that resulted from overgenerous injections of collagen, but today's choices provide far more subtle improvements. Hyaluronic acid-based fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm add volume to your lips for up to six months, and cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000. Risks are few and far between, and tiny needles and generous use of numbing agents also limit any discomfort.

Fat grafting to the lips is also an option, but your results are dependent on the doctor performing the procedure and can be unpredictable even in the best of hands. You may end up dissatisfied with lumps, bumps and scars to boot. In other words, not so kissable!

Lifts and "Lip Plants"

Lip lift surgery is also an option and can literally turn your frown upside down by raising the vermillion. Unlike injectables, however, surgery is a permanent fix. This is great if you love the look, but not so great if you don't. There are several different surgeries that can enhance and rejuvenate the lips. They mainly differ based on where the surgeon crafts the incision. Most lip enhancement procedures cost approximately $3,000. All surgeries have risks, and lip lifts are no exception. Risks include abnormal scarring, loss of sensation, and infection.

Some surgeons use "lip plants" — or implants either crafted from your own tissue or skin, or composed of saline or silicone (like breast implants only much smaller) — to sculpt the lips. This is done through an incision along the inside of the lip in the corners of the mouth, and costs slightly more than $2,500 on average. Risks include implant shifting and infection, and may require implant removal.

Lasers, Lipsticks and the Like

Some surgeons may use a combination of lasers to rejuvenate aging lips. Lasers stimulate your production of collagen, the main structural protein found in your skin — including your lip skin. A series of treatments is usually required and can cost up to $1,000.

Other options can include permanent makeup to make your lips look bigger, brighter and bolder. Some lipsticks and glosses claim to plump up puckers — typically irritating them with any number of Ingredients that cause mild swelling and redness.

Talk to a facial plastic surgeon to find out which, if any, of these procedures is right for your lips. Bring in photos of your favorite celebrity lips to give the doctor an idea of what you want out of your procedure — and what you don't.

  • Halaas 58x57

    Yael Halaas, MD, FACS

    60 E. 56th Street
    3rd Floor
    New York, NY 10022
    (332) 239-6439

  • P

    Mune Gowda, MD

    3270 West Big Beaver
    Suite 415
    Troy, MI 48084

  • P

    Sean Maguire, MD

    Physician's Center for Beauty
    24 Chenoweth Lane
    Louisville, KY 40207
    (866) 774-9105