I would not strongly endorse any one product but class of products. I prefer hyaluronic fillers because they generally have a smooth consistency which is important for the lips. Furthermore, the off-label use of this product can also be partially corrected with the off-label use of hyaluronidase.
What is the Safest Lip Filler?
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Hyaluronic acid products are the best lip fillers
The safest injectable for lip augmentation is one that can be dissolved if you don't like it. The hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm and Restylane are probably the best and safest fillers on the market as risk is very low and they can be reversed with hyaluronidase. Although they are not FDA approved for the lips, their use is very common and placement in the lips is considered 'off-label.'
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A hyaluronic acid based filler for lips
There are several hyaluronic acid based fillers with which I have worked. They are safe but temporary. In the lips the longer lasting fillers have not done so well.
Juvederm, Restylane, or Collagen are the safest lip fillers
Juvederm or Restylane are hyaluronic acid fillers and last about 6 months at a cost of $550 per syringe which is usually 1 syringe for both lips. Collagen is cheaper at $450 per syringe but only lasts 1-2 months. Fat injections often look donald duck like and get lumpy so I don't advise them at all.
The Safest Lip Filler
When you say “lip filler,” I assume you mean an injectable filler which is what most people think about. Within the category of “safe,” there are really only two types of filler. Those are Collagen and Hyaluronic Acid. Within each major group are a number of products, growing almost monthly. Collagen has been used the longest and has an extremely good safety record. The problem has been that it is not very long lasting, though it can be on occasion. There are now a number of new collagen products that should also be safe, but we do not have the data to support this. There are also a number of Hyaluronic Acids. The first was Restylane which has proven to be exceptionally safe in the lip. This was followed by Juvéderm that has also proven very safe. We do not have data on the other hyaluronic acids that have recently come on the market, but we assume they should also be safe. Of the other injectables, fat is unpredictable and Radiesse tends to move and cause lumps. Other than that, both are “safe.” The other “filler” is one that is surgically implanted. Of these, the safe one is collagen matrix like AlloDerm. The only reason that the injectable fillers have become so popular is that this option is not nearly as reliable. Some people get a permanent result and others get almost complete resorption. All this being said, in my practice I use Juvéderm Ultra almost exclusively to fill the lips.
Hyaluronic Acid fillers
I would have to agree with other physicians in suggesting hyaluronic acid as a safe lip filler. While there are other fillers that you can use for lip enhancement, including your own fat, the nice thing about hyaluronic acid fillers is that they can be reversed with hyaluronidase if you do not like the results. As noted as well, this is an off label use of the both the filler and the hyaluronidase but one that has been used by many physicians for some time.
Safe lip fillers for lip augmentation
As others have already stated, lip augmentation with hyaluronic acid (HA) injectable fillers are generally safe. HA fillers include Restylane & Juvederm. Another safe alternative for lip enhancement is fat injection. Your own fat is taken via liposuction and injected into your lips.
Keep in mind although all cosmetic treatment are generally safe, there are inherent risks with any cosmetic procedure, which include but are not limited to bleeding, pain, swelling, bruising, infection, numbness, and asymmetry.
The safest lip filler
Thanks for the question. The most commonly used lip fillers in our practice are hyaluronic acids, including Juvederm Ultra and Restylane. Although the use of these products is off-label in the lips, their results are highly predictable, reproducible, and reversible with the use of hyaluronidase. The longevity of these products are typically in the 6 to 12 month range. Additionally, they have no intrinsic allergic components, as compared to their collagen counterparts.
An alternative to hyaluronic acid as a lip filler is autogenous fat. Fat augmentation of the lips has a very predictable and natural appearing result. The advantage of this "filler" over hyaluronic acid is that it will theoretically last indefinitely, following the predictable amount of atrophy that occurs in the first several weeks following the procedure. The disadvantage, of course, is that fat augmentation is a surgical procedure with a greater amount of post-procedural swelling, bruising, and subsequent downtime than its hyaluronic acid filler counterpart.
Regardless of what procedure you choose, review all your options with your plastic surgeon so that you may make an educated choice.
Best of luck.