Will Collagen Injections Make my Lips Look Fake?

Doctor Answers 7

Collagen is rarely used these days.

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Collagen (bovine and human) was a common filler years ago, and was used predominantly for lines, wrinkles, and lip enhancement.

Now that HA (hyaluronic acid) fillers such as Restyland, Perlane, Juvederm Ultra, and others exist, they have virtually replaced collagen in most modern plastic surgical and dermatologic offices and medispas. HA fillers are softer, clear (not white), easier to shape in the tissues, and last about twice as long. They cost a bit more than collagen, but not twice as much, and since they last twice as long--that's a plus!

Regardless of the filler use for lip enlargement, the skill of the injector is the most critical issue, not the exact brand or type of filler. Seek a board-certified, experienced plastic surgeon or dermatologist who uses lots of fillers. If you like the look, and get tired of paying every 6-12 months for more filler, you may wish to consider dermal grafts for your lips. This porcedure uses your own tissue  as a living, permanent, soft, natural, and sensate lip enlargement technique, It can be done under local anesthesia, and is very natural and "non-fake!"

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 262 reviews

Hyaluronic acid fillers

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While much of the result is based on the experience and expertise of the physician, we do prefer Juvederm and Restylane for providing natural looking lip augmentation.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Collagen and Fake Lips

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Collagen (Bovine and Human) has largely been replaced by longer lasting, softer feeling and safer fillers.

The appearance of your lips would depend on the skill of your injector, his/her artistic sense and your idea of what constitutes an attractive lip. While there are exasperatingly preposterous examples of inept over-filled duck lips out there feeding the media insatiable appetite for "bad" cosmetic surgery, there are many more great and therefore unnoticeable results of lip augmentation.

Pick the right injector. Insist on an experienced board certified Plastic Surgeon or Dermatologist.

Dr. P. Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Natural looks is combination of proper technique and proper product

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Just remember, for every one person that seems obvious that "has had work done" on her lips, there are probabely 10s other out there that have had their lips augmented but is so natural looking that you can't tell!

The trick with lip injections is using the appropriate product and proper technique. As far as products, my favorite one for the lips is Juvederm Ultra for the upper lip and Ultra plus for the lower lip. The key is knowing the less is better. If you think you didn't get enough, I usually save the syringe and do touch ups in two weeks for my patients at no extra charge. That way, you can ensure that your lips are exactly to your liking and can go around with luscious but yet natural lips!

Peyman Ghasri, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologist

Any injection, collagen or HAs, can make your lips look fake if overdone or poorly done

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Lip augmentation is a defining act. When done well, with proper portion to other facial features, it can make the entire face more youthful, sexier and prettier - no matter what age you happen to be.

Poorly placed injections with no regard for balance, the various facial units that rely on lip balance or upper to lower lip balance can indeed make your lips look fake.

Keep this one fact in mind: Your lips need to fit your face.

Never go "big" for the sake of trying to look like someone else who may be a celebrity of the day. Big does not equal young.

It's all about proportion. It's also all about experience. It takes time and experience to learn to be a good injector for an area that has such a profound affect on your appearance. Don't choose someone just because they have a special; choose your doctor based on his or her expertise.

(And it never hurts to ask to see the lip augmentation photos of the doctor's patients.)

Rebecca Fitzgerald, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

HA fillers Better

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I believe that the vast majority of physicians, both dermatologists and plastic surgeons, now use hyaluronic acid fillers ( Restylane, Juvederm) for the lip itself. Back in the day, some of us, including myself, were using collagen de define the border, especially the Cupid Bow area, into something called the Paris Lip. Some physicians ( in those more halcyon days companies only marketed their products to dermatologists and plastic surgeons) began to inject collagen into the lips directly. However, some of our eagerness was tempered by the FDA who promulgated that we were not to inject into the lip itself.

Lip augmentation fell out of favor until its renaissance with the hyaluronic fillers. Many of us, including myself, will often use Cosmoderm, a collagen filler around the lip. It seems to give beter definitiion and is firmer than HA fillers. But few inject collagen into the lip itself anymore.

Good technique on the part of your physician will give a very natural appearance and should not look fake at all. You may occasionally see some pretty ludicrous looking lips, especially if you peruse National Enquirer. But the sausage lips, duck bill lips, etc. look of the past seems to be fading. Thank God.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

Collagen and Lip Injections

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It really depends on how much is injected and where. This is where the experience of the plastic surgeon comes into play. You will have some swelling at first which will make your lip look bigger than you would like but once the swelling settles it is usually no possible to tell who has not injections and who hasnt. Again that is strictly dependant on how much is injected and where.

Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.