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Before diving directly into lip filler, let’s review lip anatomy. The important features of the lips start to form very early in fetal development during 4-8 weeks. The upper lip forms from fusion of the nasolateral and maxillary processes and the lower lip forms from the mandible. When looking at images of development, like the ones here, we can see some prominent bulbs of tissue in the rudimentary upper and lower lips that will become tubercles. The formation of Cupid’s Bow, the area in the center of the upper lip that forms two peaks, can also be visualized when looking at these developmental models. Another important definition is that Vermillion, which is the pink part of the lip and the Vermillion Border is the line above which the cutaneous (skin colored) portion of the lip begins. Finally, the “Golden Ratio” of 1:1.6 of upper lip to lower lip height is characteristic of youthful lips. The upper lip ideally projects approximately 2 mm over the lower lip on profile. This article provides a good discussion for defining “ideal lips,” and discusses the importance of individual and ethnic diversity in lip anatomy. 

Lip fillers have become very popular both for young people hoping to enhance lip volume and definition and for rejuvenation of aging lips.  Lip filler can certainly help to optimize the size and shape of your lips, but overvolumization and incorrect filler placement can cause problems and an alien-like appearance. 

At CLARA, our approach to filling lips is creating a balanced, natural appearance of the lips. We place filler only in the pink portion, or vermillion, of the lip, both along the border to create more definition and also use the natural tubercle pattern of the upper and lower lips to enhance volume. We may also place filler focally in areas of volume deficiency to create a more balanced lip appearance. 

You should expect some initial swelling and possibly bruising following filler injection, which may take 2 weeks to fully resolve and for the filler to fully settle. Lip filler should last for around 12 months. Also, remember the importance of hydrating the lips, which can help to optimize volume and light reflection creating a beautiful, polished pout. 

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