Say Goodbye to Thin Lips

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Why is it that full and beautiful lips are often coveted by those who hate the thin lips they were born with? The scientific answer can be found in the human desire to attract a mate.

In a study, carried out by scientists at Manchester University in England, 50 men were presented with images of different women. Their eye movements were tracked and the results were intriguing.

  • After the first 10 seconds, the average man will spend more than half his time gazing at the mouth.
  • When the women wore lipstick, the men gazed at their lips for an average of seven seconds – spending just 0.95 seconds looking at their eyes and 0.85 seconds studying their hair.
  • Full and red lips combined deliver the perfect pout to achieve male fixation.

Dr. Geoff Beattie, who led the research, said: ‘This study proves that lips represent one of the most sensual aspects of a woman’s body and play a critical role in human sexual attraction. [1]

This could well explain why, for centuries, women have painted their lips red to enhance their appeal. Today women have numerous options available that enable them to spend less time in front of a mirror. One option is dermal fillers, a minimally invasive procedure that will plump thin lips.

The first question I ask a patient is how they would like their lips to look. If what they want is achievable with dermal fillers, I will then match the desired fullness to the shape and structure of the patient’s face. The shape of the lip is actually more important than the volume. Obviously, a smaller face will not tolerate the same amount of filler as one with a larger jaw line. It’s much better if the lips fit the nose, cheeks and eyes. We’ve all seen photographs of an otherwise attractive person with a “trout pout.”

I also discuss the different treatment options and what I would recommend for what will be best for them. These options may include lidocaine, a common local anesthetic, to make the process as painless as possible. A numbing cream can be applied 15 minutes before the treatment.

The most common treatment patients ask for involves hyaluronic fillers, injected below the outer layer of the skin. Hyaluronic acid is a substance found naturally in the body and is the main ingredient in FDA approved fillers such as Juvederm® and Restylane®.

Once injected, the gel in the filler supports and shapes the tissues of the lips.

The amount of substance injected can be controlled, so I have better control over how much lip volume is created.

The injections can be given gradually during different appointments until the desired results are achieved. Any lumps and bumps created by movement of the lips can be dissolved easily and there may be less bruising and swelling compared to other dermal fillers.

I will often perform the procedure using the Cannula Technique. Approved by the FDA in 2012, this method uses the cannula, a bendable, blunt (not sharp) tube the size of a needle.  I make a small hole with a needle, but rather than injecting the needle, I insert the cannula. Because the cannula is bendable and not sharp, it will not puncture blood vessels or nerves making this a much safer technique with less bruising and downtime. Because we can move the cannula around more, we can inject areas that were difficult to inject. I only use the needle a few times during a treatment making the experience as painless as possible. This is a technically difficult procedure and I cannot stress enough the importance of your physician being qualified, well trained and experienced.

You have to remember that the results are reasonably long lasting, but not permanent. Depending on the placement of the filler, your lips can be volumized, reshaped, and redefined for up to nine months or more before a touch up is needed.

[1] http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1332709/Men-drawn-womans-lips-facial-feature.html#ixzz3y0mjJ1lh

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