Lip Injection Aftercare: A Simple But Complete Guide

The number of people having injections with lip fillers has exploded in the past few years – especially for people in the 20’s and 30’s. With the latest methods of lip augmentation, risks of allergic reactions and unhappy results are very low.

Before considering lip fillers, it is important to understand what you should plan for before and after a lip augmentation treatment.

Read on for everything you’ll need to know before, during and after lip injection treatment.

  1. Do Your Research and Find an Experienced Injector.
  2. What Should You Consider Before Getting Lip Fillers?
  3. Lip Flip with Anti-Wrinkle Injections
  4. What to Do Before Lip Injections?
  5. What Not to Do Before Lip Injections
  6. What Not to Do After Lip Injections
  7. What to Do After Lip Injections
  8. Within One Hour of Lip Injections
  9. Within Ten to Twenty-Four Hours of a Lip Injections
  10. How to Reduce Swelling After Lip Injections
  11. Does Lip Injections Hurt?
  12. How Long Does It Take to See Results?
  13. When Should I Contact My Injector if Something isn’t Normal?
  14. How Long Do Lip Injections Last?

Do your research and find an experienced injector.

Probably the most important thing that you can do before hand is your research. It’s a very crowded marketplace out there, and there is lots of competition with clinics offering cheap services.

Sure, you can get lip fillers for extremely low prices, but what are you actually paying for?

It’s not just the cost of the product to consider, but the experience and training of the injector. As a general rule in life, good things aren’t cheap and cheap things aren’t good.

So, we advise you to read around a bit, check the Google reviews and other online reviews, and make sure that your doctor or nurse injector is experienced and has a good reputation.

There’s a lot to consider when injecting lips, as the anatomy of the face is very complicated, and the experience only comes with time and practice. What kind of training has your injector had?

Does your clinic have a doctor available for assessments beforehand? Dermal filler is a prescription medication and requires a review from a doctor before the injections take place. Does your clinic stock hyalase to dissolve the fillers in the event of a complication or a poor result?

Although lip fillers are generally considered a safe treatment, it’s important to remember that complications sometimes do happen. At the end of the day, it’s nice to have full lips, but your health and safety should be your number one concern.

What Should You Consider Before Getting Lip Fillers?

What are you hoping to achieve by having injections with fillers to your lips? Your goals should aim to subtly enhance your lips without making you look overfilled.

There’s nothing worse than the “duckface” look that we see all too often. When it comes to lips, “less is more”, and in fact when it comes to all cosmetic treatments the best treatments are the ones that aren’t noticed.

The problem lies when people treat the lips as if they are just a big sausage, which needs to be squirted full of as much filler as possible! But the lips have a structure all of their own, with different zones requiring different amounts of filler in different ways.

Sometimes we do want to add volume to an area, especially in the “cupid’s bow”, the area in the middle of the upper lip.

In some parts of the lip however we simply want to create an optical illusion by showing more “pink lip”, which can be achieved by injecting along the vermillion border (the border between lip and skin).

This creates a “lip flip”, which makes the lips appear fuller and more luscious but without excessive volume. What about injecting along the philtrum, the grooves that run from the upper lip to under the nose? This subtle enhancement improves the appearance of the lips without actually even going into the lips.

As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to placing filler into the lips, and there’s much more to it than simply injecting as much as possible. These kind of details and knowledge take time to develop, as does the skill to perform these advanced injecting techniques.

There’s also lots of different filler types. Which type do you use? Australian law doesn’t let us mention the brand name of fillers, but fillers are graded by their thickness and longevity.

As a general rule, thicker fillers last longer than thinner fillers. If we are injecting into hollow temples or in the cheeks to replace the fat and bone that we lose with ageing, we want to use a very thick filler, something with a lot of structure, to recreate that volume of the youthful “heart-shaped” face.

The lips are softer; after all, they are for eating and kissing. We don’t want them to feel like concrete. We need a softer, more malleable filler that feels and looks natural.


Lip flip with Anti-Wrinkle Injections.

Did you know that an excellent way to enhance the appearance of the lips doesn’t even involve filler at all? It’s called the “lip-flip”, and it involves injecting very small doses of anti-wrinkle injections into the muscle just above the lips.

This is the muscle that purses the lips, as if you are putting on lipstick, drinking from a straw, or kissing. It pulls your lips inwards. Small amounts of anti-wrinkle injections just above the lip will relax the inwards pull of this muscle, allowing the lip to “flip” slightly out showing more pink lip which can make an enormous difference to the appearance of the face.

The “lip-flip” can be performed as an addition to lip fillers, to enhance the effect even more, or as a stand-alone procedure. Again, this is an advanced injecting technique, so make sure you find an experienced injector.

What to Do Before Lip Injections?

You don’t really have to do a lot of preparation for your injections with lip fillers, although there are a few things that can make your experience more pleasant and hassle free. Try to be well hydrated: drink a few glasses of water in the hour or so leading up to your injections.

Some people occasionally do feel faint during their injections and being well hydrated can make a big difference if you are someone who gets light headed sometimes. We’ll offer you a glass of water in the waiting room when you arrive, so try to drink it while you fill out your paperwork.

Similarly, having had a small bite to eat in the hour before your appointment will keep your blood sugar levels in the normal range, and can also help prevent faintness.

If you are having treatment elsewhere in the face it can help to have your make-up removed prior to coming in, although for the lips this isn’t such a big deal. You can easily wipe off your lipstick before the application of a local anesthetic cream to your lips.

If you suffer from cold sores, let your treating injector know. You can definitely still have injections to the lips, but you are advised to use an anti-viral lip cream for a few days before your treatment and for a few days afterwards.

This is because the reaction of the lips to the filler can sometimes reactivate the viral infection that causes cold sores (the herpes simplex virus).

What Not to Do Before Lip Injections

Again, there’s not a huge list of things which you should avoid in the lead up to having fillers. The main things to avoid are any medications which increase the chance of bleeding and bruising.

This includes simple pain killers such as aspirin and ibuprofen, as well as supplements such as fish oil. Ideally, you should avoid these for at least three to five days prior to lip injections.

However, it must be emphasized that if you are taking blood thinners on the advice of a doctor for medical reasons, you must not stop taking them just for fillers.

This includes medications such as warfarin and clopidogrel; if you are taking these medications it is almost certainly safer to not have injections with lip fillers.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or planning on getting pregnant, it’s definitely much safer to postpone your treatment until afterwards. There is no concrete evidence to say that fillers are either safe or dangerous for the fetus or a breastfeeding child.

We simply don’t know. For that reason, it’s just much safer, and more sensible, to not have any elective cosmetic treatments during this time. After all, there’s no point taking any unnecessary risks.

Probably the most important consideration prior to having lip fillers are your plans for the next few days. Your lips are likely to swell for a few days after the injections, and in some people the swelling can be enough that they may want to hide away from the general public for a few days.

It’s recommended to not have any big events planned for a few days after your fillers.

What Not to Do After Lip Injections

Following injections with lip fillers, there’s a few important things to keep in mind and a few important things to avoid. Probably the most important thing is not to massage your lips or play with them. They may be quite tender but try not to touch them. You don’t want any infections.

If you read all of the product information about fillers, they often tell you not to drink alcohol for twenty-four hours after fillers, and to avoid exercise for twenty hours as well.

I do wonder if this is a bit of overkill, and may be too cautious, but certainly there is some sense to these cautions. All that is really needed in my opinion is some common sense and to take it easy if feel you need to. You should probably be okay to go to your regular Pilates class the day after your injections, but don’t run a marathon.

You can have a small glass of wine, but don’t drink the whole bottle. In all likelihood you may not actually feel like doing much for the first twenty-fours anyway, due to the swelling.

Flying is a trickier one to answer, and it’s often said that you shouldn’t fly for up to two weeks after fillers due to the changes in air pressure. Again, in all likelihood this is being overly cautious, but it probably safer to just avoid flying if you can.

You should definitely avoid having facial laser treatments for at least two weeks after your lip fillers, especially the Laser Genesis procedure. This is because the heat generated from the lasers can have an effect on the fillers which causes them break down and dissolve much more quickly than they would otherwise.

After two weeks though you will be fine to get back to your anti-ageing Laser Genesis treatment!

What to Do After Lip Injections

There are a few tips that will make your experience with lip fillers more pleasant and decrease any discomfort and swelling afterwards. They can be divided into the first hour or so after the injections, and the first (roughly) twenty-four hours.

At any stage at all, if you experience any discomfort, you should use ice on your lips and take a mild painkiller: paracetamol is recommended, as it will not increase the chance of bruising. Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen.

Within One Hour of Lip Injections

You may experience some bruising initially, and your lips may even start to swell a little in the first hours. Your lips may feel numb, as the local anesthetic cream on your lips will still be having an effect, and also remember that the filler itself also contains some local anesthetic which will last for a few hours and minimize discomfort but may contribute to the number.

Try to avoid eating or drinking until the numbness wears off, as you don’t want to burn yourself on any hot food, bite your lips, or dribble any fluids over yourself! Don’t scratch, massage or otherwise play with your lips. Applying ice to your lips is a great way to minimize discomfort and swelling. It’s fine to move your lips and talk as much as you like.

Within Ten to Twenty-Four Hours of a Lip Injections

Try to stay hydrated, and don’t over exert yourself. Remember that you will probably swollen to a greater or lesser degree for twenty-four to forty-eight hours, so try to take it easy. Staying out of the sun and using an SPF30 plus sunscreen is always recommended at any time, not just after fillers.

As mentioned above, pain can be managed with ice to area and simple painkillers such as paracetamol.

How to Reduce Swelling After Lip Injections

The main concern of most people following their lip injections is swelling. Lips tend to swell following injections because they are areas with a rich blood and nerve supply. The lips are a very tactile area.

For some people the swelling is very manageable and is not really a concern, whereas for some people their lips swell up as if they have been stung by a bee.

To try to reduce this swelling there’s a number of things which you can do. Arnica cream can be applied to the lips, as well as ice packs. Arnica cream is also great for minimizing the appearance of bruising.

Some people also take an over the counter anti-histamine tablet to reduce swelling. Sleeping on a few pillows with your head above the level of your heart also helps. When you sprain your ankle, you put your feet up above the level of your heart so fluid drains away and swelling is reduced: the lips are the same.

Paracetamol also has an anti-inflammatory effect. Not massaging the area not only helps to reduce the degree of swelling, but also reduces the chance of infection to the injection sites. Avoiding strenuous exercise will also help reduce the appearance of swelling.


Do Lip Injections Hurt?

I’m not going to lie, having lip fillers may not the most pleasant thing that you’ve done lately, although it’s certainly also not the most painful thing in the world.

Everyone’s experience of discomfort is difference, and some people tolerate it better than others, but in general any discomfort is minimal and easily managed by your treating doctor or nurse injector, and by yourself after the procedure.

If you are concerned about discomfort, consider taking paracetamol about an hour beforehand. This can “take the edge off”.

Your injector will also apply a local anesthetic cream at the start of your consultation, which will start to numb your lips by the time the injections are ready to happen. Ice should also be applied to the lips before each lip injection.

Don’t forget that the filler itself also contains a small amount of local anesthetic which nubs the area even further. An experience injector will be able to sequence the injections in such a way that each subsequent needle is passed through an area which has previously been numbed by the needles beforehand.

If you are experiencing discomfort, make sure you speak up and let your injector know. Perhaps you need more ice, or more cream, so please let them know how they can make the experience as pleasant as possible.

How Long Does It Take to See Results?

Unlike anti-wrinkle injections, which take anywhere from forty-eight hours to fourteen days to have a visible effect, you will notice results immediately after your anti-wrinkle injections. They will instantly look plumper and fuller.

Don’t stress if things look a bit uneven to begin with though: it doesn’t mean that the lip filler has been injected in an incorrect fashion. It is much more likely to be the case that one area of the lip has bruised or swollen more than the others, giving the impression of asymmetry.

This will settle down after first forty-eight hours or so. The great thing about filler is that not only do you get the immediate “plumping” effect, the filer also attracts water to it. Think of the filler molecule as a tree, with lots of branches and little leaves.

Each “leaf” attracts water molecules, which expands the filler and the tissue further. This is why I like to see my clients two weeks after their injections, after all of the initial swelling has settled down and the filler has taken up this extra water.

And I know that’s a bit of a hassle to come in to the clinic just to see me for five minutes for a quick review, so we like to sweeten the deal we also offer you a complimentary mild and gentle skin peel with one of our dermal therapists when you come back.
I also like to contact my clients about twenty-four to forty-eight hours after their injections just to check up them and make sure that things are going as expected.

When Should I Contact My Injector if Something isn’t Normal?

Most people tolerate their lip fillers injections very well, and don’t experience any concerns. That said, if you have any concerns at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

You can always feel free to call the clinic to speak top either myself, one of our nurses, or one of our experienced dermal therapists if you have any concerns. Even if I not free to talk immediately, the other team members can pass on a message to me, and I’ll call you back for a quick chat as soon as I am able.

I’ll also give you a card with my email address on it. I’m one of these people who are unable to put their phone down at any time, so I’ll always see, and reply to, your email pretty quickly.

If, for example, you experience severe pain which is far beyond that amount expected from such a simple procedure, something may be wrong. The same goes for if you are experiencing a high fever.

If you notice any areas of skin in the surrounding area beginning to turn dusky or pale that can also be a concerning sign of a complication that you need to speak to your injector about. As I said, I like to keep in touch and contact my clients about twenty-four to forty-eight hours after their injections just to check up them and make sure that things are going as expected.

If you have any small lumps or areas of unevenness, don’t panic, and try to resist the urge to massage them. As mentioned above, any initial lumps or unevenness may just be a bruise or uneven swelling.

We can chat about it at your review appointment at two weeks, and if we need to massage any lumps at that stage we can do so. Dissolving lumps of filler is always possible with the enzyme hyalase, but it’s not very much fun, and I would certainly not think about doing it until two weeks have passed and we know for sure that all of the swelling and bruising has settled.

How Long Do Lip Injections Last?

The length of time that filler lasts depends on a number of factors involving the filler itself, your individual metabolism, and the location where the fillers have been injected.

Thicker fillers, such as those used to replace volume in the cheeks or temples, tend to last a fair bit longer than those in the lips. This is because lip fillers are softer and more malleable, and therefore are also metabolized more quickly than the thicker fillers.

As a general rule, I tend to tell people that fillers last for six to twelve months, with the thicker fillers lasting for closer to the twelve-month and the thinner filler closer to the six-month end of the spectrum.

It’s been suggested that people who exercise a lot have a faster metabolism and therefore will break down their fillers (and their anti-wrinkle injections) quicker than people who undertake less physical activity.

Although this is a lovely theory which kind of makes sense, who knows if that’s how it actually works in reality. Ultimately, it’s very difficult to predict how long lip filler will last for as everybody reacts differently.

That’s why I tend to give such a vague time-frame; I just can’t say with any certainty.