Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance that exists as a matrix between human cells.The material is synthesized in such a manner that makes it less likely to be degraded and more likely to persist. Unlike other filler products that are derived from animal sources, hyaluronic acid fillers are not animal derived.
Restylane has been used extensively in Europe and Canada since 1996 and received FDA approval for use in the U.S. in 2003. Perlane was introduced shortly thereafter and is somewhat denser than Restylane. Juvederm is a hyaluronic acid product from a different manufacturer that is very similar to Restylane and Perlane.
Belotero is the newest hyaluronic acid filler that is well suited for even finer facial lines.
Restylane is ideally suited for finer lines and improved definition of the lip contour. Perlane is best suited for providing denser support, for example, as in creating “lift” to the corners of the lip. Juvederm is ideal for adding soft volume to the pink portion of the lip.
Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers can be used to fill lines and wrinkles on the face and to enhance the appearance and fullness of the lips. As the material is soft and pliable, the result is extremely natural.
An aesthetic cream is applied to the skin or a small amount of local anesthetic can be mixed with the hyaluronic acid to lessen the discomfort associated with the injection. Most patients will experience mild swelling and temporary redness at the injection site. These effects typically resolve within 1-3 days.
Most of the correction achieved with hyaluronic acid fillers will persist for at least 5-6 months with some persistent correction for as long as 8-10 months.
Surgical options are also available for enhancement of the lip contour. If the corners of the lips are downward turned, a “corner of the lip lift” can be performed to minimize the “frowning” appearance. If the “white” portion of the lip has lengthened and the “pink” lip has thinned, a “lip lift” can be performed either with an incision right at the junction of the pink and white lip or through an incision directly under the nose.
Analysis of the lip with respect to volume, vertical height, and contour will determine if volume or contour enhancement is best performed with fillers or if surgical options are advisable.