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Lip Filler or Lip Flip: Which Treatment Will Provide the Results You Want?

Most women know that certain dermal fillers work great for lip augmentation, to give you fuller, poutier lips. But fillers cannot address every issue you may have with your lips. For example, some women have a “gummy” smile that shows all of your front teeth and even your gums when you smile big. Adding volume won’t fix that, but a lip flip can. And, if you have a thin upper lip, a lip flip can be a great alternative to fillers.

A Serious Solution with a Funny Name  

Just the name “lip flip” makes you smile, doesn’t it? It’s a real treatment, though, designed to relax the muscle that surrounds your mouth and controls lip movement – the muscle that allows you to form words and eat as well as smile. And what do we use to relax muscles that make facial expressions?  

Botox, of course!

In the same way that Botox injections can reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, strategically placed injections along the edge of the upper lip – near the center and at the corners of the mouth – affects upper lip movement. “By slightly weakening the surface layer of the circular muscle around the mouth,” explains Dr. Elizabeth Hernandez, “vertical lip lines smooth out to some extent and that allows the upper lip to roll out and upward slightly.”

Using Botox to “flip” the upper lip in this way can make it appear fuller without filler – it doesn’t get any bigger, but more of it is visible when you smile. Also, when you make a big smile, the upper lip naturally thins out significantly. After this treatment, however, the upper lip does not get as thin, giving the appearance of a thicker upper lip.

A Botox lip flip can also reduce a gummy smile because the muscle doesn’t pull the upper lip up so far when you smile.

Why a Lip Flip Instead of Lip Filler?

Some young patients do not need or may not want to add volume to their lips. The Botox lip flip gives a pouty look to the upper lip that many women desire. For young and older women, the Botox lip flip also helps smooth vertical lip lines and helps prevent them from getting deeper.

Dr. Hernandez says many women choose to use both treatments. They benefit from the filler to add volume and from the Botox lip flip to roll the upper lip up and outward.

How Does a Lip Flip Compare to Lip Fillers?

Both lip fillers and Botox are temporary treatments because the body absorbs the material over time. Most lip filler lasts 1 year. The Botox lip flip lasts 3 to 4 months, so most women come in for a touch-up on this every 4 months.

In terms of downtime or other restrictions, lip fillers cause some swelling but that subsides significantly in about 3 to 5 days for most patients. The Botox lip flip causes minimal swelling that usually subsides by the next day. Dr. Hernandez always reminds patients that these treatments involve injections, so there is a potential risk of bruising as well. If you are planning an important event, photos, etc., she recommends having your lip treatment 2 weeks prior … just in case.

And what about cost? The lip flip requires only small amounts of Botox (average 4 to 8 units), so the cost is significantly less than filler even with the need for more frequent touch-ups.

Give Yourself Something to Smile About

Could lip filler or a Botox lip flip give you a more voluptuous, appealing smile? To find out, all you have to do is schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Hernandez.  

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