Lip fillers are on the rise, with more of us seeking out the perfect pout. But with lip enhancements still unregulated, there are plenty of opportunities for cowboy injectors to exploit unwitting patients.
We spoke to Natali Kelly, nurse prescriber at Omniya clinic in west London, to get an expert’s view on the safety of lip fillers, what can commonly go wrong and what you should look out for if you’re having lip injectables for the first time.
1. Have a thorough consultation
Warning sign: If you injector doesn’t allow enough time for a proper consultation or give you the opportunity to ask questions, then you’re better off finding someone else.
What should happen? Natali says you expect to spend around half an hour with your practitioner for the initial consultation alone. “The consultation should consist of a medical history being taken and discussed, including any medicines and allergies noted. The client’s desires and expectations should be discussed in detail, including shape, definition and volume,” Natali explains.
Your practitioner should also take a psychological and physical assessment, and explain the procedure, the brand of filler they use, the possible side effects and the aftercare you need.
2. You should have time to change your mind
Warning sign: If you’re hurried through the process, or given no prior consultation, you don’t have the chance to consider if this is something you really want.
What should happen? The consultation should just be a first step, a chance for the practitioner to make sure you’re an appropriate candidate for the treatment, and more importantly, for you to be certain it’s the right choice for you. Having a consultation before the treatment gives you the opportunity “to research the treatments and return with any questions”, Natali says.
It also gives you the chance to start some at home prep, like using an arnica cream to help reduce risk of bruising, or an anti-viral medication if you have the coldsore virus. “I also usually ask clients to avoid blood thinning medicines like aspirin and alcohol, as this can greatly reduce the risks of bruising,” Natali adds.
3. Reach a decision with your practitioner
Warning sign: If your injector doesn’t offer any opinion on how much you should have, that doesn’t bode well.
What should happen? You may have done your research and decided how much filler you want, but your injector is the professional, and should have their own opinion based on their knowledge and experience.
Natali says that an expert injector should have a discussion with a patient to decide on a treatment plan together, based on the physical assessment and their expertise as well as the patient’s desired results. “Depending on the client’s lips and anatomy, large amounts of lip filler may not be suitable,” explains Natali.
4. A skilled practitioner will lower the risk of side effects
Warning sign: If they’re using a brand of fillers not specifically created for the lips, question that decision.
What should happen? Natali says you can reduce the risk of experiencing side effects by making sure you have a filler brand that has been specifically approved for treating the lip area, as the skin here is so much thinner than elsewhere on the face. However, that’s not a given; if your injector doesn’t perform the treatment well, you can still end up with disappointing results.
“Poor injection technique, including the number of injections and if it was injected with force, can all greatly contribute to soreness and swelling,” says Natali. She explains that a skilled injector will inject even amounts of filler into the right layer of skin tissue, massaging gently as they do so to help it settle evenly and give you the best results.
5. You’ll get thorough aftercare
Warning signs: If you’re injector doesn’t talk you through how you will feel and how to care for your lips immediately after the procedure, and gives you no information on getting in touch if you have any concerns, steer clear.
What should happen? Natali says a reputable practitioner will make sure you’re happy before you leave the treatment room, and supply you with both aftercare advice and contact details of the clinic and an out-of-hours service that you can contact if you’re worried about anything. “We would always invite a client who as any concerns to return to the clinic,” Natali adds.
Find out more about Omniya at www.omniya.co.uk