Posted on 05/05/2021
Have you ever wondered what really causes the 'duck lip' look? Yes, it's usually a case of too much filler, but it's also what's known as 'filler migration'. This is when the filler moves from where it's specifically injected (the lips) to the surrounding area (usually the area above the lips and under the nose).
Truth be told, filler migration can occur after treatment at any clinic, even ours. However, it is much more likely to occur when an area has been over-treated, and too much filler is too injected, too often. That's why we pride ourselves on saying 'no' - even when sometimes our patients want more!
We're lucky enough to be able to share these Before & After photos from our amazing patient, who had her lip filler originally injected (several times) at a different clinic. She came to us because she was unhappy with the effects of filler migration above her lips, creating the 'duck lip' effect. Senior nurse Kaitlin used Hyalase to dissolve the filler from this area and reverse this effect. You can see how this has corrected the profile of her lips from all angles. Her lips still look beautiful and full, but without the puffiness above them.
There's a lot of technical information surrounding the issue of filler migration and Hyalase, so we asked Dr Cat for the full medical lowdown:
"Hyaluronic (HA) fillers have been used for more than 20 years, and are now the most commonly used injectables for filling lips and the under-eye area, as they are naturally based and integrate well into the tissues. Long-term benefits have been seen with repeated use of hyaluronic fillers, as they stimulate collagen and elastin. One of the key features of the HA fillers is that they are temporary (lasting 4-18 months depending on the product used) and reversible - they can be dissolved quickly and easily with injections of hyaluronidase (the enzyme that breaks down HA naturally in our bodies).
In recent years we have started seeing more people whose lip filler has migrated into their upper lip, creating the ‘duck lip’ appearance. This can occur either immediately, with injudicious use of large amounts of filler in the upper lip, or can slowly creep up over time. What is interesting is that repeated treatment of just the red part of the lip, or the lip border, can also lead to the filler migrating into the white lip tissues and creating a distinctive prominence of the upper lip.
Unfortunately, in this instance, the filler tends to not break down quickly, and the most effective way to reverse the prominent 'duck lip' is to use hyaluronidase to dissolve most or all of the old product, and start again with a ‘clean canvas’. The two weeks between dissolving the old product and replacing the filler can often be a significant mental shift for people who are used to seeing overfilled lips in the mirror, although everybody around them will usually tell them they look so much better. We recommend leaving two weeks between dissolving and re-treatment to allow the tissues to recover appropriately. If you, or a friend, have noticed potential lip filler migration, or prominence of filler under the eyes (also caused by migration of product, and treated in the same way) it is best to see a trained professional for a consult to explore your options."
For clinicians wanting to invest in their patients' safety and learn more about Hyalase, you can book your spot at our next training workshop here.
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