Lip filler is one of the most popular tweakments on the market, and after a mini hiatus while we’ve been covering our mouths with our masks, the new easing of lockdown looks set to see a rise in treatments again.

Lip enhancement has become less and less taboo over the past few years, with fans noticing many of their favourite identifiable reality TV stars plumping their pout, it feels more accessible and reasonable for us ‘regular’ folk to have the treatment too.

I, myself have written about the pitfalls of not selecting your practitioner carefully and how you should never use cost and accessibility as your deciding factor of who you have your treatment with, but above ALL please only ever have filler administered by a Doctor.

I feel incredibly strongly about this, and I do believe it won’t be too much longer until the industry is regulated to enforce this. I do appreciate that there are a very many artistically skilled Beauty Therapists currently performing filler treatments, and it certainly is an art-form, but even the most knowledgeable of therapists (and again there are many) still cannot compare with a medically trained professional, especially in the instance of emergency. Besides which, the medicines needed in a filler-health emergency can only be administered by a doctor anyway.

I have said this many times, but I feel like it can never be said enough – choose your practitioner wisely!!

An emergency with filler can mean needing to quickly dissolve filler that has accidentally been injected into a blood vessel, it does not mean dissolving filler because you have changed your mind or do not like the appearance of it – it is a painful, clinical procedure that comes with its own risks. The first and most important thing you need to know is that if you have an allergic reaction to Hyaluronidase (the enzyme used to break down the dermal filler), you can never have filler administered again. This is because in the event of a medical emergency, Hyaluronidase could not be used because of the risk of anaphylactic shock. Severe reactions to Hyaluronidase are thankfully very rare but you only need to dip your toe into Google to understand how distressing these reactions can be for people.

The second thing to note, is that dissolving filler is very uncomfortable, causing a burning sensation, like bee stings, swelling and sometimes bruising. I think people often have this view that you simply make an appointment with your practitioner, have a few injections to dissolve the filler and then simply top the filler back up in the way that you wish, all within the hour – this is NOT the case! You need to wait at least 10-14 days in-between dissolving and re-filling (that is of course if you are able to be ‘re-filled’).

Despite these side-effects, thank goodness that Hyaluronidase does exist; Dr Harris from The Harris Clinic is the master of filler correction (although his tweakment skills stretch far beyond just this), he is the go-to man for lip-filler disasters but even he will only dissolve the filler in extreme cases, or if he can see the issue is causing the patient significant distress (Dr Harris has performed over 1000 corrections in his Dissolving Clinic and has encountered very few severe reactions to Hyaluronidase in patients). Harris is very clear that the filler is not to blame for mishaps, but rather the technique “filler does not have a mind of its own, if it ‘migrates’ to an area it shouldn’t, this is due to how it was administered in the first place”.

You only need to look at Dr Harris’ Instagram (if you are one of the lucky ones accepted as a follower) to begin to understand that when it comes to aesthetic treatments, it is very much a blend of when Medicine meets Art – not only is he an incredible Doctor, he is also a very accomplished artist. It is one thing to perform a procedure medically safely, but it is completely another to understand the art of each individual face. Good cosmetic work is not about isolating features to create the most perfect lips or cheekbones, but to simply make subtle tweaks, light & shade, in line with individual anatomy to enhance the natural beauty of every face – it makes sense that in some countries, only cosmetic surgeons are legally allowed to administer filler and Botox.

It is the ‘natural beauty’ that appears to be becoming lost in the modern age of aesthetic treatments; the ‘Insta model’ look of perma-pout lips, chiselled jawline and feline eyes have flooded our timelines and TV screens to such a degree, that these unnatural faces no longer look unusual to us. I recently presented my 13- and 9-year-old daughters with an image I saw online of a young girl with that typical over-filled, over-botoxed look, and I asked their opinion. They looked at me completely blankly. They, like so many of their generation, are so used to seeing this ‘look’ (whether it be on TV personalities, on popstars or online – it’s difficult to avoid) that for them it isn’t unusual at all, which actually breaks my heart a little bit. Where will this take us and the beautiful faces of generations to come??

I, personally, think that aesthetic treatments are amazing and often do wonders for a person’s self-esteem, but I do worry about this new perception of what is ‘normal’ in pursuit of a new ideal of perfection. If only there were more Dr Harris’ in the world, helping us to embrace our beautiful individuality…. Initial consultation is free

Dissolving Clinic from £250

Lip Filler from £350

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