Lip fillers are a quick and easy way to achieve the pout of your dreams. Though in certain circumstances, lip filler dissolving is crucial to maintain the look and structure of your lips.
Many individuals are shocked to learn this because they assuming filler dissolving is only for when someone has a botched lip filler treatment or has changed their mind about the filler. However, filler dissolving is a vital part of any beauty plan for lip filler lovers who wants natural, long-lasting lip filler results.
In this guide, we will go over everything you need to know before your treatment.
What is This Treatment?
Dissolving filler in the lips is simple process that can remove some or all of patient’s lip filler, using a technique that closely matches the original lip filler treatment. The main difference from the original lip filler treatment is that the provider is now injecting an enzyme called hyaluronidase, which breaks down the hyaluronic acid filler.
Why Haven't I Heard Much About This Before?
Unfortunately, injectors don’t talk about lip filler dissolving as much as they should.
It’s likely because injectors find it difficult to admit when their results are not perfect and that they might need to go back and fix something. Although filler dissolving can work wonders in reversing poorly injected lip filler, most injectors only use it to correct natural filler migration.
Reversing a treatment does not always mean someone had botched filler. Dissolving could imply the lips need reset or the patient doesn’t like the result from lip filler in the past. It’s important to emphasize that dissolving filler is not just to “fix mistakes” but is another tool for creating beautiful lips, just like lip fillers and even botox.
We at Boise Image Enhancement Centre are dedicated to transparency with every single patient. We believe injectors should explain to patients the “why” of filler dissolving, and we pride ourselves on educating our patients on how to preserve the integrity of their results.
An overlooked, crucial fact about filler dissolving is that to keep the integrity and contour of your lips, dissolving existing filler is often required before getting further injections. In this way, a dissolving session isn’t intended to fix a mistake or undo a botched job—it’s to ensure the result looks as beautiful as possible.
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How Does the Process Work?
Lip fillers are dissolved by injections of hyaluronidase (Hyalase) near the filler.
Hyaluronidase is a synthetic, concentrated-form of an enzyme that occurs naturally in your body. When injected, it begins to degrade the filler, accelerating the dissolving process that would otherwise take time.
Although hyaluronidase had medical applications before fillers, healthcare experts have been using it to dissolve HA fillers for nearly 20 years. Hyaluronidase can dissolve more than just lip fillers, and can dissolve HA fillers in your cheeks, under your eyes, and wherever else you have them.
The dissolving procedure will feel familiar to anyone who has had their lips filled. After cleaning, sterilizing, and applying a topical numbing agent to your skin, one of our premier medical injectors will inject small doses of hyaluronidase into your lips. They will then massage the treatment area to help the filler dissolve. Although there may be some initial swelling, the filler should dissolve in three days, returning your lips back to how they were before fillers.
Does It Hurt to Dissolve Filler?
When filler dissolves, it can give an unpleasant burning feeling. To help lessen the burning sensation and give, we at Boise Image Enhancement Centre can safely dilute the dissolving enzyme with saline and/or lidocaine.
In addition, we provide each client with detailed aftercare instructions, including how to ice and use Tylenol for pain instead of NSAIDs, which cause bruising.
Is It Safe to Dissolve Filler?
Yes, the procedure is safe when performed by an experienced medical injector, like those at Boise Image Enhancement Centre. We prioritize safety for our patients above all else. That’s why, for example, all of our injectable treatments are administered by registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and physicians who take great care to ensure the procedure is done safely.
To ensure safety, the beginning of each filler dissolving treatment starts with a complimentary medical assessment that rules out certain medications—such as antihistamines and anxiety medications—that may interact with the dissolving enzyme. Further, we always perform a spot test before dissolving the lips to check if a patient has an allergic reaction to the enzyme.
Swelling, bruising, and a mild burning feeling are common side effects. The swelling goes down in 48 hours, but the bruising may take a few more days to subside. To ensure the best results, we require patients to return for a follow-up after two weeks to assess if their lips need further dissolving.
What Lip Fillers Can be Reversed?
The only type of lip fillers can be dissolved are hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers such as Juvèderm®, Restylane®, and Belotero®.
HA is a sugar that is naturally created by your body, and can be most found in your connective tissues. HA’s main role is to keep your skin moisturized, which helps it to look plump. The HA found in fillers is a lab-produced, synthetic form of the natural molecule.
Fillers created from other materials cannot be reversed, but they will eventually wear out. All semi-permanent fillers break down over time, which is why follow-up injections are important to keeping your look.
When Do I Need to Dissolve My Lip Filler?
It’s crucial to dissolve lip filler if you want to keep the shape and structure of your lips intact. The short answer to the question, “When do I need to dissolve my lip filler? ” is when filler migration—defined as the movement of filler beyond the inner or outer border of the lip—occurs. If the filler is moving into areas around or outside the lips, it is time to dissolve the filler and “reset” your lips.
The hyaluronic acid found in the lip filler that we inject at Boise Image Enhancement Centre naturally dissolves at varying rates depending to each patient’s metabolism. For this reason, patient follow-up appointments are necessary to track the progress of the dissolving filler. Depending on how much volume you want to add, a beauty plan involving multiple filler and dissolving sessions may be needed over the course of several months to a year. Once the desired volume has been achieved, most patients only need touch-ups once or twice a year.
What Will Happen If I Don't Get My Filler Dissolved?
As mentioned above, lip filler will continue to move wherever it can if you don’t dissolve it when you should. For instance:
- The lip may invert if filler migrates into the tissues above the lip’s boundary.
- The filler can migrate inside the lip towards the wet-dry border and look like gummy worms in the lips
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How Often Should I Dissolve My Lip Filler?
In the end, it is determined by your own physiology. If you undergo filler treatments on a regular basis and encounter some filler migration, the typical time range is 3 to 5 years. However, this is can vary.
If your lips retain their form and integrity, you can avoid dissolving your filler for as long as you and your injector are satisfied with the results. However, if the injector examines the lips and sees a migration of filler or an odd shape, they will advise you to reset your lip fillers by dissolving and restarting.
In certain cases, patients may go 10 years or more before needing their lip filler dissolved. However, if you get lip filler on a regular basis, you should expect to have the filler dissolved every 5 years, as it helps preserve the structure of the lip. After the filler has been dissolved, you can restart the volumizing process by receiving a syringe of filler, followed by a second syringe around 4-6 months later before returning to less frequent touch-ups.
Lip Filler Dissolving Before & After
The photos below show lip filler dissolving from our practice, overseen by Medical Director Dr. Morgann Eason.
Lip Filler Reset Before & After - Dissolve & Refill
Many patients come into our practice with lip filler results that they do not like or do not look natural. The below two photos are of a patient who we performed a full lip reset and correction–dissolving the old filler and refilling and shaping the lips with new filler.
Some lip results may take longer to achieve than others. To reach the below patient’s goals, three rounds of lip filler dissolving treatments were needed to reset the lips. To correct the lips again, two separate lip filler treatments spaced a month apart were needed to achieve the desired result.
Lip Filler Dissolving Before and After - Treatment 1
Lip Filler Dissolving Before and After - Treatment 2
Lip Filler Dissolving Before and After - Treatment 3
Lip Filler Refill Before and After - Treatment 1
Lip Filler Refill Before and After - Treatment 2
Note: Before & After photos have been color corrected and backgrounds removed for consistency.
Quiz: Is Lip Filler Reversal Right for You?