Lip Services: Ways to Keep the Plump in Our Pucker

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Dermatologist Dr. John Troccoli with Advanced Dermatology PC, Shares Tips on Increased Choices for Lip Enhancement.

Dr. John Troccoli

Over the past 15 years we’ve seen a cascade of procedures that offer a wide range of lip enhancements, either to augment what people were born with or to address changes brought by aging.

“Your lips, your lips, your lips, your lips are juicy,” croons jazz bluesman Olu Dara, voicing a perennial lover’s homage. Consumers today lay out about $1.4 billion annually on makeup for a pretty pout. Now, there are increasing options for more lasting lip looks. “Over the past 15 years,” notes Dr. John Troccoli, a board-certified dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology PC, “we’ve seen a cascade of procedures that offer a wide range of lip enhancements, either to augment what people were born with or to address changes brought by aging.”

Over time, our bodies lose the key ingredients that keep our skin smooth and supple – and maintain the “plump” in our pucker. “As we age,” explains Dr. Troccoli, “we start to see a decrease in collagen and hyaluronic acid (HA), resulting in skin drooping and wrinkling. In terms of our lips, we see increased lines around our mouths, as well as a thinning of the lips themselves.”

“We’ve come a long way from the ’80s, when collagen was first approved as a dermal filler,” continues Dr. Troccoli. “Now, patients can choose from 15-minute filler injections to much more involved surgical implants.”

Lip enhancement injections typically bring back what was lost by replenishing collagen or HA, with fillers injected around the mouth or directly into the lips. “The growing number of dermal fillers,” says Dr. Troccoli, “offers safe, minimally invasive ways to add lip volume and reduce mouth wrinkles.”

There were more 2.7 million dermal filler procedures performed last year, reports the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, an explosion in demand that has made these injections second only to “botox” in popularity. “This is in part due to the increased menu of choices to customize a treatment that will work for an individual’s unique needs,” explains Dr. Troccoli.

In addition to dermal fillers, patients may opt for more extensive lip enhancement, such as implants. “Like the injectable options,” Dr. Troccoli explains, “implants have developed, offering patients safer ‘biocompatible’ ingredients.”

To help patients navigate the range of choices, Dr. Troccoli offers the following tips:

Tips on the Achieving Beautiful Lips
1. Carefully choose your doctor: “These are not cookie-cutter procedures,” Dr. Troccoli emphasizes. “In addition to numerous options, there are continuing advances. Our mouths are complicated, and each person’s facial characteristics are unique. To make the most of what’s available and receive a customized approach, it’s imperative to find a skilled, up-to-date doctor. Check credentials, and review their portfolio of work.”

2. Be clear about your desired outcome: “Your doctor will customize an approach based on what you want addressed. Do you want to minimize wrinkles around your mouth – for example, laugh lines or vertical lips lines? Do you want to address lost volume in your lips? Do you want to ‘plump’ the lips you were born with? It’s important to clearly articulate your desires so that your doctor can identify the best options.”

3. Consider a minimally invasive start: “HA injections offer a wide range of formulations,” notes Dr. Troccoli, “providing different levels of correction, from minor touch-ups to deeper interventions. The effects are not permanent, and, in the rare instance that the patient is not satisfied, they can be reversed. For these reasons, people may want to consider starting with an HA procedure.”

4. Understand the process and outcome: “Make sure you have a very clear understanding of all aspects of the procedure and recovery, including any risks,” Dr. Troccoli states, “especially for more invasive augmentation involving implants. You also want to understand how long the effects can last. While filler injections are not permanent, implants’ effects can be long lasting.”

5. Discuss combining procedures: “We’re seeing advantages to using a variety of approaches,” observes Dr. Troccoli, “For example ‘botox’ and fillers together can accentuate each procedure’s results.”

“Establishing an ongoing relationship with your doctor,” sums up Dr. Troccoli, “can help you take advantage of the ongoing advances in lip enhancement.”

John Troccoli, M.D., is board certified and specializes in dermatology at Advanced Dermatology P.C.

Advanced Dermatology P.C. and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York & New Jersey) is one of the leading dermatology centers in the nation, offering highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology as well as plastic surgery and state-of-the-art medical technologies.

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