Don’t let rough, dry, chapped lips sneak up on you this month. Here are our secrets to keeping lips soft, healthy and kissable. You will find out what causes chapped lips, how to treat them, and how to get the fuller lips you have always wanted!
What Causes Chapped Lips?
Chapped lips are a sign of winter. You bundle up in extra layers during the winter months, but your lips are still exposed to the sun, wind, cold, and dry air. Because your lips have only thin surface layers of skin, they’re more likely to dry out than the rest of your face. You lose up to 10 times more moisture through your lips than you do elsewhere on your face or body. Dry, winter air, arctic blasts of wind, and low, indoor humidity can dehydrate your lips, making them so fragile that they develop tiny splits and cracks. Even though they may feel dry, licking your lips is not the answer.
The instinct to lick your lips makes the chapping worse. As saliva evaporates, it dehydrates your lips even more. Saliva also contains acids that help break down food. Those acids can irritate compromised lip skin.
Another common mistake is scrubbing, peeling, or picking at chapped lips. Picking at the already thin skin of the lips can lead to cuts, bleeding and even scabs. This slows the healing process and irritates the skin further, which could lead to an infection or a cold sore.
Protecting Your Lips
Your lips need a shield to stay moist. A balm provides a buffer between your delicate skin and the weather or indoor heating, so never let your lips go unprotected. Chapped skin heals better when it’s kept moist, so it’s important to wear an emollient balm or ointment rather than a waxy stick treatment. The goal is to seal in moisture and to get extra hydration with beneficial oils. The barrier will help deep cracks to seal and splits from getting irritated and infected. Choose a product with an SPF of at least 30 or higher.
Plump, Fuller Lips
These days, an injectable dermal filler is the most commonly used method of lip enhancement. There are many types of dermal fillers that can be injected in your lips and around your mouth. The most common fillers used today are products that contain substances similar to hyaluronic acid, which is a natural substance found in your body. These types of dermal fillers are called “hyaluronic acid fillers.”
Hyaluronic Acid Fillers
Hyaluronic acid fillers can improve the appearance of your lips by adding:
The effects of the fillers typically last around six months. After that, more injections are needed to keep the volume of your lips.
There are several hyaluronic acid fillers on the market. Some of these are: Restylane, Restylane Silk, Restylane-L Perlane, Perlane-L Juvederm Ultra, Juvederm Ultra XC, Juvederm Ultra Plus, Juvederm Ultra Plus XC and Juvederm Vobella.
All of these products are injected the same way and can give you similar results. Also, they all contain lidocaine, a local anesthetic to help ease discomfort. Once injected, the gel in the filler supports and shapes the tissues of the lips.
The benefits of using hyaluronic acid fillers include: control over lip volume, gradual pace of treatment, less bruising, and reasonably lasting results.
Because hyaluronic acid fillers are made from substances similar to those found in the body, they are unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. But, if you are allergic to lidocaine, be sure and tell your doctor before being treated.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Injectable lip filler techniques can be performed quickly in the Radiant Complexion office with little to no downtime. Before the injections, a topical or local numbing agent may be applied to ease discomfort. Sometimes, injections can be given before the treatment to completely numb the lips. This is similar to the anesthetic injections that you get at the dentist to numb your mouth. After carefully marking the areas to be injected, very fine needles are used to inject the substance into your lips.
Following injection, ice may be given to ease discomfort and to control swelling. Firm pressure should not be put on the treatment area. You should be able to notice a difference immediately and after you have healed, your lips should feel natural.
Is Lip Enhancement Right for You?
Before undergoing lip enhancement, you should be in good health and a nonsmoker. Your Radiant Complexions Specialist can discuss the pros and cons of a lip enhancement and help you decide which technique or product is best for you.
Adapted from WEBMD.COM