What it is, results, side effects, and more

A lip flip is a relatively new cosmetic procedure that reportedly gives a person fuller lips with one quick and straightforward treatment. People also refer to it as a lip injection. A lip flip involves injecting the neurotoxin Botox into the upper lip.

This article explores the lip flip procedure, its side effects and complications, and the things individuals should consider before having the treatment. It also covers how people can find a qualified provider.

A lip flip is a nonsurgical method of creating a fuller lip. A doctor injects botulinum toxin A, popularly known as Botox, into the upper lip to create an illusion of a larger lip. It relaxes the muscles above the lip, resulting in the upper lip “flipping” slightly upward. Although the procedure makes the lip look more prominent, it does not increase the size of the lip itself.

Lip flips may be particularly beneficial for individuals who have smiles that expose much of their gums. Following a lip flip, less gum shows when the individual smiles because the upper lip elevates less.

A lip flip involves injecting a type of abobotulinumtoxin A, such as Botox, Dysport, or Jeuveau, into the top lip. The goal is to relax the orbicularis oris muscle, which helps form and shape the lips. The injection encourages the top lip to relax and “flip” outwards, giving the subtle illusion of a fuller lip.

The lip flip is a quick procedure, taking less than 2 minutes. Because of this, it can be a suitable option for those wary about more invasive surgeries.

Dermal fillers are gels that cosmetic doctors inject into the skin to restore volume, smooth lines, wrinkles, or enhance facial contours. They are second only to botulinum toxin injections as the most common nonsurgical cosmetic procedures.

One popular type of dermal filler is hyaluronic acid, a substance that exists naturally in the body. Hyaluronic acid can help restore volume and moisture in the skin. When doctors inject it directly into the lips, it creates definition and boosts lip volume, resulting in a fuller lip.

While dermal fillers increase lip size, a lip flip only creates the illusion of a larger lip without adding volume.

Lip flips are less invasive and expensive than dermal fillers. However, they have a shorter effect than dermal fillers, which last between 6 and 18 months.

Another difference is that it takes up to a week to see lip flip results, while dermal fillers show immediate results.

Individuals should avoid exercising for the remainder of the day and avoid sleeping facedown for the night after a lip flip procedure. It is normal to have a small bump at the injection site for a few hours following treatment. Bruising may also occur.

Results appear over a few days. During this time, the orbicularis oris muscle relaxes, which allows the upper lip to lift and “flip.” People should see the full results about a week after treatment.

A lip flip lasts for about 2–3 months. It only lasts for a short duration because the upper lip muscle often moves, causing its effects to wear off. This short period might be due to the small dose involved.

When choosing whether to have a lip flip procedure, there are several factors to consider.

People with needle phobias might find the experience unnerving and may become stressed beforehand.

Individuals should also look at alternatives to lip flips, including dermal fillers and lip lifts. It is vital to explore other procedures to ensure the method offers the desired results.

An individual should also consider any emotional effects from the procedure. Their appearance may alter, and they need to adjust to their new look in the mirror — people should prepare for the feelings this may cause. Some may also need to consider reactions from friends and family.

Finally, people must consider potential side effects or complications. While rare, they are still possible.

Cosmetic procedures involving Botox are typically safe. Between 1989 and 2003, just 36 people reported serious effects involving Botox to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Among this number, 13 cases had links to an underlying health condition.

One common side effect is that the muscle may over-relax. This may lead to the muscle being too weak to pucker the lips or allow for drinking through a straw. A person may also have trouble keeping fluids in their mouth and speaking or whistling. However, these are often short-term effects.

Botox can also have some rare side effects, including:

  • allergic reaction
  • headache
  • neck or back pain
  • itching
  • difficulty swallowing
  • shortness of breath
  • loss of appetite
  • fever
  • cough
  • dizziness
  • dry mouth

Botox may cause some injection-site reactions, including bruising, pain, redness, swelling, or infection. Additionally, if the doctor does not administer the injections correctly, a person’s smile could appear crooked.

Some people who receive Botox may also develop botulism, although this is also exceedingly rare.

A person must find a board-certified professional to perform a lip flip procedure to avoid complications.

Doctors do not need specific training in the procedures they offer to receive accreditation from a state medical board. People should therefore choose a surgeon who has certification from the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery.

Individuals may also wish to check reviews of the doctor and facility to ensure that past patients were satisfied, felt the healthcare professional could answer their questions, and thought their procedure went smoothly.

When meeting with the doctor, individuals should verify that they have experience with the lip flip procedure. Ask how many procedures they have completed and look at before and after pictures of their work for verification.

Lastly, people should research the facility where they have the procedure to ensure it meets the required accreditations for that state.

A lip flip is a cosmetic procedure where a doctor injects Botox into the muscle immediately above the top lip. The Botox relaxes the muscle, which causes the lip to flip up, giving the appearance of a fuller lip.

A lip flip is different from dermal fillers: they provide the illusion of fuller lips, while dermal fillers truly make the lip larger.

Individuals see results within a week of the treatment. While there are some possible side effects of the procedure and Botox, these are rare.

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