Lip Filler: What to Expect + Potential Side Effects | Dermal Filler for Lip Augmentation

Lip enhancement procedures, particularly through the use of fillers, have surged in popularity as a means to achieve fuller, more defined lips. The use of Botox and other neurotoxin brands are popular for the lip flip procedure which subtly changes the shape of the upper lip, where it becomes turned upward and outward. 

While these treatments are generally safe and effective when administered by experienced professionals, like any cosmetic procedure, they come with potential risks and side effects. Understanding these risks is crucial for anyone considering lip enhancement treatments, ensuring informed decisions and optimal outcomes.

Potential Side Effects of Lip Augmentation with Dermal Filler + Lip Flip 

Immediately following lip filler enhancement procedures, several common, temporary side effects may be observed. These typically subside on their own within a few days to a week:

  1. Swelling and Bruising: The most frequent side effects, swelling and bruising, can vary in intensity from mild to more pronounced, depending on the individual’s response to the treatment, types of dermal filler used, the technique used, and the amount of injectable dermal filler. Cannulas, because they are blunt, are less likely to cause bruising and swelling.
  2. Redness and Tenderness: The injection sites may be red and tender to the touch immediately following the procedure. This tenderness is generally mild and short-lived. Applying Greater amount of  filler may lead to more redness and swelling, Again – cannulas are less likely to lead to redness and tenderness, as there is less cutting of tissues, because the canal is blunt.
  3. Itching: Some individuals may experience itching around the treated area, which is usually a temporary reaction as the lips adjust to the filler.
  4. Lumps and Bumps: Occasionally, small lumps or bumps may form as the filler settles within the lip tissues. These can often be massaged gently to smooth out, but if they persist, a follow-up visit to the injector is advisable. an experienced injector will be able to reduce the hyaluronic acid filler with an enzyme called hyaluronidase – which can reduce bumps. 

While less common, there are several potential risks associated with lip fillers that patients should be aware of:

  1. Allergic Type  Reactions: Although rare, especially with hyaluronic acid fillers which are biocompatible and closely resemble substances naturally found in the body, allergic reactions can occur. Symptoms may include prolonged redness, swelling, itching, or hardness at the injection sites.
  2. Infection: Any procedure involving injections carries a risk of infection. Strict adherence to sterile techniques by the practitioner significantly minimizes this risk.
  3. Vascular Occlusion: One of the more serious complications, though rare, is vascular occlusion, where the filler inadvertently enters a blood vessel, potentially leading to tissue damage or necrosis. Immediate medical attention is required to address this issue. Persistent pain after filler injection is a potential indication that the blood vessels have been affected, and Medical intervention may be needed.
  4. Asymmetry and Irregularities: Achieving symmetrical results requires skill and experience on the part of the injector. technique or uneven filler distribution can lead to asymmetry or undesired aesthetic outcomes.
  5. Overfilling: Excessive filler can lead to an unnatural appearance, sometimes referred to as “duck lips” or “trout pout.” A skilled injector will aim for a result that harmonizes with the patient’s facial features and respects the natural lip anatomy.

Injecting too much too deep can lead to unnatural appearances, especially If the surrounding nasolabial fold is deep and untreated.

WATCH: What is the Difference Between a Lip Flip and Lip Fillers!? 

Lip Filler Procedures – Hyaluronic Acid Filler injected into the lips

Lip fillers physically increase the lips’ size and shape by adding volume. Dermal fillers, typically made from hyaluronic acid, are injected directly into the lips, where they attract moisture and plump up the tissue. This can significantly enhance lip volume, define the lip borders, and improve overall lip shape and symmetry.

The lips can be injected with either a needle or a tube-like device called a cannula. Needles cause more side effects, however are more precise. Cannulas in the right hand can reduce side effects while providing exceptional results. Needles are sharper and cut through more tissue as they are applying fillers. Cannulas on the other hand are blunt, and are able to slide under the skin, causing less trauma to tissues.

READ MORE: How Long Do Lip FIllers Last? 

Lip Flip Procedure – Botox injected into the upper lip  

Using Botox or other neurotoxin brands such as Dysport, Xeomin, Jeveau, or Daxify to reduce the muscular tension around the mouth in the upper lip area, can help project the upper lip upward and outward due to relaxation of muscle tension. A lip flip can improve the appearance of the upper lip, making it more projected and noticeable. However, over correction with Botox can result in weakness in the upper lip area. Difficulty pursing lips or difficulty with sipping from a straw, kissing or puckering lips – related to weakness of lip muscles. Asymmetry of the lips, if the muscle relaxation is greater on one side, it may appear that you have a droopy lip. 

Minimizing Risks and Managing Side Effects

Choosing an experienced and qualified injector is paramount in minimizing the risks associated with lip enhancement procedures. Medical  professionals who are fully dedicated to injectable and cosmetic medicine on a full-time basis are best equipped to perform these treatments safely. Pre-treatment consultations offer an opportunity to discuss individual risks, potential side effects, and to set realistic expectations. During this time, patients should disclose any medical history, allergies, or medications that could affect the procedure’s outcome. Post-treatment, following the aftercare instructions provided by the injector can help manage side effects and understand what to look for. 


Lip enhancement procedures, particularly with the use of hyaluronic acid fillers and botox like treatments for lip flip are a popular option for those seeking fuller appearing, more aesthetically pleasing lips. While these procedures are generally safe, being informed about the common side effects and potential risks is crucial. Optimal outcomes are most often achieved through the selection of an experienced injector, open communication regarding goals and concerns, and adherence to recommended aftercare . With these considerations in mind, many individuals can enjoy the benefits of lip enhancement with minimal complications.