Afraid of Duck Lips?
Many people that I talk to about lip augmentation are hesitant to have the procedure for fear of looking unnatural. “Duck Lips” and the “Trout Pout” have given lip injections a bad name. Using fillers in the lips can be a great way to improve fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth and to give a younger look to the face overall. When properly injected the filler can look very natural, patients are often surprised when I tell them that I have filler in my own lips.
Often, the unnatural look comes from using too much filler. Patients will sometimes bring in photos of celebrities and ask if their lips could look similar. It is certainly possible to make a big change in the size of the lips, but to be done well it must be done slowly. If a patient wants a significant increase in the size of their lips, I will generally recommend that we do just one syringe every month until they get to the size that they want. Injecting too much filler all at one time will cause the lips to protrude forward, rather than increasing the “show” of the lip (the amount of red that you see), thus resulting in “Duck Lips.”
The “Trout Pout” happens when injectors don’t respect the normal ratios of the lips. Your upper lip should be about ½ the thickness of the lower lip and the upper lip should project slightly more than the lower. When the upper and lower lips are the same size, it gives an unnatural look to the mouth and the entire lower face. Also, the lips should taper at the sides. When the upper (or lower) lip is thick all the way across, it gives a “Trout Pout.”
Care must also be given to the philtrum (the area between your nose and your mouth) and the cupid’s bow. As we age, the philtrum elongates and becomes smoother. Restoring the philtral columns helps to turn up the upper lip, increasing the show, but also gives a younger look to the entire lower face.
Hyaluronic acid fillers are a great option to augment lips with a natural looking (and feeling) filler. You should always look for an experienced physician injector. It is also important to discuss your goals with the augmentation. Be sure to ask for Before and After Photos to get a good idea of the injector’s skill.