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Lots of women come to me asking about lip augmentation. I’d say that the #1 fear that they have is looking “over done”, like they have duck lips. You want to look better, but you don’t want anybody talking about you behind your back! Fortunately, duck lips can be avoided! Here are four of my tips on how to avoid duck lips.

1) Pick the right product.

Fillers come in different strengths. The active ingredient in most fillers is a molecule called “hyaluronic acid.” Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring compound that is found in your skin and your joints. Fillers differ in their strengths based on how the hyaluronic acid molecules in them relate to each other. The more they’re stuck together, the stronger the filler. For lips, you want a filler whose molecules aren’t very sticky- something nice and thin.

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I prefer to use Restylane® for lip enhancement. It’s strong enough to get a nice effect, but not so strong that you risk significant ducky-ness.

2) Don’t use too much!

Fillers come in pre-filled syringes, usually with 1 mL per syringe. To avoid duck lips, stick to one syringe per treatment. Honestly, some times we won’t even use the whole syringe to avoid the risk of duck lips.

3) Put it in the right place.

We can be extremely precise in where we put fillers in the lips. If you go too high on the upper lip or too low on the upper lip, you risk duck lips. I prefer to put it just below the ridge that defines the border of your upper lip.

4) Minimize swelling.

When I’m augmenting lips, I do everything I can to avoid excess swelling. We use an ice pack to help keep you comfortable but also to decrease inflammation. We minimize the number of times a needle goes into your lip. In fact, this video is a couple of years old- now I use a technique where there are even fewer needle sticks. With less trauma comes less swelling and less risk of duck lips.

When you walk out of the office, you still may be a little ducky in spite of these strategies. Keep in mind that there will be a little swelling regardless of how careful we are. Also, about 10% of the volume in a syringe is a carrier solution that gets reabsorbed over a couple of weeks.

I’m confident that you’ll love your new, duck-free lips!