Lip fillers aren't forever. Most injections are temporary and disappear on their own within a year. However, you don't have to wait that long to get rid of them if you're unhappy with the end result or simply miss the shape of your natural lips. With the help of a trained dermatologist, you can safely dissolve temporary lip fillers in a matter of days.
If you have hyaluronic acid-based lip fillers (such as popular fillers like Juvaderm and Volbella), there is an easy way to get rid of their effects. "If you have hyaluronic acid injected in your lips, then you are in luck because it has an antidote called hyaluronidase that acts like an eraser," Dr. Shereene Idriss, a New York City-based and board-certified dermatologist, says.
Hyaluronidase is an FDA-approved injectable enzyme that breaks down the hyaluronic acid in your lips, allowing your body to absorb it, she explains.
"A series of injections of hyaluronidase are placed throughout the target area, and the area is firmly massaged in order to evenly spread it out." The procedure isn't cheap, though: The injections to get rid of your filler can start at around $550.
The treatment is effective, but must be administered extremely carefully. "Hyaluronidase does have the serious potential to degrade your body’s own natural hyaluronic acid in preference to the foreign hyaluronic acid filler that has been injected," Dr. Idriss says. "It must therefore be used with utmost skill and precision. I recommend treating the target area very slowly and bringing the patient back for additional treatments if necessary."
How fast you see results depends on how much filler is in your lips and the type of filler. Dr. Idriss says that it can take anywhere from one to two sessions. Because of swelling and potential bruising due to the injections, she notes that patients will need two to three days to see the end result. A review appointment should be made for one to two weeks after the procedure so your dermatologist can assess the results.
You can get lip fillers again in the future, but you should work in some downtime before your next appointment. "I recommend waiting a minimum of three to five days after dissolution before considering correcting them again with filler. When it comes to your lips, the simple insertion of a needle can lead to swelling. Add the inflammatory reaction of dissolving filler, and a perfect storm of trauma can ensue—bruising, swelling, redness, and pain," Dr. Idriss says.
"Patience is key, and allowing your body to recover and return to its baseline is essential if your goal is to obtain natural results down the road."