Here Are Your Options If Your Lip Filler Results Aren't What You Expected

With the hype surrounding luscious, full lips in recent years and images of desirable pouts all over social media, it's no wonder that lip filler injections have become wildly popular. Whether you've noticed a change in your lip shape with age or simply don't feel as confident as you'd like when it comes to your natural pout, lip filler has been a saving grace for many. But, as with any cosmetic procedure, there are risks involved.


Apart from safety, you might just be less than thrilled with the outcome of your lip filler and find it doesn't suit your facial features or feels too uncomfortable. While it's definitely disconcerting to look in the mirror and not love what you see after lip filler, try not to go into a full panic. Treating the swelling, waiting to make a judgment about the results, and dissolving the filler are all available routes. You do have options and certainly aren't the first person to find themselves in this situation.

Give it time

This is a tricky one if you are just nowhere near pleased with the results of your lip filler — but swelling and bruising are common after the procedure, and you will need to wait a bit to see the true form of your new lips. "There's usually initial swelling, which can make your lips look bigger than you'd like, because hyaluronic acid fillers (such as Juvederm, Belotero, and Restylane) absorb water," board-certified dermatologist David Goldberg told Self.


Plus, all that poking with the needle is sure to leave a bit of a temporary mark behind. But don't worry: About two weeks is all it takes for swelling and bruising to subside, so hang tight before you make a call on whether or not you're pleased with your new lips. If your lips still feel swollen beyond that point, it could be a sign of an infection, and you should contact your provider if you suspect your lips aren't healing as they should.

Take measures to reduce swelling

If you're super eager for the swelling to go down so you can get an idea of what your lips truly look like, you can take some measures in an attempt to quicken the process. Ice, of course, is a great go-to for inflammation, and homeopathic remedies like Arnica can also be helpful with the inflammatory response after surgery (via Frontiers in Surgery). A topical application on and around the lips a couple of times a day should do the trick.


Lifestyle can also be a contributing factor in swelling and recovery, so it's wise to be mindful of potential triggers. Your provider should let you know what not to do after getting lip filler. Salty foods, alcohol, and flying on an airplane can all worsen swelling and bruising — as can intensive physical activity (via Healthline). Sleeping face down can also contribute to extended swelling, as well as visiting areas with high heat, like saunas, steam rooms, and hot yoga classes. 

Assess if your vision was realistic

One of the more common complaints after lip filler treatments is that the results aren't natural-looking. "[Hyaluronic acid filler] can kind of spread through different planes," Melissa Doft, a double board-certified plastic surgeon in New York, told Shape. "And so sometimes people get a fullness above the lip. It looks a little too thick and it just looks very fake."


Essentially, cosmetic surgery is both an art and a science, and recreating a natural-born pout isn't always doable — or it may not suit the rest of your facial features, looking out of place and unnatural. So, while an experienced and skilled injector is highly important, the vision you had for your lips may simply not have been realistic, even if it was executed properly. If your lips are uneven or bumpy after two weeks, that, of course, is a different story, and you should contact the office to explore your options for having the procedure fixed.

Dissolve the filler

Ultimately, if you aren't satisfied with the results, you can reverse the lip filler procedure by having it dissolved. This can be a saving grace for those who aren't happy with their new look; however, it often isn't free of cost and can also be painful. You do typically see results quickly — within about two or three days, your lips should appear smaller than they were with the filler. And in some cases, they may even appear smaller than they originally were for a short time.


"It is possible that the Hyalase could break down some of your natural hyaluronic acid, causing some skin puckering and unevenness, but this is avoided by using the correct concentrations and dilutions," Dr. Kaywaan Khan, founder of aesthetic clinic Hannah London, tells Women's Health. "If this does happen, the body will also make the hyaluronic acid again naturally to replace any that is lost."

If you do opt to try filler again after having it dissolved, find a provider who will make a plan with you to build up your lips gradually and safely for the most natural-looking results. It's understandable to desire the lips of your dreams and to have them now, but taking it slow can save you regret and the feelings of dissatisfaction some report after the procedure.