Once reserved for high-end plastic surgeons, lip filler has become well-known, accessible, and affordable. Yet it’s newfound (and well-deserved) fame has also brought its detractors.

Through a lack of understanding (sometimes unintentional, although often deliberate), there are a few common myths about lip filler out there that need to be addressed.

Despite countless positive studies and reports, from a varied range of respected organisations such as the NHS, WebMD,  and Harvard, these myths about lip filler continue to float about.

Now, like everything in life, there are always cons to the pros. When putting a needle anywhere on the body, it comes with risks if you try and ‘wing it’ with an unqualified friend, or God forbid, you try it yourself. As Harvard Medical School state, “Dermal fillers are safe and effective, in the right hands.”

So, being a registered nurse and qualified aesthetic practitioner, I’d like to think I’m the “right hands”, so let me debunk 7 common myths about lip filler.

Lip filler myth 1: “I’ve heard fillers are irreversible?”

Fillers that are hyaluronic acid-based are COMPLETELY reversible by dissolving it using a product called hyaluronidase.

This procedure involves injecting small amounts of product into the lips where the original filler is. Hyaluronidase has an immediate effect, having a half-life of two minutes and will still be dissolving the filler for up to 2-3 days after treatment.

If clients are wanting their lip filler topping up after dissolve treatment, give it two weeks to be safe, and you’ll be ready to go.

Lip filler myth 2: “I’ve heard anyone can perform lip filler injections?”

An absolute, categorical, no.

It is vital that when getting any aesthetic treatment that clients go to a trained professional who has undergone the appropriate training. Training should not only involve a basic foundation course in dermal fillers and Botox but a medical background such as; nurse, doctor, midwife etc.

There have been many shocking stories from those who haven’t gone to a qualified, registered practitioner and have paid the price for it.

Also (and thankfully), government regulations will soon come into effect which will ensure that all cosmetic practitioners are fully educated, qualified, and insured.

By visiting an experienced aesthetic practitioner who also has a medical background, you’re safe in the knowledge that if in the rare instance, complications arise, they’ll know how to handle the situation safely.

"Be picky with your clothes, friends, and your injector."

Lip filler myth 3: “Once you start, do you have to top up constantly?”

This is one of the most common myths about lip filler myths out there.

If a person was to get lip filler and didn’t like it for any reason (or wanted their natural lips again), then they don’t have to get further treatment. Lip filler will naturally dissolve over time, with the length of time it takes depending on the person.

Yet for those who want to keep lasting results without the need for a constant top-up, there are things you can do. For example, if a person drinks lots of water, follows correct aftercare and lives a healthy lifestyle, their body will maintain that filler for longer (6 months +). Yet for someone who smokes, follows little to no after-care advice, or participates in strenuous exercise, their filler will break down quicker due to the metabolism process.

You’re in control through the choices you make.

Lip filler myth 4: “Lip filler makes you look fake though?"

This is a wildly misguided assumption of all lip filler.

Although you’ll get some poor results when using bad practitioners, it is important to know that lip filler injected by a trained and experienced professional will never look fake or be poorly filled. Some clients may like to have the bigger, volumised, and pouty look, however, this can still be achieved whilst maintaining a natural lip shape and staying away from the dreaded ‘duck lips’.

Again, on visiting a professional injector, they’ll give you advice and guidance on the amount of product they believe is best for you and your current lip shape. When I have a client that has never had lip filler before, I will (90% of the time) recommend getting 0.5ml of filler.  This is because:

  • If a person has never had lip filler before, it’s a new experience and a bit of a shock if too much.

  • Swelling is likely to happen, so the more product used, the more swollen and plump lips will look.

  • Small changes over time, will lead to natural, optimal results.

Lip filler myth 5: “So I can get them done with no pre/after care required?"

Pre and aftercare procedures are there to keep you safe and preserve your results.

Before getting treatment, clients should always follow the pre-care and after-care routines recommended by their practitioner. Taking certain medications such as blood thinners, ibuprofen, aspirin and St Johns Wart cream will also increase the risk of swelling and bruising. This is why in the week leading up to treatment (and for the week after), I advise my clients to avoid all this type of medication (unless essential, and if so, to consider if lip filler is the best course to follow).

Other essential tips to follow are the following;


  • Avoid makeup for 24 hours after

  • Avoid heat such as sunbeds, saunas and steam rooms

  • Avoid participating in exercise or strenuous activity for 24 hours after

  • Try not to touch the area to reduce infection

  • If you have a cold sore, rearrange the appointment for a roughly two week period

  • Drink plenty of water to keep lips plump and hydrated

  • Avoid smoking

  • To reduce swelling, apply a cold compress regularly and sleep with head elevated

Lip filler myth 6: "When lip fillers wear off, do lips go smaller than before?"

This is not true. Whether filler dissolves over time naturally, or is dissolved using Hyaluronidase, lips will always return back to how they were originally.

After several months, they will begin to slowly decrease in size and fullness, which is part of the natural process the body goes through.

Many people worry about their lips being thinner than before or sagging. Yet, this is psychological, as many clients forget what their lips used to look like before they became used to having fuller, more volumized lips.

In fact, arguments suggest that not only will lips return to their natural state prior to injections, but often, they’ll actually be better due to a collagen response.

Lip filler myth 7: “So can any filler be used in lips?”

Before getting lip filler, it is important to research your injector, the products they use and their reviews.

It is vital to know that not every filler is suitable for the lips. Some fillers are deeper and sub-Q, which are perfect for areas such as cheeks, jaw and other facial contouring. Some fillers that are available in ‘deep’ can deliver great results and plumpness. However, this depends on several factors such as the client’s lips beforehand. If they are very thin, injecting deep, the thicker filler will result in fake, oversized and lumpy lips; no one want’s this!

It’s also important to know what filler your practitioner uses in the lips, it is your face after all. Luckily enough, the most common fillers today are hyaluronic acid, which, as covered earlier, is a natural substance found in the body.

These common myths about lip filler get thrown about a lot, and unfortunately, it’s these types of things to put off first-timers.

Lip fillers allow women to embrace who they are, finding the newfound confidence they deserve to express. If we can help debunk some of these myths, by ensuring people go to a qualified practitioner, then maybe we can help more women find a new level they never knew they had.