Will lip fillers be painful?

Many people wonder whether lip fillers hurt or not, and if so, just how much they’ll hurt. Are we talking bee sting or stubbed toe pain? Tattoo pain or shut-my-hand-in-the-car-door pain? Is it a stinging sensation, or does it feel more like scraping your knee on the pavement? When you’re about to begin a procedure, it’s natural to want to know whether or not you’re going to be in pain, and how significant that pain is liable to be. The truth is, it will vary from person to person, as peoples’ pain tolerances often differ. Most people report a slight stinging sensation, or a pinch, and they often report that the sensation of the filler entering the skin is more uncomfortable (and strange) than the pain itself. Some compare the pain of the entire procedure to that of an eyebrow threading.

For many of us, a ritual that we go through in the day or two before heading to the doctor’s office can really help with stress, pain management, and our mood going into the procedure in general. Making a plan can be key to our comfort during and after the injections.


Pre-procedure prep:

Our suggestions?

  • Eat a healthy, light meal in the evening that’s rich in nutrients and anti-inflammatories (a veggie salad with turmeric, for instance).
  • Light a few candles and taking a couple minutes to breath deeply (this can be a great way to make sure you’re able to get a good night’s sleep).
  • Meditate: There are a few meditation tracks on youtube from the Plum Village Meditation Center, which we’d highly recommend. Or you might consider going for a bike ride or taking an evening walk outside to relax your body and to prepare for the following day. As you probably know, resting before any type of procedure is incredibly important. Choose some lavender incense and try to visualize how happy you’ll feel the next day after the procedure is finished.
  • Read a favorite book, and treat yourself to a bubble bath.
  • Turn any screens off to give your brain time to decompress.
  • Cuddle with a favorite pet.
  • For the morning of the injections, try to have everything you’ll need (like comfier clothing and a podcast to listen to on the drive to the doctor’s) laid out, so you’re not rushing out the door. Some people even find that drinking coffee beforehand can help with the pain, as caffeine can help our central nervous systems to dampen the pain signals our body is sending. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, however, we obviously don’t recommend trying this.


During the lip filler procedure:

Most doctors advise that patients use at least a topical anaesthetic for lip pain during lip filler injections. Some patients with a high pain tolerance or who don’t believe in using anaesthetics will opt to go without, but generally it’s more comfortable to at least go for something to dull the feeling. The doctor will usually place the topical cream on the person’s lips for half an hour, so the numbing effects have time to set in. In some cases, it takes just a few minutes before the lips are numb enough for the injections. If you want to go all-natural, you can also always ice your lips and the skin near them.

For those who are more sensitive to pain or scared of needles—and there’s no shame in that—a stronger solution is typically used. The doctor will often rub it along your gums. Other times, nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is used. People like the laughing gas because it wears off quickly, though we would recommend asking a friend to drive you home if you do go this route.

Certain fillers even have a local anesthetic in the mix, so that the pain-dampening effects kick in as the product is being injected into your skin. Some also recommend that cannulas be used, which enable the doctor to tell if there’s the slightest bit of resistance, so that bruising can be minimized. Cannulas, because they’re longer than needles, can also fill a larger portion of your lips through a single poke, keeping the injections to a minimum and decreasing the pain, discoloration, and swelling you might feel afterwards.

After the procedure:

So, you’ve been to the doctor’s, gone through the injections procedure, and have already peeked at your lips in the doctor’s office bathroom. They look exactly like you envisioned; a little swollen, perhaps, but not bad. You feel great, or a little tired, maybe. What should you do now?

Planning to use the rest of your days off of work to hit the gym or to try a new acroyoga class? We’re really recommend you don’t. Instead, ice your lips to reduce any further swelling. Try to stay out of the sun, to minimize extra stress on your lips, and make sure you’re giving your body the time it needs to heal. If you do want to go for a light jog, you could, but make sure to protect yourself against UV rays, and not to overdo it. Stressing your body too much could cause increased inflammation, and you don’t want that.

In the end, fuller lips can really boost the appearance of our entire face, making lip fillers a worthwhile and satisfying investment.



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