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Do Lip Fillers Hurt? Understanding the Injection Process

Dr. Vi Sharma has worked in the field of cosmetic surgery

He has a Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery, Monash University; and former member of the Australasian College of Aesthetic Medicine and the Royal Australian College of General Practice.

Lip fillers may cause some discomfort, but they are generally not considered painful. During the injection process, a numbing cream or local anesthetic may be used to help minimize any discomfort. Additionally, the type of filler used can also affect the level of pain experienced. Some fillers contain lidocaine, which is a local anesthetic that can help reduce discomfort during the injection process. Overall, most people report that lip fillers are not painful, and any discomfort is typically minimal and short-lived. If you have concerns about pain or discomfort during the procedure, it’s important to discuss your options with a qualified provider.

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 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. 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 say that the feeling 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 a day or two before heading to the doctor’s office can help with stress, pain management, and our mood going into the procedure. In addition, making a plan can be critical to our comfort during and after the injections.

Do lip fillers hurt

Pre-procedure prep:

Our suggestions?

  • Eat a healthy, light evening meal rich in nutrients and anti-inflammatories (a veggie salad with turmeric).
  • Light a few candles and take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply (this can be a great way to make sure you can 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 prepare for the following day. As you probably know, resting before any procedure is incredibly important. Choose some lavender incense and visualise how happy you’ll feel the next day after the process is finished.
  • Read a favourite book, and treat yourself to a bubble bath.
  • Turn any screens off to give your brain time to decompress.
  • Cuddle with a favourite 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 dampen the pain signals our body is sending. However, if you’re sensitive to caffeine, we 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. Sometimes, it takes just a few minutes before the lips are numb enough for the injections. Of course, if you want to go all-natural, you can always ice your lips and the skin near them.

A more robust solution is typically used for those who are more sensitive to pain or scared of needles—and there’s no shame in that. First, the doctor will often rub it along your gums. Next, 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, enabling the doctor to tell if there’s the slightest bit of resistance to minimise bruising. Because they’re longer than needles, Cannulas can also fill a more significant 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?

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


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About Dr Vi

Dr Vi Sharma is a renowned and highly trained cosmetic surgeon in Sydney, practising cosmetic surgery since 2012. He has a worldwide loyal patient base. He has a bachelor of medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery from Monash University. Dr Vi Sharma is a former member of the Australasian College of Aesthetic Medicine and the Royal Australian College of General Practice. Along with treating patients, he also provides training for doctors and nurses regarding aesthetic and cosmetic treatment modalities.

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