Silicone Lip Fillers: A Permanent Problem

September 18th, 2017 by Dr. Michael Glass

The Dangers of Silicone Lip Fillers


With plump, juicy lips lined up to be the cosmetic trend of the decade, it’s understandable you might be looking for a permanent way to keep your lips full and voluminous.

Modern-day lip fillers like Juvéderm and Restylane only last up to a year, but with good reason.

Don’t be tempted by the promise of permanent lip rejuvenation in the form of liquid silicone fillers. This permanent treatment has a host of dangers and health risks associated with it, and there’s a reason why most cosmetic medical professionals won’t carry out liquid silicone, or biopolymer lip injections.

What’s the difference?

woman getting injection in her lips.Injectable lip fillers in both the Juvéderm and Restylane Silk families are hyaluronic acid (HA) based. HA, a naturally occurring molecule found in the body, is well-known for its ability to retain moisture and aid the skin’s resilience and elasticity. The molecule attracts moisture to the lips where it’s injected, improving plumpness and eliminating the appearance of fine lines.

Biopolymer lip fillers use liquid silicone—a product not approved by the FDA for any injected cosmetic procedures. Already that should cause alarm bells! The procedure is permanent, which leaves no room for error, or for a change of mind.

Liquid silicone is forever

Plump, filled lips are trendy now, but who knows when the wind will change and everyone will be clamoring for a different look.

beautiful red lips isolated on whiteThe advantage of HA-based lip fillers is that they only last 6–12 months, giving you the flexibility to keep your look, or change it up if you decide that extra volume just isn’t for you. HA-based lip fillers are also reversible. This means that, if you’re ever unhappy with the results of your treatment, a second injection, using hyaluronidase, can completely restore your lips back to their original state. This isn’t the case with liquid silicone fillers, however.

Far beyond the next year or two, that liquid silicone in your lips will still be around, even decades from now. In a best-case scenario, those fillers will stay put, and may look quite out of place on your now matured face.

More likely, however, the liquid silicone fillers will split, migrate and move around inside your lip tissue.

Any crisp definition of the lip line may be lost and the lips can distort and gain a lumpy appearance. The silicone is likely to drop to the bottom of your lips, giving an uneven, deformed look—far from what you originally paid for.

Painful complications

It gets worse. That reason why most reputable cosmetic practitioners won’t go off-label and use liquid silicone in your lips? It’s so easy to go wrong, and cause serious pain, discomfort and permanent disfigurement to your lips.

Juvéderm and other HA-based fillers are so successful because they capitalize on molecules already found in the human body.

This means the body can safely metabolize and break them down over time, and your lips will return to normal.

Not so with liquid silicone or biopolymer. Too often the body recognizes the liquid silicone as a foreign agent and begins rejecting it—sometimes right away, and other times it can take months or even years until you start seeing adverse effects.

Unsightly permanent swelling, leading to chronic edema, is a common side-effect of silicone lip fillers.

Your immune system can also have a severe reaction to the silicone, forming permanent lumps known as granulomas. These lumps of scar tissue must be surgically removed, often requiring lip tissue to be removed along with them. Preserving a ‘normal’ lip shape can be challenging for even the most experienced cosmetic surgeons treating patients in situations like this.

The bottom line

The safest choice is to do your research, only work with licensed medical professionals and make smart choices—it’s your appearance, after all. You never want to cut corners or try to save a dime when it comes to cosmetic procedures!

At Esteem Medical Spa we offer a selection of safe, hyaluronic acid-based lip fillers like Volbella by Juvéderm, and Restylane Silk.

We stay up to date with the latest injectable innovations, ensuring only the safest procedures are offered.

Call us or come in for a free consultation, and talk to us about the right injectable procedure for you—no liquid silicone in sight.

Book your free consultation at Esteem Medical Spa: 775.204.3508.