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My upper lip is very thin and curls under when I smile, showing the gum above my teeth. I’ve found that even when I have fillers, my lip still looks like it curls up and under, especially when I smile.

Can cosmetic injections help or do I need lip lift surgery to correct this?

- patient

lip lift surgery or lip flick
Deborah cosmetic clinic Ipswich


Cosmetic muscle relaxing injections can be injected into the muscle above the top lip (orbicularis oris) to relax it slightly, softening a gummy smile - or rolling the lip out, giving the appearance of more volume. While both procedures cause the upper lip to ‘kick’ out more,  the results of lip lift surgery differs from lip flick injections in that the injections relax the muscles around the upper lip, while surgery shortens the distance between the upper lip and the nose (philtrum). Dr Sharp explains lip lift surgery (pictured above) in more detail here.

Lip flick injections strategically and temporarily reduce repetitive muscle movements associated with the development of wrinkles around the mouth. They are often used in conjunction with dermal filler injections. The treatment takes 5 to 10 minutes, causes minimal discomfort and the results of this procedure last between 3 to 5 months.

When used alone, or in combination with fillers, muscle relaxing injections give lips a subtle pout by flipping out the lip line, rolling the lip gently outward and providing a fuller appearance.

With so many options now available thanks to modern lip enhancement techniques and procedures, it can be difficult to know which treatment works best for you. At our consultations, we will assess your face and upper lip appearance, and advise the best treatment or procedure to achieve you aesthetic goal.

Muscle relaxing lip injections

  • slightly relax muscles that surround the upper lip
  • reduce gummy smile
  • help flick out the top lip making it look fuller
  • last 3-5 months
  • cost: from $25 per treatment
  • takes 5-10 mins per visit
  • no downtime


Dermal filler lip injections

  • enhances lip volume, projection and shape
  • last 10-18 months
  • from $499 per treatment
  • 20 mins per visit (longer if you require anaesthetic cream)
  • sometimes swelling and bruising can be visible for 3-7 days

Lip lift surgery

  • reduces the distance between the upper lip and the nose
  • incision in crease under the nose
  • flicks out the top lip making it look fuller
  • long term results
  • cost: from $2750
  • takes 40-60 minutes
  • 1 week downtime

It’s important to remember that dermal filler adds volume, which makes the lip appear larger by literally making it bigger, while anti-wrinkle injections relax muscle around the mouth and rolls the lip outward, creating the illusion of a bigger lip — without the added volume. Dermal fillers can be used in conjunction with muscle relaxing injections as well as lip lift surgery.

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