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How to tell if lip filler has migrated

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How to tell if lip filler has migrated

How to tell if lip filler has migrated

The youthful lip is plump and ripe with possibility. We connect with people around us with our lips – it is how we communicate, how we smile, how we kiss. 

Full lips are sought after by so many. It is possible to give your lips a boost with correct proportions, fullness and a shape that complements your facial features. 

Lip injections, or Lip Filler, is one of the most requested non-surgical treatments performed.

What Is Lip Filler Migtation?

Lip filler migration occurs when the injectable medication used to plump the lips moves away from the injection site and unintentionally settles into another area of the lips or mouth. 

Migration is not always an immediate side effect, as it can take weeks or months to occur. Once it does, results can appear unnatural and asymmetrical. 

The most common type of filler used is hyaluronic acid (HA), a substance that occurs naturally in the body. With HA fillers, even though the body will eventually break down and absorb the filler, there is still a risk that it will move before it is fully dissolved.

How do I know if my lip filler has migrated?

Some of the most important signs of lip filler migration include the following:

Uneven lips: If your lips become asymmetrical or uneven after lip filler, it may be a sign that the filler has migrated. It is important to be aware of your natural pre-existing asymmetry when assessing this.

Persistent lip lumps: If you have persistent lip lumps after a lip filler treatment, this may indicate that the filler has migrated and aggregated.

A loss of definition: People with lip filler migration are often unhappy with the definition of their lips. Rather than go back for more filler in an attempt to enhance definition, you should consider the possibility that your lip filler has migrated.

A ledge or shelf effect: Migration of filler out of your top lip can give an apparent ledge or shelf appearance seen as a horizontal  crease or shadow. It is also know as a filler moustache, as the shadow can make it appear like you have a moustache on the upper lip.

Mucosal bubbles: Lip filler that has migrated to the inside of the lips will cause small blister-like spots on the inside of your lips. You generally can only see these when smiling, or if you pull the lips up or down and inspect the inside (mucosal surface).

How to Prevent Lip Filler From Migrating

Lip filler doesn’t migrate easily but if you’re considering lip filler you might be thinking about how to prevent it from migrating. 

Choose an experienced, trusted, and credentialed provider to make sure you’re getting the best technique during the injection. Also, ask your provider to be conservative with their injections. 

You can always add more filler if you feel like you need it. Aftercare is important as well. Immediately after treatment, try to stay out of the sun, avoid saunas, and don’t take very hot showers. Do not touch or press your lips for 24 hours after injection and do not exercise intensely for at least 24 hours.

Once a product has migrated, does it ever dissolve on its own, or should you dissolve it?

When lip filler has migrated, it typically does not dissolve on its own. Once the filler has shifted from its original placement, it is unlikely to revert to its intended position spontaneously. 

In such cases, dissolving the migrated filler may be necessary to restore the desired lip appearance. Injectable hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers, commonly used for lip augmentation, can be dissolved using an enzyme called hyaluronidase. 

Hyaluronidase breaks down the HA filler, allowing it to be absorbed by the body. If you suspect that your lip filler has migrated or is causing an undesirable outcome, it is advisable to consult with a skilled healthcare professional or injector who can assess the situation and determine the most appropriate course of action. 

They can administer hyaluronidase to dissolve the filler and help you achieve the desired lip contour and appearance.


To summarize, lip filler migration is a potential risk associated with lip augmentation procedures. To minimize the migration risk, doctors should prioritize patient safety by carefully selecting appropriate candidates, choosing the filler, using the correct injection technique, and providing clear post-treatment instructions to patients.

In the event of migrating lip filler, you can work with the patient to develop an appropriate treatment plan, including options such as hyaluronidase, massage, cold compress, steroids, or adjusting the treatment plan.

Ultimately, by taking a cautious approach and remaining attentive to potential complications, you help ensure your patients achieve natural-looking, satisfying outcomes from lip augmentation procedures.


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