There has been quite a bit of talk online about Botox being used to perform a non-surgical medical spa lip flip. So what is the Botox lip flip?

Let’s start off by first clarifying a lip flip procedure. A lip flip is a medical spa procedure intended to curl the pink portion of the lip border – called the vermillion border – in an effort to create a fuller-looking lip. By curling the pink lip outward, or flipping the vermillion border of the lip, the mouth looks more pouty and feminine. This is something that has been readily done using injectable dermal fillers, such as Juvederm and Restylane, for many years now.

Only recently in the past few years has Botox been used to try and achieve this same effect by flipping the border of the lip. But if volume enhancement with dermal fillers is not being used, how can the lip flip be done with Botox? The way this works is that very small amounts of Botox are used to paralyze the lip muscle (called the orbicularis oris) in very strategic locations. By stopping a tiny segment of the lip muscle, the remaining, surrounding lip muscle that continues moving helps to curl the border of the lip up and out – thus, flipping the lip. This is usually done by injecting much smaller amounts of Botox than normal – less than 10 units of Botox in most patients. Typically, the orbicularis oris muscle is injected with Botox along the sides (just above the corners of the mouth) and centrally (just above the cupid’s bow). But this has to be done with great care to stop a very discrete portion of the lip muscle while not affecting adjacent areas.

Unfortunately, the Botox lip flip can be fraught with problems – even when performed by an experienced, board certified facial plastic surgeon. That is because Botox can and does migrate in some instances. If this happens in this small, localized area of the lip, it can create an obvious asymmetry to your mouth. Or your smile may be slightly off as you animate. And in some cases, the lip flip effect may not even be seen. So given the overall risk:benefit profile for the Botox lip flip, it is not considered as predictable as other Botox treatment areas. In many patients, they are better off getting a plasma pen lip flip treatment instead. If you live in the greater San Diego area and desire a lip flip procedure, contact our medical spa today to consult with one of our esthetic expert providers.

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