Full lips are undoubtedly a sign of beauty and youth. However, since lips tend to thin and flatten with age, there are many procedures and methods available that aim to plump or lift the lips and improve their appearance. Unfortunately, many of these procedures are not only ineffective, but some can cause more harm than good. Lip threading is an example.
According to leading plastic surgeon, Dr. Ben Talei, lip threading is a substantial “don’t-do” procedure. While it is still available today, lip threading fell out of favor about two decades ago when people realized that it delivered results that are problematic instead of beneficial. In an attempt to modernize and improve the procedure, practitioners are now using absorbable threads for the lip with two promises: lifting and collagen production. Unfortunately, these are most often empty promises. As far as lifting, there is little to no evidence that it works. As for collagen production, patients are forming fibrosis, which is a type of scarring where type I and type III collagen are interchanged in a very negative way. When these absorbable sutures or threads are placed under the skin in an effort to lift the lip, they either fail or tend to cause internal scarring.
Dr. Talei Answers Your Lip Threading Questions
In this blog, we’ve asked Dr. Talei, an elite and nationally recognized facial plastic surgeon, to weigh in on the dangers of lip threading. These FAQs can provide better insight as to why patients need to stay away from this once popular method of lifting and plumping the lips.
- How does lip threading differ from lip fillers?
- Threads thicken the skin of the upper lip through a mechanism of internal scarring. They also attempt to shorten the height of the upper lip, but the results are typically very transient. Fillers, on the other hand, can be used to volumize the lip or accent it in a way that does not involve creating injury to the lips. Permanent fillers should never be used. The best of the temporary fillers include hyaluronic acid based products (HLA). However, it is important to choose a filler that is specifically designed for the lips. The most problematic of the HLA products tends to be classic Juvederm due to its migratory and hydrophilic nature. Other Juvederm and Restylane products tend to be more predictable when it comes to improving lip volume and appearance. When performed by a skilled injector, lip fillers can produce dramatic and very natural results.
- Is lip threading safer than lip filler?
- Absolutely not. Lip injections using hyaluronic fillers can be reversed or fixed if anything goes wrong. If threads cause internal scarring and change the skin quality, there is not much that can be done.
- Is lip threading more painful than lip filler?
- The pain level is about the same for the two procedures.
- Does lip threading produce permanent results?
- Only the negative results are permanent. While I’ve never heard of or seen any positive effects of lip threading, results such as shortening of the lip are only temporary.
- Would you ever recommend lip threading as an alternative to other lip lifting methods?
- I only see problems instead of benefits in choosing lip threading. For patients who want more permanent results than lip fillers can give, the modified upper lip lift is an excellent choice. The modified upper lip lift is a safe and highly impressive procedure that shortens the height of the upper lip, increases accent and volume within the lips, and improves tooth show.
For more information about how you can attain the attractive, youthful and full lips you desire without unsafe and potentially harmful procedures such as lip threading, please contact our Beverly Hills clinic. While DIY lip treatments are readily available, they typically come with serious risks in terms of safety and results. Lip procedures should be trusted to the hands of a qualified plastic surgeon. Dr. Talei is an esteemed cosmetic surgeon that offers a full menu of surgical and non-surgical procedures to improve the lips.