You spent months saving, consulting with everyone in your inner circle, and finding just the right board-certified plastic surgeon. And now, within just a few minutes and a couple relatively painless injections, you’ve got the succulent lips you’ve been pining after since you saw Scarlett Johansson’s red-carpet photos last summer.
But what if, days later, you decide they’re not quite the fit you’d hoped they’d be? Turns out, it’s not a big deal because, tempted as you were to go with a permanent or semi-permanent filler, you opted for the temporary hyaluronic acid filler. And hyaluronic acid filler can be removed—dissolved, technically speaking—with another injection, called hyaluronidase. (The same, unfortunately, can’t be said of permanent or semi-permanent fillers.)
Hyaluronidase is a naturally-occurring enzyme that we all have in us. In commercial form, it’s a liquid that, once it’s injected under the skin, dissolves hyaluronic acid within a few hours. Hyaluronic acid is the gel that makes up the most commonly used fillers, including Restylane and Juvéderm. By breaking down the hyaluronic acid, hyaluronidase effectively reverses the results of those fillers. And this applies to all hyaluronic acid fillers, not just lip injections.
It’ll start to work immediately, and take anywhere from a day to two days to completely dissolve the filler.
A word of warning about hyaluronidase if you’re allergic to bees, or think you may be: The enzyme also features prominently in bee venom. So, if you’re allergic to bees, you could also have an allergic reaction to hyaluronidase. To be certain, ask your doctor to perform a patch test to check for any redness or swelling.
While many claim to have a deft touch when it comes to injecting fillers, few actually do. Which makes it all the more important to not only seek out a board-certified plastic surgeon to do your lip injections but also one who has extensive experience administering the product. Even then, you may like your new lips but think they look overly full. In which case, once the filler’s reversed, new filler can be injected incrementally in smaller amounts to achieve more natural-looking, full lips.