Are Hyaluron Pens Safe for Lip Augmentation?
The Hyaluron Pen, short for Hyaluronic Acid Pen, is a needle-free lip filler device designed to be used at home. Sound too good to be true? Trust us, it is. While certain people on social media are heralding the device for its low price point and ease of use, it poses a number of very serious and potentially permanent risks to the lips and surrounding areas. In fact, many of the clinical practices that initially offered Hyaluron Pen treatments have stopped due to concerns over safety and poor results.
In this post, we’ll explain why the Hyaluron Pen is dangerous and should never be used for lip augmentation, plus how you can help ensure you receive beautiful lip filler results safely.
What is the Hyaluron Pen?
The Hyaluron Pen is a needleless device that forces hyaluronic acid into the skin using a high-pressure stream of air. Though the instructions claim it can be used to increase volume throughout the face, it is most commonly used as an at-home lip filler. There are numerous Hyaluron Pen brands available online, ranging from $40 to $4,000.
The FDA has issued a warning against the Hyaluron Pen
Not only is the Hyaluron Pen not FDA-approved, but the FDA recently issued a warning advising both the public and healthcare professionals not to use it and other needle-free devices in response to numerous injuries caused by the device. According to the administration’s statement, the Hyaluron Pen poses the risk of serious, and in some cases permanent, injury to the areas where it is used. By extending this warning to healthcare professionals, the FDA is pointing out that the Hyaluron Pen isn’t safe even when used by a qualified injector.
According to the FDA, Hyaluron Pen devices may be contaminated with chemicals or infectious organisms, and using them poses a risk of serious or permanent injury.
Hyaluron Pen issues
Let’s take a look at some of the major issues associated with the Hyaluron Pen:
- Injection depth cannot be controlled. Unlike dermal filler injection using a cannula, injection depth using the Hyaluron Pen cannot be tailored to a patient’s unique skin thickness or aesthetic goals. Because the device cannot always penetrate deep below the skin’s surface, Hyaluron Pen users are often left with uneven volume throughout their lips.
- Filler placement is difficult to control. Similarly, it can be difficult for users to control where on their lips they place filler using the Hyaluron Pen. Because treatment is typically self-administered, users can accidentally send filler into the inside of their lip or in the skin around their lips, resulting in a “filler mustache.” Clumping is also a common issue associated with the Hyaluron Pen due to the way the product tends to “glob” beneath the skin’s surface, similar to an undesirable bolus injection.
- The device and filler may not be sterile. Not only is it impossible to verify what’s in a Hyaluron Pen cartridge, how it was formulated, or where it originated from, but users are unable to know whether or not the Hyaluron Pen or its cartridges are sterile. In fact, most of these pens come from countries where sterilization requirements are laxer than here in the U.S. According to the FDA’s warning, the device and its fillers “may be contaminated with chemicals or infectious organisms.”
- Side effects are wide-ranging and can be permanent. Bruising, swelling, and even superficial skin wounds are common side effects of self-administered Hyaluron Pen “injections.” Skin necrosis (when skin permanently turns black and dies) in and around the lips is also possible, as is vascular occlusion (the blockage of blood vessels) since the arteries in the lips are just millimeters below the skin’s surface.
- Poor results may require the product to be dissolved using hyaluronidase, which can be costly. After visiting a cosmetic surgeon to fix bad Hyaluron Pen results, most patients find that it would have been cheaper, easier, more satisfying, and less time-consuming to have had FDA-approved dermal filler professionally injected.
- Downtime is often required. Though the Hyaluron Pen is marketed as having “no downtime,” it often requires about a week of social downtime when applied throughout the lips—similar to the recovery period associated with professional lip filler injections.
A board certified cosmetic surgeon will have a thorough understanding of facial anatomy and the proper injection techniques needed to give you beautiful lip filler results.
Why you should always have a cosmetic surgeon perform your lip filler
If you’re considering lip filler, there are many reasons why you should always trust your results to a board certified cosmetic surgeon. Here are a few:
- He or she will have a thorough understanding of lip anatomy and deliver gentle, gradual, and precise injections using a layered technique to give you the shapely lips you desire.
- He or she will customize their injection technique based on your anatomy. Not everyone’s lip skin is the same thickness, and a skilled injector will understand how much filler to place at which depth based on your unique skin type. They will also consider your entire facial anatomy when injecting, and be able to suggest injections for other areas of your face to enhance your lip filler results.
- He or she will inject fillers using a blunt tip cannula (a very thin, hollow needle) to slide through subcutaneous layers of skin rather than cutting through tissues and vessels as hypodermic needles do. Researchers have found that injecting fillers with a blunt tip cannula stimulates the skin’s fibroblasts to produce more collagen, the protein critical for supporting your skin.
- He or she will have strict sanitation protocols and, in the very unlikely event you have a reaction to an injection, know the proper steps to take.
Choose Seattle cosmetic surgeon Dr. Sobel for your lip filler
At Anderson Sobel Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Alexander Sobel personally performs all of our lip filler injections. As a triple board certified cosmetic surgeon and former President of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Sobel is a superb choice for anyone considering lip fillers in the Seattle/Bellevue area. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Sobel online or call (425) 453-9060 today.