One of the most popular non-surgical treatments today is the lip flip plasma pen procedure. A lip flip refers to using a plasma pen to reshape and contour the upper lip to provide a more pouty look. It is not really like the lip is being flipped upward. What is truly happening is that the upper lip gets turned upward, or is everted, so that more of the ‘pink’ lip becomes visible. When this occurs, the upper lip looks fuller – as if you had a bit of injectable filler placed in a very tasteful manner. Additionally, the cupid’s bow of the upper lip becomes more defined as the lip is flipped up – further contributing to a more cosmetically pleasing upper lip appearance.
Plasma Pen Lip Flip Explained
So how does the plasma pen result in a lip flip? Well, first you have to understand how plasma energy is used in cosmetic surgery. Plasma is considered the 4th state of matter and results from gas that is energized. The plasma pen is a revolutionary cosmetic tool that allows for creation of plasma energy at the tip of the device, which can be used to treat skin. When skin is treated with plasma energy, a tiny arc is created between the tip of the pen and the skin surface. This plasma arc never actually touches the skin. It simply interacts biologically with a 1-2 millimeter area of skin to create a channel of heat that goes down through the skin to the dermal layer. Visually, this is seen as a small brown and/or black dot on the surface of the skin. But you won’t see any blood or cut on the skin surface. Some people will refer to this as a form of micro-trauma created by the plasma pen. In each location where the plasma arc is created (as noted by the individual dots on the skin), the underlying fibroblasts within the dermal skin layer will be stimulated to create new, more youthful collagen. That is why this technology is commonly called fibroblast skin resurfacing. This collagen stimulation process can take upwards of weeks to months. But there is also a more immediate skin tightening that can be visualized as the plasma pen treatment is performed – in fact, you can see the skin tightening right in front of your eyes in many cases. This is shown visually in the adjacent plasma pen diagram.
If you create multiple plasma arcs within a certain region, each ‘dot’ of energy transferred through skin will cause some degree of tightening, or skin contracture. If enough dots are created in one area with a plasma pen, they will cumulatively tighten the skin to an even greater degree.
So if the plasma pen is used across specific areas of the upper lip it can predictably tighten the skin enough to pull it in an upward direction. That means the vermillion border of the upper lip will be lifted up in the direction of the bottom of the nose, as is shown in the adjacent photo diagram. Since this results in the upper lip being everted, it almost appears as if the inner lip is flipped up and out – thus the term a lip flip procedure. The end result aesthetically is a lip that is shorter in length with more pink show that mimics a fuller, more pouty upper lip.
Lip Flip Versus Lip Lift
So how does a lip flip compare with a lip lift? The latter is a surgical procedure that involves making an incision, or cut, at the base of the nose where it junctions with the upper lip. A segment of the upper lip skin is then excised, or cut out. As the skin is sutured, or stitched, up to the bottom of the nose the upper lip is effectively shortened and pulls the vermillion border in an upward direction. This effect visually is very similar to what a lip flip does to enhance the aesthetics of the mouth region, but it does require surgery.
The beauty of the plasma lip flip is that it is completely non-surgical and does not require a physician or surgeon to perform the procedure. In Dr. Hilinski’s office, our aesthetic registered nurse has the expertise and training to perform the plasma pen lip flip while helping you to safely achieve a beautiful cosmetic result.
Plasma Pen Lip Flip Treatment
The plasma pen lip flip treatment is done under just topical anesthesia. This numbing agent is typically applied to the skin about 1 hour prior to arrival at our medical spa. This allows for a very comfortable experience for most lip flip patients.
The lip flip treatment takes about 45 minutes to complete. At the conclusion of your treatment, there will be some dark brown crusts that correspond to each plasma arc created along the upper lip. These dark spots are a normal appearance after the lip flip. A topical ointment will be recommended to you for use several times throughout the day. The dark spots will begin to lighten as they begin to fall off like leopard spots during the first week of healing from the lip flip.
Lip Flip Consult
If you desire to have a shorter upper lip with more definition and fullness – and you don’t want to have any filler injections to get this type of result – you may be a great candidate for a lip flip procedure as offered by Dr. John Hilinski and his team of plasma energy experts in San Diego. Pick up the phone and contact our office today to schedule your personalized consultation for a lip flip treatment.
Dr. John Hilinski has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.