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Barcode lip lines are the vertical lines you get above your lips. This usually happens through a combination of ageing and loss of collagen and repetitive use of the muscle from daily activities.

They are often referred to as ‘smoker’s lines’ but it is usually non smokers that get them.

We often use a combination of a very fine filler and anti wrinkle injections to relax the muscle around the lips to get the best result for this area.



We sometimes find that for mild barcode lines, we are able to improve them with lip filler alone.

If you have had loss of lip volume as well, we strongly recommend you get lip fillers to improve structural support, texture and hydration within the lips first.

If you add filler above the lips without addressing volume loss in the lips then you may get an upper lip area that appears heavy.

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30 mins


9-12 months

no. of sessions



1-3 weeks swelling and bruising


Please see our most commonly asked questions below

What kind of results can be achieved?
If you have fairly good skin tightness and lip volume, we would recommend you try wrinkle relaxing injections first to see how much of an improvement you can get. Anti wrinkle injections takes 2 weeks to work and we would always see you for a review appointment to check the result. If there has been loss of volume within or above the lips and increase in skin laxity then we would recommend that you get a fine filler. Often the best result will be with wrinkle relaxing injections and fillers combined. Usually we are not able to erase the lines completely. We should be able to soften them significantly and also slow down the ageing process by adding some structural support and softening the muscle. There is a limit to how much you can inject for each patient as an overfilled upper lip can look very artificial and heavy. As we age the lips can lose volume and the texture can start to look ‘crinkled’. The filler is able to add that volume back into the lips and smoothen out the skin making the lips a lot more fresh and youthful. This has a huge impact on your overall appearance.
Who is this treatment suitable and not suitable for?
This treatment is suitable for most people that suffer from this problem. However, if the lines are very deep then we have to manage expectations as it will not be possible to erase them. If you naturally have a full or long/prominent upper lip area (philtrum) then filler here may not be right for you. It is best to come for a consultation to assess further. If you have a history of anaphylaxis or allergy to wasp stings, fillers may not be suitable for you. This is because you are likely to be allergic to the filler dissolving enzyme. We always have to ensure we are able to dissolve the filler in an emergency (see below for risks and side effects).
How long does it last?
On average barcode filler will last for 6-12 months. However, this is an average time and for some people, the filler may dissolve more quickly because of their metabolism and for some people it may last longer. We find that with subsequent treatments, the results often last longer. After the first 3 sessions you may find you do not need to come back for a couple of years.
What is the recovery/downtime?
If you have just wrinkle relaxing injections then there is very minimal downtime. Just a small amount of redness that resolves the same day. Filler in the upper lip area can cause mild swelling and bruising and the downtime is minimal. If we have also done lip fillers then you will have significant swelling and bruising. Please see the Lip Fillers treatment page for more information. It is also normal to have subtle bumps and irregularities when you first get fillers done, most of this is swelling and will resolve. We do not recommend massage after fillers as it will make the swelling worse.
What are the side effects and risks?
Like all medical treatments, there are side effects and risks. Swelling and bruising are to be expected, as is some discomfort. The swelling can be significant for a small number of people and it can take up to 3 weeks for full healing. If your face was assymetrical to begin with, it can be difficult to achieve perfect symmetry. It is also normal to have subtle bumps and irregularities when you first get fillers done, most of this is swelling and will resolve. It is important to follow the aftercare to minimise migration risk and ensure the results last as long as possible. If you have a history of cold sores, any needles to the face can trigger a breakout, so please inform us in advance if you have had any cold sores in the past year.

There is a very small risk of filler entering a blood vessel and blocking off the blood supply to the skin. This is called a vascular occlusion. As a medical clinic, we have all the equipment and enzymes available to reverse this and dissolve the filler. It is a condition that either happens during the appointment or in the first 48 hours after. We give extensive aftercare advice and are available to get in touch within this period to dissolve it. We have also reviewed every single treatment we carry out in clinic to modify the techniques to minimise the risk.
How painful is the treatment?
Most people do not need numbing cream for the upper lip area. The wrinkle relaxing injection needles are tiny. The filler has local anaesthetic which numbs the area. Numbing cream is needed for lip filler as it is a very sensitive area.The numbing cream will hugely help alleviate the majority of the pain. If you are apprehensive about pain or have a low threshold to pain, please ensure you take 1g of Paracetamol 1 hour before the procedure. For patients who still cannot tolerate it, we offer numbing injections that are similar to the injections you have at the dentist.
The appointment is 45 minutes long but the treatment itself takes 10-15 mins. All clinicians have slightly different techniques. At No Filter Clinic, we take our time and build up the result slowly with microdroplets of filler which are placed in very fine threads to mimic and respect the natural anatomy of this area. Our priority is to also ensure the treatment is safe and carried out to the highest standard.
No. of sessions
Sometimes the desired results will be achieved by the first session but some people may need a second session once the swelling has subsided to reach the desired results. We recommend that you wait at least a month before your second treatment.
How will I look straight after?
You will experience some redness, bruising and swelling after barcode line filler that will last around a week. For some people, the swelling is very mild but for some people there will be some significant swelling that is completely normal and harmless. You can attend events and resume work the same day but must follow the aftercare rules. If you have only wrinkle relaxing injections then you will have mild redness that usually disappears in a few hours.
How is it done?
We initially undertake a thorough assessment of your whole face to see if it is suitable for you and explain the extent of the result that is possible. We then disinfect the area and mark out the areas for injection. We use a soft filler that integrates well with the tissue and moves naturally. We mostly use a needle technique as we have found with experience that it gives the best results with the least issues with migration down the line. For some patients a cannula is suitable and we may recommend using it in certain cases. A cannula is not a needle, it is a blunt tipped needle shaped device inserted from the sides of the mouth. As it is not sharp it causes much less swelling and bruising. At No Filter Clinic, we take our time and build up the result slowly with microdroplets of filler which are placed in very fine threads to mimic and respect the natural anatomy of the area above the lips. As we use more needle entry points, there is a higher rate of swelling with our technique but we find we get much better and more natural looking results once the swelling subsides.
Can it be reversed?
At No Filter Clinic London we only use fully reversible fillers. This is because they are safer than permanent fillers and we can dissolve them in the case of an emergency and if for whatever reason you are not happy with the result. This gives fillers a significant advantage over surgery as they are not permanent. This does not mean you should get fillers just to try them out as the dissolving is not a simple procedure. You should only get fillers done if you have researched them thoroughly, feel comfortable getting the procedure done and are happy accepting the small risks and side effects which are all manageable. If you have a history of anaphylaxis or allergy to wasp stings, fillers may not be suitable for you. This is because you are likely to be allergic to the filler dissolving enzyme (Hyaluronidase). We always have to ensure we are able to dissolve the filler in an emergency (see risks and side effects).
What is the aftercare?
We send a thorough aftercare email to all our patients but please find a summary below.

What to do after treatment

Get some Arnica tablets from any pharmacy, this helps with bruising and swelling. Please do not wear make-up for 4 hours after treatment. In the evening of the treatment, you may gently wash your face and use your regular wash and lotions. Remain upright either sitting or standing for as long as possible and sleep with 3 pillows at night whilst there is swelling and oedema present. This is especially important when the lip or eye region have been treated as laying down may make any swelling worse. Do not sleep with pressure on the face and try to sleep on your back.

If you are uncomfortable with the swelling, please take Loratadine/Cetirizine (normally used for hayfever) to help decrease this. If there is excessive swelling you may contact the clinic to obtain a prescription for steroids to help resolve your inflammation more quickly; prescriptions drugs are not appropriate if the degree is swelling is within normal parameters. Aside from this, there is, unfortunately, no quicker way to resolve swelling as it is a normal bodily reaction to trauma. Wash your face very carefully, applying no pressure to areas treated for 4 weeks.

What NOT to do after treatment

No strenuous exercise or gardening for at least 1 week.
- Do not massage the area treated for the first 4 weeks following treatment.
- If you feel any lumps, please attend your review appointment so we can check it and fix it for you.
- Please refrain from kissing for 3 weeks till the swelling has completely subsided.
- Avoid hot drinks and excessive heat.
- No facials or waxing for the first 2 weeks.
- Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory medication for 24 hours after treatment as this may increase bruising.
- You may take paracetamol or codeine if you are uncomfortable.
- Do not consume alcohol for 24 hours after receiving treatment. This increases the risk of bruising.
- Do not have a sauna, hot tub or go in a tanning booth for 2 weeks after treatment.
- Do not have radiofrequency, IPL, laser or any other heat treatments near the treated area for 2 weeks.
How many mls do I need?
Every face is unique and needs a different amount. We inject what we judge to be the most suitable amount that your skin can take. The price is UP TO 1 ml although we advise our patients you are not paying for the mls, you are paying for the skill and expertise. If you do need more volume, it is often best to wait 1 month and get a second treatment. If you build up volume slowly, your skin will have time to stretch and you will get much better and more natural results.
Which fillers do you use?
We use all the premium brands available. We use a mixture of Stylage, Teoxane and Restylane depending on the patient and their individual needs. We only ever use hyaluronic acid based fillers as they are fully reversible. This is essential for your safety.
How do I prepare before the appt?
Before your Appointment

1. Please stop using topical Retinols, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acids, Salicylic Acid and Tretinoin 5 days before your treatment. This will minimise pain and bruising. However, if you have been using these for a long time and your skin is likely to flare up without them, you do not need to stop them. If you are on Roaccutane, please get in touch before your appointment so we can discuss it and give individual advice.

2. Please stop using any Vitamin E supplements and Ibuprofen/Neurofen 5 days before your treatment. Please do not stop using any Aspirin (or any other medication) prescribed by your GP.

3. Laser treatments for the face, microneedling and chemical peels have to be avoided 1 week before and after the treatment.

4. Please do not drink alcohol 24 hours before and after the procedure.

5. Make sure you eat something before your appointment and are well hydrated. This prevents feeling lightheaded during the procedure.

6. It is advisable to take 1 g of Paracetamol (2 tablets) 30 mins - 1 hour before your appointment as it will significantly reduce any discomfort during the procedure.

7. Please attend the appointment alone. There is limited space in the clinic and anybody with you will be asked to wait outside.

8. Please come to the appointment with makeup removed and minimal jewellery.

9. Please note, we are not able to carry out any Dermal Filler treatments if you are due to fly in the next 3 days. This is because of the small risk of vascular occlusion in the first 48 hours. Anti wrinkle injections, Profhilo and Aqualyx are fine.
How does the pricing work?
There are different pricing structures. Please see price list for more information.


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