What are lip lines?
Lip lines (sometimes referred to as smoker’s lines) are facial lines or wrinkles that extend vertically from the outline of the upper lip. They are the number one request we get for treatment, as they are one of the first ageing concerns patients will see when they look at themselves in a mirror or a selfie.
Lines around the mouth are formed in much the same way as lines around the eyes or forehead. They are mainly caused by muscle movement. People who are very expressive or animated when they talk tend to have more lines in these problem areas.
These lines are known as dynamic wrinkles. Each time the muscle contracts to form an expression, the overlying skin crinkles. This repetitive movement in combination with loss of skin elasticity can result in a permanent line which over time, results in a deeper wrinkle, known as a static wrinkle (or one which is noticeable all the time).
Lip lines develop around the mouth due to over activity of this muscle though everyday lip movements. Over puckering, smoking and pouting can all contribute to excessive activity of this muscle resulting in fine lines being produced around the lips.
How Can We Help?
During your consultation, we will be fully assessing the way you move your mouth. If you are constantly creasing and making a movement when talking, and are pursing your lips in an abnormal fashion, then we will aim to manage that.
The way we manage this is using Botox. Muscle relaxants here work in a slightly different way to other areas on the face. What we are trying to do with the Botox is to try and break the habit of abnormal mouth movement. Super small doses are used in targeted areas so the brain to muscle connection is disturbed, helping you to stop moving your mouth in this way.
On providing treatment for patients, they actually stop having this problem over time. We see them every 8-10 weeks in order to break the habit.
In most cases lip lines can be completely, temporarily eradicated with Botox injections. Many clients experience high satisfaction following a single treatment and then return after 8-10 weeks for additional treatments to maintain a smoother appearance.
Botox will help to control the bad habit, however it does not erase the lines.
Treatment considerations to help improve the visible lines is to build up a little volume in the area and stimulate collagen to thicken and repair the skin.
One of the most popular options is facial fillers. These will help to hydrate the skin and build volume and support around the neighbouring areas where required. It is fundamental to go to an experienced practitioner who will be able to best advise and treat the area in a harmonious and natural way.
If the area is over treated or the incorrect filler is used, this will lead to an unnatural and plump look which will not be the desired outcome.
Skin treatments and microneedling can be used in the area to help stimulate and build your own collagen in the area.
Lip lines may be treated alone or as part of a treatment package. They are often treated together with the three main upper facial areas: crows feet, forehead lines and frown lines – mainly because these areas tend to be similarly visible at a given age.
After an initial consultation we will be able to guide you to which treatment is best suited to meet and maintain their desired outcome.