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The second most common reason my clients come to my practice (the first being forehead lines) is for the appearance of vertical lip lines, commonly known as “smokers lines”, “vertical lines” or “lipstick lines”. You do not have to be a smoker or former smoker to end up with these pesky lines. They are caused by a variety of factors including genetics, natural aging, sun damage and of course smoking. Although challenging and not quite as straight forward as crows feet to fix, we have products today that can safely and beautifully reduce and in some cases eliminate them.
Dermal fillers for treatment of lips and lip lines
In the past, most FDA approved dermal fillers were too thick to be used around this very delicate area. However thinner smoother fillers are now available work beautifully around the mouth and lips providing a smooth and very natural looking result. These products are able to stretch and flow to follow the natural movements of your face. They plump the skin and lips to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. They also have the added advantage of plumping up the upper lip which naturally thins as we age.
Botox for treatment of lip lines
Botox and Dysport have also been used to treat this area using a completely different mechanism. These products (same product, different companies) work by blocking nerve impulses to the muscle around the mouth, causing relaxation of the muscle and the lines. Since the muscles are no longer contracting as much, the lines in the overlying skin aren’t being constantly reinforced. However we caution patients to remember that activities such as drinking through a straw, singing, and sometimes speaking may be impacted. This is definitely not recommended if you play a wind instrument or if you are a public speaker! There is a place for Botox in treating these lines – sometimes in combination with filler and always in very small amounts.
So what’s the best treatment?
It is ideal to have both options available to be used either together or separately to provide the optimal effect for you. For some patients dermal fillers alone will work, for others just a little Botox will do the trick, and for others a combination of the two will be awesome. At Beautoxetc, we take time to evaluate your individual anatomy and needs and come up with a treatment plan to give you the best results.