What can be done about Lip Wrinkles?

By Dr. TRACY MOUNTFORD, MBBS MBCAM


Summary of Content

Click on the links below to jump to each section:

  1. What are Lip wrinkles?
  2. What causes Lip wrinkles?
  3. What are the treatments
  4. Chemical Peel
  5. Laser Treatment
  6. Tixel
  7. Botox
  8. Prevention

Q1 – What are Lip Wrinkles?

Lip wrinkles, which are sometimes called lip lines or lipstick lines, these are tiny vertical lines that form on the lips as we age. They become notoriously difficult to conceal. Lip wrinkles can be seen on the lips themselves as well as the area of skin around the lips, particularly the upper lip. They become highly visible to the eye and can stretch from one end of the mouth to the other. When foundation or lipstick is applied, the product can settle within these lines, making them appear deeper and darker than they are. Wrinkles above the lip, which appear as vertical lines, are often more visible and pronounced than those on the actual lips.

Q2 – What causes Lip Wrinkles?

Lips look their most youthful, with maximum volume up to the age of 20, this is when collagen production is at its peak. After age 20, you produce about 1 percent less collagen every year. Reduced elastin and collagen and the thinning of the skin, means the mouth area is especially prone to lines and wrinkles. Lips become less youthful looking. Other age-related changes to the skin can be chronic dryness leaving the skin and in particular the lips more prone to a dehydrated look.

The lips are often unprotected and exposed to the sun’s UV (ultraviolet rays) which can contribute as a primary cause these ageing signs. This process is called photodamage.

In addition lip wrinkles on the upper lip are often exacerbated by smoking which produces free radicals in the body, which contribute to premature aging. That’s why smokers end up with deep wrinkles around their lips and other areas of the face. Added to that, the constant contractions of the muscles around the area of the mouth cause deep wrinkles to develop, greatly affecting the appearance of the skin. Gum recession as we age also contributes to this problem.

Q3 -What are the Treatments?

For those with shallow vertical lip lines, a good place to start would be prescription Retin-A creams. These creams and serums help stimulate the production of collagen. These have been shown to improve the appearance of fine lines around the lips. Our team of medical practitioners can help you choose the best course of treatment. Many medical practitioners now use injectable fillers to treat the effects of photodamage as well as intrinsic factors such as fine lines and wrinkles. A gel containing hyaluronic acid (such as Juvéderm® Volbella) has been designed specifically for the lip area, it is injected directly into the lips and the surrounding area. This stimulates the production of new collagen which is depleted due to general damage including photodamage and helps restore skin health as well as restore a youthful appearance.

Chemical peel

Chemical skin peels are another solution to improve the appearance of your skin, especially if your skin is dull or of poor quality, or you suffer from fine lines and wrinkles or acne damaged skin. The chemical peel procedure removes the top layer of skin so that a new, healthier-looking layer can take its place. It can also help the improvement of light scarring and blemished skin. Chemical peels are particularly well suited for the upper lip.

Laser treatment

Laser treatment can be used to lighten lip pigmentation; lasers used for skin resurfacing and rejuvenation can also have the added effect of smothing the skin as well. It’s particularly effective on the skin around the mouth, nose and eyes.

Tixel

Tixel treatment is another innovative and extremely versatile new treatment option that uses heat to treat the skin, with less pain and downtime. With the option of ablative and non-ablative settings, the treatment is tailored to the individual patient without the downtime and side effects associated with that of regular lasers. Tixel can achieve superb results when treating a number of conditions such as wrinkles, age spots, skin discolouration, sun photodamaged skin and even acne scars.

Lip fillers

Injections of lip fillers performed by a trained medical practitioner can improve the appearance of fine lines of the lips. By applying lip fillers in micro amounts around the outside of the lines can significantly reduce the appearance of lip lines by reducing the movement of the muscles. This requires a practitioner with a very high skill set.

Prevention

The best treatment for developing lip wrinkles is to; • Avoid sun exposure and hence minimize photodamage • Wear sunscreen daily, a broad-spectrum sun screen SPF 30-50 in winter and at least 50 in summer. • Invest in one of the many lip balms available containing SPF to use on a daily basis, these will add moisture and protect your lips from the elements that cause photodamage and premature aging. • Try to stop smoking if you are a smoker. To stop premature signs of ageing caused by smoking, you will need to think about your smoking habits and the effects. The longer you smoke, the more wrinkles you’ll develop.

Some of these procedures require a few sessions to achieve optimum results. Also, sometimes bruising or short term swelling/redness can occur so talk to one of our medical practitioners about how much downtime to expect if any. At your initial consultation with our qualified medical practitioners, your skin will be assessed and we will discuss a personalised treatment plan that’s tailored to you. Investing time and effort in your skin health is worthwhile.

*DISCLAIMER Patient experience and results may vary. These are dependent on a number of factors such as lifestyle, age and medical history.

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