Got Lip Lines? How to Treat Wrinkles Around the Mouth



For deeper static lines, hyaluronic-acid based dermal fillers are the way to go, says New York City plastic surgeon David Shafer, MD. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in almost every cell in our body (especially the skin), but our supply tends to dwindle with advancing age. “Some hyaluronic acid fillers—Juvederm and Restylane—can provide volume to plump the lip, while others—Volbella, Restylane Silk, and Beloteroare—much thinner and can help fill lines without adding as much bulk,” he says. “Since the lips lose volume with age, I often suggest a combination of natural plumping and line filling.” For people who have mild lines in the upper lip, Dr. Cohen injects the filler very superficially so it blurs them. He also likes to pretreat the area a week or two earlier with a little bit of Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin to soften that musculature. Cost is based on the type of filler, amount needed, and often the location of the medical practice. Exactly how long results last also varies by product. Another option for those who hate needles: Fillerina Replenishing Treatment, a gel composed of six hyaluronic acids that is released via a pen-like applicator to fill in fine lip lines. Don’t miss how to get fuller lips without breaking the bank.

Woman in sunglasses getting laser/light treatmentiStock/carol_anne

Lasers, lights, and peels

Patients with fine lip lines and an aversion to needles have other options as well, Dr. Shafer says. “The outer layer of the skin can be treated with superficial treatments such as laser resurfacing, radiofrequency energy, chemical peels, micro-needling, dermabrasion, and other such treatments,” he says. These treatments all remove the skin’s uppermost layer, getting rid of dead skin cells and making room for new, healthier ones. “Treating the superficial layer helps improve skin texture and color and soften very fine static lines.” These treatments are quick and relatively pain-free with numbing cream, and there’s minimal recovery depending on the type of treatment and how aggressive it is. Peels and laser treatments will cause several days or more of redness, which you can conceal with makeup, he says. (Learn how to use makeup to fake perfect skin.) A series of treatments are typically needed for optimum results. “For deeper etched lines, I like to use full-field erbium resurfacing lasers, which is done to a very deep level,” Dr. Cohen says. The downside? There’s some downtime with this aggressive procedure, he says. The upside? It’s often one and done, meaning there’s no need to come back for more treatments. “I often pre-treat these patients a week or two before with Botox or Dysport just to decrease the mechanical action of that underlying muscle contracting for a synergistic result,” he adds.

Needle injection into lipsiStock/luckybusiness

PRP: the newest kid on the block

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a substance in our own blood that is rich with growth factors, is being used to treat hair loss, orthopedic injuries, and more, including lip lines. “PRP injections stimulate new collagen formation like spackling,” says New York City facial plastic surgeon Sam Rizk. Collagen is the main building block of healthy youthful skin, and as we age, our natural supply diminishes. “PRP works well for smoker’s lines because it fills in the lines from the inside out. I use a combination of PRP and laser resurfacing for a one-two punch,” Dr. Rizk says. He typically recommends three treatments, spaced four to eight weeks apart, and often sees visible improvement in the first month. If you’re leery about needles and fillers, think about a light resurfacing laser like Fraxel.

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