Today’s Question: I have some lines above my lips that really bother me. They make me look older and cause my lipstick to bleed. What can I do? Molly, Winona Lake
A. Molly, with Valentine’s Day less than a week away our thoughts often turn to love, chocolates and kissable lips. Unfortunately, whether due to the sun, smoking, genetics or age, the lines above your lips can leave you feeling less than kissable.
Prevention is key both from the lines getting worse if you already have them and from getting them in the first place. Sunscreen is vital to protect you from the sun’s damaging rays that break down the collagen in the skin causing wrinkles. If you smoke, stop. The repetitive pursing motion made with your lips creates volume loss as well as the carcinogens in the smoke that damage the skin and create wrinkles. I also recommend you stop drinking from a straw if lip wrinkles concern you. Molly, there are several non-surgical treatment options available to treat the wrinkles above your lips including the two most common treatments below.
The first one is the most aggressive option for treating upper lip lines. It is a laser resurfacing treatment called Pearl Fractional®. Pearl Fractional is designed to treat fine lines and deep wrinkles. It is also a very effective treatment for acne scarring. Patients see immediate improvements in photo damage, tone and texture as well as a noticeably smoother and brighter complexion in just one treatment. You can expect both immediate and long-term anti-aging benefits. It is a cost effective option because results from one treatment can last about five years.
Another option to treat those upper lip lines is with a dermal filler such as Juvederm® or Belotero®. An experienced injector will use a special type of injection technique that prevents trauma to the lip muscle, which means less bruising and swelling for the patient and prevents the full duck lip appearance. As the patient, you appreciate that reassurance that you will not have lips too full, but instead have a smoother lip free of wrinkles. Most fillers now also include numbing medication making the procedure more comfortable. Juvederm will last about six months in the lip area. It will last even longer when Botox® is injected with it.
Molly, I recommend you have a consultation with an experienced medical aesthetics provider to review all of your options and find the best plan for you and your lips.