Upper lip lines are a sign of ageing on the face, and their presence affects the aesthetic appearance of the lips. So, what causes lip lines? And what treatment options are available for restoring the upper lip’s youthful appearance?
Laser for Lip Lines vs Tixel
Laser for lip lines can be performed with CO2 laser, Erbium laser, fractionated RF or Tixel. The gold standard for laser resurfacing of the upper lip was the CO2 laser. However, our clinic has largely replaced CO2 laser resurfacing of the upper lip with Tixel. Tixel is not a laser but a pure heat device. It is a unique treatment approach and has found a niche for treating around the eyes, lips, and entire face and body!
Laser resurfacing upper lip – CO2 laser will cost $660, whereas Tixel costs $400 (or $1150 in a package of 4)
What Causes Upper Lip Lines?
Upper lip lines develop naturally over time due to volume loss (in and around the mouth), changes in skin quality, and repeated expression movements.
- Natural ageing causes volume loss in all muscle, fat, and skin layers. As a result, our lips become thinner and less plump, and they can no longer support a firm lip border.
- Skin quality changes include thinning the skin with decreased structural skin elements. Skin collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid levels decline with ageing. Our skin naturally bounces back after expression when we are young. As the skin’s structural elements deplete, the skin becomes more vulnerable to movement damage.
- Lip movements cause wear and tear injury to the skin where the lips crease repeatedly.
In addition, factors that accelerate facial ageing contribute to the emergence of lines around the mouth. For example, sun exposure, smoking, excessive sugar consumption, alcohol, stress, and other environmental factors contribute to the mouth’s lines.
Smoker’s Lines are Not Always Caused by Smoking.
Although smoking increases the likelihood of developing lines around the mouth, the smoker’s lines are not always the result of smoking. There are two reasons why smoking increases the risk of upper lip lines.
- Smoking causes inflammation, which increases the risk of premature ageing.
- Puffing on a cigarette causes repeated pursing of the lips and creasing of the skin in the same spot. This repeated movement hastens the formation of lines around your mouth.
Why Do Men Lack Lip Lines?
The absence of lip wrinkles in men is due to moustaches and men having thicker skin and higher collagen content as a baseline. Even though men experience natural volume loss, the hair growth on the upper lip and lower face generally serves as structural support and prevents skin creasing.
Types of Upper Lip Wrinkles
Upper lip wrinkles are classified into two types: dynamic and static.
- Dynamic lip wrinkles, also known as movement wrinkles, appear when your facial expressions like pursing your lips. These are the first to appear caused by volume loss in the lips and surrounding tissue.
- Static lip wrinkles appear when the lips are at rest. With repeated lip movements and skin thinning, wrinkles can progress to static lip creases.
The type and severity of the lip wrinkles determine the treatment. Fillers continue to be the most popular and versatile treatment. However, retinoid creams should be universal, improving and maintaining a smoother appearance regardless of the treatment approach.
- Dermal fillers or fat transfer can be used to treat static lip wrinkles. Other treatments for static lip wrinkles include collagen-stimulating treatments such as retinoid creams and PDO threads and laser treatments such as laser resurfacing and microneedling.
- In addition to retinoid skin care, anti-wrinkle injections, PDO threads, and dermal fillers can be used to treat dynamic lip wrinkles. However, for optimal results, we recommend combination treatments.
Treatments for Wrinkles Above the Lips
Vitamin A or Retinoids to Restore Skin Quality
Retinoid cream (prescription Vitamin A) is still the gold standard for treating acne, melasma, and wrinkles! Retinoids are naturally present in the skin and decrease with age, sun exposure, smoking, and other stressors. Retinoids fight ageing by altering gene expression, causing skin cells to produce more collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. Our doctors recommend retinoids for age prevention and reversal. The benefits include reduced fine lines and wrinkles, improved texture and tone, increased collagen production, and prevention of further damage.
Filler for Lip Lines
Treating dermal fillers reduces lip lines and defines the border. Lip lines filler is still the most popular method of treating smokers’ lines. Small amounts of filler injected under the lip wrinkles restore a youthful appearance. Soft rather than thick fillers are the best for lines around the mouth.
The most common concern among women seeking restoration of lip lines with filler is that our Doctors will look over plump their lips. But, of course, if you want full lips, we can do this for you. However, lip lines filler is used above the mouth for most women, restoring a youthful, natural appearance.
Laser for Lip Lines
Laser resurfacing is a non-surgical alternative to lip lines filler. The CO2 laser and RF microneedling are the most commonly used laser treatment for smokers’ lines. Both work by inducing collagen, and laser treatment for lip lines is recommended when the damage is severe.
Sun damage and smoking cause skin elasticity changes, creating permanent deep lip wrinkles. Laser resurfacing with a CO2 laser was considered the gold standard for treating sun damage and smoker’s lines. However, the introduction of Tixel has provided safer, affordable options. Other non-laser and laser options include erbium laser resurfacing for the upper lip, PRP and skin needling. Resurfacing treatments repair not only surface damage but also stimulate collagen production. Furthermore, laser treatment for lip lines can be combined with fillers.
Anti-wrinkle Injections for Dynamic Lip Lines
Anti-wrinkle injections are a less common method of treating upper lip lines but can be used when dynamic lip lines are prominent. Small anti-wrinkle injections are placed around the mouth to reduce muscle movement and help smooth the lines. Lip lines filler is frequently combined with anti-wrinkle injections.
Threads with PDO for Lip Wrinkles
PDO threads are the most recent cosmetic treatment to hit the market. Since their introduction as a Korean V Lift, many treatment applications for PDO threads have existed. PDO threads are effective for dynamic and static lip lines because the tiny threads placed beneath the skin have an initial armouring effect, reducing movement. Over time they stimulate new collagen production and help with static lip wrinkles in the weeks following their placement. Once again, they are frequently combined with other treatments, such as lip lines filler.
If you are interested in laser treatment for lip lines, book a laser consult or if you are interested in lip line filler, book with our Doctors or book both if you want to know all your options.
Book Online or Call 07 3350 5447 for a free consultation.