Above, before treatment for smokers lines and below – one year after 1mL of Juvederm 2 showing a good result and no need for further treatment at this stage.
Those little wrinkles on the upper lip are the result of collagen and elastin loss associated with aging. None of us escape this but it can be accelerated by smoking and sun damage. Loss of teeth and age-related bone resorption cause the upper lip to turn inward and the philtrum – the gap between the nose and the upper lip – to elongate.
The muscle (the orbicularis oris) responsible for ‘smokers’ or ‘lipstick’ lines surrounds the whole lip. The part of the orbicularis orbis responsible for the lines is called the pars peripheralis. When this muscle contracts, lines appear and may become permanent.
What can be done?
You can delay or reduce further smokers lines in two ways:
Firstly, if you smoke, this is a good reason to stop. Smoking decreases the blood supply to the skin and frequent pursing of the lips around the cigarette causes deeper lines to develop.
Secondly, reducing further sun damage with a Factor 50 sunscreen daily is advisable and cost-effective.
The good news if you ‘re looking for a solution to the problem rather than delaying or preventing things getting worse, is that you have a number of options.
A soft, flexible dermal filler such as Teosyal RHA 1 or RHA2 or Juvederm 2 can be used to support the tissues and is injected superficially using a needle. There is a risk of bleeding, bruising and a small risk of infection so always ask your medical professional about the risks and what aftercare they provide.
As a muscle is responsible for the wrinkles, it stands to reason that a tiny dose of botulinum toxin will relax the muscle and reduce the wrinkling effect.
It will take 4 to 14 days to take effect and will last about 12 weeks.
There is a risk that the philtrum may be further elongated by this treatment and also a risk that your ability to pronounce certain sounds or purse your lips may be affected which must be taken into consideration.
Otherwise known as collagen induction therapy, this is ideal for people who prefer a natural, non-invasive approach.
The tiny needles induce microchannels in the skin and stimulate the skin’s own healing process which increases collagen production.
Treatment takes about 30-60 minutes and some redness will be seen for around 48 hours.
3 -6 treatments will be needed and the best results are seen 6 weeks after the last microneedling session.
Microneedling can be used with dermal filler and/or anti-wrinkle injections (not at the same session) to enhance the results of each.
This is a combination of hyaluronic acid (naturally produced by the skin and the ingredient in the most commonly used dermal fillers), amino acids and vitamins.
Hyaluronic acid is a polysaaccharide (or sugar) which can hold up to 1000x its own weight in water.
Ideally the treatment needs to be repeated three times, three weeks apart and works rather like a intradermal moisturiser. Very popular in Europe, mesotherapy is also known as a ‘skinbooster’ and can be used for improving skin texure and quality.
More information on Teosyal Redensity I skinboosters can be found here http://www.teoxane.com/node/1709