Embarrassed by your lip lines? You’re not alone.
Fine lines around the mouth are not only a telltale sign of aging, they’re also a sign of bad habits like smoking and tanning. And if you’re left with these unsightly wrinkles around your mouth, you’re probably a bit embarrassed about what caused them.
The best way to prevent more lip lines is obvious: stop those habits. But what about existing damage? Is there any treatment that will get rid of the lip lines you already have?
Yes, there is! Not only can you prevent new lines from forming, there are also ways you can start to erase the lines that have already shown up.
Here’s what you need to know about why lip lines appear and how to make them disappear as soon as possible.
The Most Common Causes of Lip Lines
Fine lines mainly occur because of aging and sun exposure. Sun exposure accelerates the aging process, and aging means we lose volume in our face and lips. As the volume dissipates, the lines appear. The skin is literally folding.
The sun works against us by damaging fibroblasts. These cells make collagen… and collagen is what gives us volume. As collagen declines, volume in the skin is lost.
Think of your skin like a grape. As it ages, it loses volume and shrivels up. Sure, grapes don’t stay plump forever, but if you set a grape out in the sun for an extended period of time, it’ll be a raisin much sooner than if it was protected. The same is true with your skin. No, we can’t stop the aging process, but we can delay it when we protect your skin.
Do Smokers Have More Lip Lines Than Non-Smokers?
Lip lines can show up on anyone — smoker or not. But smoking is hard on skin and dramatically increases the likelihood of premature aging. In fact, it speeds up the decrease in collagen (much like sun exposure).
Similar to over-exposure to the sun, smoking damages fibroblasts, which are essential for producing thickness in the skin. Losing fibroblasts drives the problem of lines and wrinkles. Once fibroblasts are lost, wrinkles increase rapidly.
How Can I Prevent Lip Lines?
Prevention starts years before lip lines show up. The best advice for prevention is boring and you’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating:
Wear sunscreen and limit sun exposure.
Sun exposure is the number one cause of fine lines, lip lines, wrinkles, and premature aging. Simply avoiding your exposure to the primary source of skin cell damage can make all the difference in the health and appearance of your skin.
Unfortunately, the natural aging process also results in a loss of volume in the skin. Fibroblasts don’t produce as much collagen as they used to. Limit sun exposure and you’ll delay these signs of aging, but they will come eventually.
What Is the Best Treatment for Lip Lines?
Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, I can’t go back and apply sunscreen to my 22-year-old self now! What do I do about the lip lines I already have?”
You have treatment options! We recommend seeing someone experienced, like your dermatologist. You need a medical professional with experience using hyaluronic acid fillers. This is a natural substance that’s produced in your cells. Hyaluronic acid acid is what the body uses to fill in the gaps between the collagen cells in the body. And, since it’s found in your skin already, it’s unlikely to cause an adverse reaction.
When hyaluronic acid fillers are added back to the skin, it fills in the volume you’ve lost. It’s the fastest way to correct your lip lines.
Plus, hyaluronic acid actually stimulates collagen production. That means you’ll not only get the immediate results of a filler, but you’ll also get the added long-term benefit of an increase in natural collagen production. It’s like turning back the clock.
How to Prepare for a Filler Injection
Fixing lip lines around the mouth takes only a small time commitment. It’s as simple as a short visit to your dermatologist. The cost varies depending on how much filler you need.
Once you decide you’re ready for a lip correction, you want to be prepared for your visit. Here’s what you need to know:
- Make an appointment with a trusted dermatologist. You want to feel comfortable with the experience level of the doctor and trust they’ll pick the right product for you.
- Come to the appointment without makeup or lipstick. The professionals will need to easily clean and sterilize your skin.
- Avoid blood thinners, if possible, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or even red wine to help prevent bruising. Avoid blood-thinning medications four days prior to your appointment and avoid red wine two days prior.
While your dermatologist can’t limit the sun exposure you had before you knew better or help you quit smoking before you started, they can help you deal with the lip lines you have because of it. If you’re ready to explore your options for a lip correction, contact your dermatologist today and let them find the right treatment for you.
Dr. R. Todd Plott is a board-certified dermatologist in Coppell, Keller, and Saginaw, TX. His specialization and professional interests include treating patients suffering with acne, identifying and solving complex skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and identifying and treating all types of skin cancers. In his spare time, Dr. Plott enjoys cycling, traveling with his wife, and spending time with his children and new grandson.
Learn more about Dr. Plott.