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Lips and Aging: What You Need to Know


Like the rest of your body, the lips go through several changes as you age. Lip lines are a form of wrinkles that surround the lips, often called smokers’ lines or lipstick lines. Lips lose volume and shape with age as well. Here is how to get rid of these lip issues that can age your look.

How Do Lip Lines Develop?

Lip lines develop with age due to loosened skin in the area as well as the fact that lips get thinner with age. Certain things can make them develop earlier, such as too much-unprotected sun exposure and smoking (due to the repeated motion of pursing the lips around a cigarette, hence the name smoker’s lines, and also due to the fact that smoking in and of itself ages skin faster).

Why Do Lips Thin with Age?

Lips thin with age for the same reason lip lines develop: collagen production decreases, resulting in lips that are not as full as they were before. The space between the nose and lips, called the philtrum, lengthens as well, which can further give the appearance of a thin upper lip. This can also cause the mouth to appear to be frowning when at rest. 

Treatments for Lip Lines

Fillers are the most common treatment option for lip lines. Fillers plump up the lips, thus stretching out the surface area the skin has and “ironing out” fine lines around the area. Fillers can also be placed along the skin surrounding the lips for a stronger effect if needed. These fillers often feature hyaluronic acid, a hydrating component naturally found in the skin (but in short supply as we age).

Laser skin resurfacing is another effective technique for reducing the appearance of lip lines. This treatment removes the top layer of skin to reveal smoother, fresher, less-wrinkled skin underneath. 

Treatments for Thinning Lips

Lip fillers, as discussed above, can plump lips to a more youthful volume. They also serve double duty by helping to counter any lines or wrinkles on and around the lips. Lip fillers are a great choice for a quick fix, but they do need to be redone every few months depending on the brand of filler used.

Another surgical option that targets the upper lip is a lip lift. This will allow more “tooth show” when smiling, which is considered a sign of youth, and it will also give some added volume to the upper lip, which is particularly affected by age. This procedure can involve lifting the corners of your lips to get rid of the frowning appearance some have due to sagging skin.

If you are concerned about signs of aging on and around your lips, Dr. Edmund Fisher can help! Call our office and find out what procedure is best for you.

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