Have you spotted vertical lines forming above your lips? These wrinkles are often called “smoker’s lines.” Although smoking is the most common cause, other factors like sun damage can contribute to them as well. Another name for these wrinkles is “perioral rhytides” or “perioral wrinkles,” which simply means that they appear in the area around your mouth.
You may not like the appearance of these lines. That’s understandable; they can often make you appear older than you are. But they’re not something you just have to accept. The specialists at the Advanced Plastic Surgery Center in Arlington, Virginia explain more about some of your options for getting rid of this problem.
The causes of vertical lines
To some extent, getting wrinkles around your mouth is simply due to the aging process. Your skin loses elasticity as you get older due to the fact that your body produces less collagen and elastin, which keeps your skin looking smooth. This also explains why you’re more likely to notice the appearance of these lines after the age of 40.
While vertical lines above your mouth (and the associated wrinkles they cause) are usually caused by a longtime smoking habit, other things can cause them as well. Some of these other causes include the following:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Sun damage
- Frequently drinking through a straw
- Habits like frequently pursing your lips
- Genetics (you’re more likely to develop them if your parents and grandparents did)
- Not getting enough sleep
While you can’t undo this damage once it's begun, you can do certain things to erase them.
How to erase these wrinkles
On to the part everyone affected by this issue wants to know about: how to get rid of these lines once they appear.
Botox is a purified form of the Onabotulinum A toxin. In larger amounts, this could actually paralyze your muscles, but the amount we inject into your wrinkles is only a tiny fraction of the amount that could be dangerous.
A typical Botox treatment requires only about 15-20 minutes in our office. First, we cleanse your skin. Then, we make small injections into the affected skin. You can expect the results to appear within 24-48 hours. You’ll usually need to repeat the process every 3-4 months, as the results aren’t permanent.
There are several varieties of dermal fillers that we use to restore plumpness to your skin, which is often enough to cause your lines to disappear (especially if you catch them in the early stages.)
These include the following:
- Juvederm® — this filler contains hyaluronic acid, a compound that’s naturally occurring in your body
- Radiesse® — this filler contains microspheres of a substance called calcium hydroxylapatite (CaHA), which stimulates your body to produce more collagen
Neither of these fillers delivers permanent results, so you’ll likely need to get continued treatments every few months. How long the results of each will last depends largely on the specifics of your wrinkles and which treatment you choose.
You can also opt for more dramatic procedures such as a face lift if you’re older or if you have more issues that you’d like to address.
To find the best option for treating the lines around your lips, your best bet is to schedule a consultation with us. Contact the specialists at Advanced Plastic Surgery Center today or request an appointment online.