While not everyone wants to have Angelina Jolie lips, patients often ask us what to do about thin lips, lip lines, and deeply etched cracks at the outside corners. There is no one-size-fits all answer, especially to achieve a natural look, and we tailor our treatment to the individual.
Lip lines are caused by the muscle just beneath the skin. Just as elastic causes the fabric of a skirt to wrinkle, the muscle we use to purse our lips, sip through a straw, and blow a kiss creates wrinkles of the skin. Fortunately we have a lot to offer to help!
• Fractional Laser Resurfacing: The heat of the laser causes the skin to tighten so all but very deep wrinkles are smoother. The muscle continues to create wrinkles, however, so we look for ways to protect the repeated action on the skin.
• Fillers: Juvederm and Restylane are made from a substance found naturally in our skin. When injected artistically around the mouth, its plumping effect helps smooth out the lines, add fullness to the lips, and define the lip borders. (To avoid that Planet of the Apes look, we recommend not overdoing lip fills!)
• Botox: Because Botox weakens the pull of muscles, a very small amount can weaken the pull of that purse string muscle. Of course, we don’t use very much, because we still want to kiss our Valentine!
• Ulthera: The newest addition to lip improvement is this Ultrasound Technology that has now been refined to give the upper lip a little lift. This a great new addition particularly for the aging lip that is starting to drop and lengthen.
• Lip Plumpers: For the final touch, our lip plumpers from SkinMedica and Glo Minerals can cap off the look of great looking lips
Of course, treatments can be overdone. Filling deep lines aggressively with filler until all the wrinkles are gone can make the upper lip large, inanimate, and distracting. Usually less is more. After all, you want to leave people wondering, “Why does she look so great?”