As we age, we lose collagen in all areas of our facial skin, and in the lips sometimes the “deflation” is dramatic. Commonly, the white skin of the upper lip becomes elongated, the “philtral columns” below the nose flatten and disappear, and the “cupids bow” becomes less defined. In addition, there is less support from the facial skeleton and skin. These changes combine to create a thin aged appearing lip. We address these changes from multiple angles, restoring volume and improving skin texture.
Dermal fillers such as Restylane Silk are often chosen to restore the lost volume to the lip, and recreate natural structure of the lip. They can also be used to fill in the small “smoker’s lines” of the upper lip. Typically, 1 syringe of filler is used. We often use a gentle numbing lip block, to make the procedure almost painless.
When the main issue is wrinkles of the skin of the lip, Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing or Erbium Laser Resurfacing may be the most appropriate choice. The procedure is performed with topical numbing cream and local anesthetic nerve blocks, as well as chilled air cooling to make the procedure painless. The recovery for more aggressive laser resurfacing may range from 5-7 days, depending on the choice of treatment.