Vertical Lip Lines
As we age, our skin begins to lose its elasticity and structure, making fine lines and wrinkles more visible. This can be particularly obvious on around the lips with the appearance of lip lines. Lip lines, also known as perioral lines, lipstick lines, or smoker’s lines, are vertical lines that appear on and around the lips and are very difficult to conceal. Often, lipstick and other make up can become trapped in the creases, which actually makes them more visible. In the past, many patients believed that the only option for anti-aging in the lip area was plastic surgery, which involves significant downtime and high risk of potential side effects. Luckily, there are many non-surgical options for treating lip lines available at Dr. Michele Green’s NYC private dermatology office for patients to rejuvenate the appearance of their lips. The result: plump, smooth, youthful-looking lips.
When it comes to non-surgical treatment of vertical lip lines, there are many treatment options available. When you have your initial consultation with board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Green, she will help to determine the lip rejuvenation treatment that will work best for you. For some patients, dermal fillers, such as Juvederm Volbella or Restylane Kysse may work best to plump the lips and fill in fine lines and wrinkles. Other patients who are experiencing fine lines and wrinkles around the lips as a result of repeated puckering or facial expressions may benefit most from Botox or Dysport, which both work to relax the muscles in the treatment area to reduce the appearance of creases and wrinkles. Laser treatments, microneedling, platelet rich plasma (PRP), chemical peels, and microdermabrasion skin resurfacing are additional treatments that may be used in conjunction or on their own to treat vertical lip lines. From mild to severe lip creases, Dr. Green has the treatment option that will best rejuvenate your skin.
Dr. Michele Green has been expertly practicing a wide variety of cosmetic procedures at her Upper East Side New York City dermatology office for more than 25 years. Known for high patient satisfaction and her less-is-more technique for creating a natural, youthful look, Dr. Green is experienced in all forms of facial contouring, including injectable treatments such as dermal fillers, Kybella injections, Botox, cosmetic lasers, microneedling, and chemical peels. Dr. Green has been consistently voted one of the best dermatologists in New York City by Castle Connolly, New York Magazine, and Super Doctors and the New York Times.
What are vertical lip lines?
One of the telltale signs of aging are vertical lip lines. Lip lines, known also as lipstick lines or smoker’s lines, can form above, below, and on the lips, and run vertically from the lip upward towards the nose or downward towards the chin. Vertical lip lines are distinct from marionette lines, which form along the side of the mouth and run from the edge of the nose down to the chin. As a result of the natural aging process, the body’s production of the structural proteins collagen and elastin decreases. Collagen and elastin are responsible for keeping the skin smooth, firm, and elastic, however, starting at the age of 20, production of these proteins decreases by 1% every year, meaning the skin gradually becomes looser and more crepey, and the lips become thinner. As collagen and elastin production decreases, fine lines and wrinkles become more visible, particularly on and around the lips.
What causes vertical lip lines?
There are many risk factors that can increase the likelihood of the formation of vertical lip lines around the lips:
Aging – As we age, production of collagen and elastin decreases, which means that, over time, the skin becomes thinner. As a result, fine lines, wrinkles, and creases become more visible on the body. The skin around the lips is particularly delicate, meaning that creases can become particularly apparent in this area and deepen over time.
Dry Skin – As the skin ages, production of sebum, the oil on the skin, decreases and when the skin is dehydrated, fine lines and wrinkles become more prominent. Dryness is particularly common on the lips, and, as such, it is important to protect the lips from the elements with lip balms.
Sun exposure – Excessive exposure to harmful UV rays can lead to sun damage for the skin cells. Damage from the sun can contribute to dryness on the skin and accentuates fine lines and wrinkles. The lips are particularly prone to this type of sun damage, known as photo aging, as patients frequently forget to apply sunscreen to their lips. Dr. Green recommends the use of an SPF, topical lip balm any time patients go outdoors.
Smoking – Smoking is a common risk factor for vertical lip lines, which are also known as smoker’s lips. When patients smoke, the habit leads to the production of agents in the body known as free radicals. Free radicals speeds up the natural aging process and can lead to wrinkles, particularly around the mouth. This can be further aggravated by the repetitive puckering motion when taking a drag of a cigarette.
Repeated facial expressions – Repeated contraction of muscles to make facial expressions, such as pursing your lips or sucking on straws can contribute to creases around the lips. These muscles create creases on the face, known as dynamic wrinkles, when the muscle is engaged. However, as collagen and elastin production decrease, the creases become etched into the skin even when the face is at rest.
How do you get rid of vertical lip lines?
When it comes to eliminating vertical lip lines, it is best to begin by scheduling an appointment with expert, board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Michele Green. When you consult with Dr. Green, she will help you to determine the treatment or series of treatments that would work best to address your specific needs. There are many options available at Dr. Green’s office to eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the lips, increase the volume of the lips, and rejuvenate your skin including injectable fillers, Botox, Dysport, chemical peels, microneedling, laser resurfacing, and more.
What is the best treatment for vertical lip lines?
There are many treatments available in Dr. Green’s dermatology office to treat vertical lip lines. No one treatment is inherently “better” than the others, rather it is about finding the treatment, or series of treatments, that will work best for you.
Botox – Botox is the brand name for the neurotoxin onabotulinumtoxin type A, which works to relax the muscles in the treatment area. Botox causes creases to disappear and works to prevent new creases from forming, which works particularly well for patients’ whose perioral lines are caused by repeated facial expressions.
Dermal fillers – There are many types of dermal fillers that can be used on many areas of the face but when it comes to treating vertical lip lines, it is best to use hyaluronic acid fillers, such as fillers from the Juvederm or Restylane family of fillers. Hyaluronic acid fillers, in addition to providing more volume to the skin, help to hydrate the skin and boost collagen production.
Chemical peels – Chemical peels work to exfoliate the skin to promote new cell turnover and collagen production. Chemical peels can be found in several different concentrations but for use on the lips, generally a mild solution will be best. With the increased production of collagen, chemical peels can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and rejuvenate the skin.
Microneedling – Microneedling works by creating small injuries on the surface of the skin, which in turn trigger the body’s natural healing response. As a result, collagen production increases which improves the texture and structure of the skin. Microneedling is frequently paired with platelet rich plasma treatment, which boosts skin rejuvenation.
Laser resurfacing – Laser resurfacing treatment works to exfoliate the outer layer of skin, boost production of collagen and elastin, and tighten the skin for a more youthful appearance.
Skincare products – In order to combat signs of the natural aging process, it is important to engage in a good skincare routine. This includes a gentle moisturizer, antioxidant creams or lotions, and the application of sunscreen of at least SPF 30 before going outside. There are many skincare products available at Dr. Green’s proprietary MGSKINLABs and when you have your consultation, Dr. Green can expertly advise you on the best anti-aging products available.
Does Botox work on vertical lip lines?
When the vertical lip lines that appear on your face are caused by the repeated contraction of muscles around the lips, Botox may be the best solution for smooth, youthful-looking skin. Botox is an injectable treatment that works to essentially freeze the muscles at the treatment area. When injected into the lip area, the Botox blocks the neurotransmitters at the site, which keeps the muscles from contracting and causes them to relax, resulting in smoother skin and the elimination of dynamic wrinkles. Dr. Green is an experienced injector, who employs a less-is-more approach to Botox injections, meaning she injects just enough Botox to relax the muscles and smooth away creases without limiting patients’ expressive capabilities.
Botox is a safe and effective treatment for patients who want to eliminate wrinkles without any downtime. As Botox is a non-ablative, non-invasive treatment, patients can immediately resume their regularly scheduled activities and may only experience some minor swelling and redness at the injection site. Patients will begin to see the effects of Botox treatment within 3-7 days and should enjoy the results for 3-6 months. The Botox treatment can be repeated approximately every 6 months for continued results.
Lip wrinkles and lip line treatment using lip fillers
Dermal fillers are another common and effective treatment for vertical lip lines, and can be used to eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as well as to provide shape and volume to aging lips. Commonly, when injecting in and around the lips, it is best to use a hyaluronic acid filler from the Juvederm or Restylane families of filler. When dermal fillers are injected into the treatment area with a small needle, there is an immediate effect of providing more structure to the skin, which reduces the appearance of creases. Injectable fillers containing hyaluronic acid also help to trigger the body’s natural production of collagen and elastin, meaning that skin texture will continue to improve over time. Lip filler can also be used to increase the volume or contour the lips for the ideal lip shape and pucker. Results for dermal fillers can last up to a year and can then be repeated annually to maintain the contour and structure of the skin.
What is the best filler for vertical lip lines?
The two best dermal fillers for the lips are Restylane Kysse and Juvederm Volbella. Restylane Kysse was FDA approved in 2020 for use in the United States on the lips to improve lip texture and volume, and to treat lipstick lines. The formula used in the injectable filler contains smaller particle sizes compared to other fillers in the Restylane family, meaning Restylane Kysse works well to fill in the delicate lips and provide a natural look. As a hyaluronic acid filler, Restylane Kysse also helps to boost collagen production in the treatment area and helps to hydrate the lips. Restylane injectable fillers are unique in their use of the proprietary XpresHAn cross-linking technology, which helps to connect the filler with the tissue, meaning less filler is necessary for the best results.
Juvederm Volbella is another hyaluronic acid filler, which is designed specifically for injection into the lips and to eliminate the appearance of perioral lines. Composed of a thinner gel that other members of the Juvederm family, Juvederm Volbella works well to fill in the lips. The hyaluronic acid fillers attract moisture, which helps to hydrate the skin and also triggers the body’s natural collagen production for plump, hydrated skin. Volbella can also restore volume lost as a result of the natural aging process and contour the lips for the ideal shape and pucker.
How to get rid of vertical lip lines with platelet rich plasma
Platelet rich plasma is a treatment process that can be used to boost the body’s natural collagen production in order to rejuvenate the skin. The platelet rich plasma, or PRP, solution is made from extracting the PRP from your blood. The procedure will begin with a blood draw, which will then be placed in a centrifuge to separate out the plasma, which has many restorative properties, from the rest of the blood. The PRP solution is often applied to the skin in conjunction with microneedling in order to inject the PRP serum into the microwounds. As the PRP is absorbed by the skin, collagen production increases for firmer, smoother, skin.
How to reduce vertical lip lines with Microneedling
Microneedling is often paired with PRP treatment and is used to boost collagen and elastin production in the body for a revitalized appearance to the skin. Microneedling treatment works through the application of a handheld device with small needles to the treatment area. The needles create micro-wounds on the surface of the skin, which triggers the body’s natural healing response. As a result, there is a boost in collagen production, which decreases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improves skin texture and color. This can be very effective at addressing lines that appear above or below the lips.
How to get rid of vertical lip lines naturally
When it comes to fully eliminating the appearance of vertical lip lines, it is best to turn to a cosmetic procedure, such as dermal fillers, Botox, microneedling, or laser resurfacing. However, there are some things that you can do to help prevent the formation of vertical lip lines and keep the skin smooth. It is important to keep the skin hydrated, which means drinking plenty of water and applying moisturizer to the face. For the lips in particular, it is important to apply lip balm to protect the lips from the elements. Reducing damage from the sun is also important in preventing the formation of lipstick lines. To do so, it is important to apply sunscreen and an SPF lip balm before going outside.
Skincare products for upper lip lines
Patients looking to treat upper lip lines at home or prevent the formation of vertical lip lines can turn to skincare products for help. While it is vitally important to keep the skin moisturized and to use sunscreen to protect the lips from harmful UV rays, skincare products alone are often not sufficient to fully eliminate fine lines and wrinkles on the upper lip. For that, it is best to schedule an appointment with Dr. Green for a cosmetic procedure such as dermal fillers or Botox.
What is the best product for vertical lip lines?
When it comes to creating an anti-aging skincare routine that helps to prevent and reduce signs of vertical lip lines, Dr. Green has a three-step anti-aging process available at her proprietary MGSKINLABs. The first step is to apply the Vita-C Serum, which helps to boost the body’s production of collagen to maintain smooth, firm, elastic skin. Next, Dr. Green recommends applying the Essential Antioxidant Infusion, which contains high concentrations of vitamins A, C, and E in order to rejuvenate and protect the skin. Finally, the anti-aging system contains a powerful sunscreen to be applied anytime before going outside. Sunscreen can help to prevent premature photo aging, which can frequently affect the area around the mouth. If you are wondering about the best skincare routine to prevent lipstick lines, it is best to consult with an expert dermatologist, such as Dr. Green.
How to get rid of vertical lines above the upper lip?
Many patients ask how to get rid of vertical lines above the lips and the answer is that there are many options available to eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles above the lips. To reduce the appearance of creases caused by dynamic wrinkles, Botox may be the best option. To restore lost volume and eliminate fine lines, dermal fillers such as Juvederm Volbella or Restylane Kysse are safe and effective options. To boost the natural production of collagen, Dr. Green may recommend microneedling with platelet rich plasma. When you have your initial consultation with Dr. Green, she will help to determine the treatment or series of treatments that will best address your needs and aesthetic goals. It may be that a combination of several treatments is most effective.
How to hide vertical lip lines
Vertical lip lines are challenging to hide without cosmetic procedures. Make up and lipstick can often serve to accentuate lines rather than hide them as make up fills in the creases. Rather than trying to hide the lines, it is best to visit an experienced dermatologist, such as Dr. Green, who can introduce you to procedures that can eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on and around the lips for a refreshed, youthful look.
How to get started with vertical lip line treatment
The appearance of vertical lip lines can be one of the most obvious signs of aging. Creases that form vertically on, above, and/or below the lips can be a stressful reminder of the natural aging process. Luckily, there are many options available for patients who would like to eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the lips. Dermal fillers, Botox, Dysport, chemical peels, microneedling, and platelet rich plasma treatment are all safe, effective, non-surgical procedures to help reduce the appearance of lipstick lines. To schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Michele Green, call the NYC office at 212-535-3088 or contact us online today to schedule a consultation for firm, smooth, and youthful-looking skin.