Current Treatment Options for Upper Lip Wrinkles
26 November 2019 onur
Upper lip wrinkles are perhaps one of the most striking features of the aging face. When it comes to facial aging, patients are generally not bothered by some aging-related features. Some people like crow’s feet, some like their low eyebrows… and some never feel bothered by the volume loss in their faces. We attach great importance to such individual priorities when planning facial rejuvenation surgeries. We do not have a uniform, standard surgery. On the other hand, I have never had a patient who liked the wrinkles around their upper lip.
There is a very thin, ring-shaped muscle around the mouth that we call the ‘orbicularis oris’. There are numerous, fine vertical connections between this muscle and the skin. As we get older, the connections between this muscle and the skin are getting deeper as a result of the repetitive contractions of the muscle. Moreover, the muscle gets closer to the skin as the subcutaneous adipose tissue gets thinner and the skin itself gets thinner, making the movements of the underlying muscle more visible from the outside.
Conclusion: Vertical upper lip wrinkles
Frequent use of the orbicularis oris is a factor that facilitates vertical upper lip wrinkles. We use this muscle when kissing and whistling. For the record, smokers employ this muscle a lot while holding the cigarette between their lips. Therefore, smokers develop vertical wrinkles around their upper lips much earlier and their wrinkles are more pronounced. Individuals who talk a lot as a requirement of their profession such as teachers or musicians who play wind instruments develop deeper upper lip wrinkles earlier. Other major risk factors for the formation of upper lip wrinkles include sun damage, fair skin color and chronic stress. Genetic factors are also naturally involved, and some people are congenitally more prone to upper lip vertical wrinkles.
Men are luckier. We don’t know exactly why, but we hardly see these wrinkles in men, probably due to the protective effect of the hair follicles around the upper lip. In men, vertical upper lip wrinkles are noticeable only in individuals who are of very advanced age or have highly intense sun damage.
The formation mechanism of upper lip wrinkles is very similar to that of periorbital wrinkles around the eyes because there is an “orbicularis” muscle around the eyes, the namesake of the muscle around the mouth. We treat these periorbital wrinkles with BOTOX, but the same treatment option does not work equally as well around the mouth. BOTOX is effective in reducing wrinkles in this area, but the deterioration in movements and facial expressions around the mouth can be very obvious, unpredictable and annoying, so I almost never apply BOTOX around the mouth.
My favorite treatment for upper lip wrinkles is to combine 2 very effective methods to boost their effectiveness.
The first of these methods is “dermabrasion”, i.e. the controlled abrasion of the skin surface with a high-speed diamond scrubber. Dermabrasion is very effective and presents a very low possibility of unwanted pigmentation and spots after the procedure. Therefore, in the treatment of upper lip wrinkles, dermabrasion is more valuable to me than other alternatives such as “Laser” and “Chemical Peeling”.
The second method is the “nanofat” application. In this technique, to reduce the fat tissue taken from the patients themselves to a fineness that can pass through a very thin needle, we first centrifuge the fat tissue and then take it through a series of filters. Filtration kills most of the fat cells, but a tissue cocktail containing stem cells remains. We use an ultra-fine needle to apply the autologous nanofat right into and under the skin. This allows us to treat thinning tissues, which is one of the reasons why upper lip wrinkles form.
The good news is that all this can be done under local anesthesia and in a session that takes about 20-30 minutes. The bad news is that the recovery period is between 7 to 10 days. Unfortunately, you will not be able to socialize much during that time. After the procedure, you will need to use sunscreen and concealer makeup for a few months. I often apply this procedure as an element of the maintenance process after facial rejuvenation surgeries. This is because the upper lip wrinkles on a surgically-rejuvenated face are relatively more striking.
In brief, if you suffer from upper lip wrinkles and you have a week to spare, you may be a good candidate for Dermabrasion/Nanofat application.
Take good care…
… of yourself and your beauty.