Nov 12, 2019

Treating Lip Lines at Every Stage of Life

By Carolynn Grimes

Many people, especially women, are concerned about treating their lip lines. These lines can range from severe lines that are deeply etched, to barely there, to 'I don't have them yet, but I know they're coming'!

Whatever stage you're at, vertical lip lines can be treated effectively with a combination of treatments. Dr. Joel Cohen, a board-certified dermatologist in Denver, Colorado says it's all about choosing the right tool for the job.

Laser Resurfacing for Severe Lip Lines

If the lines are significantly etched, and they’re deep and numerous, Cohen says it's important to pick the right tool for the job. "In my mind, the right tool would be to do heavy full-field erbium laser resurfacing. There’s significant downtime and it takes about a week and a half to recover. They’ll also have some post-inflammatory redness, but they really do see a very significant amount of improvement from just one treatment," says Cohen.

Cohen might also inject neuromodulators into these patient's lips a week before for the laser treatment to try to decrease some of the movement while they're healing. 

Filler for Moderate Lip Lines

"For people who have a couple of etched lines and they're not that numerous, and they're bigger than the tip of the needle, I'll use a filler and I’ll soften those areas", explains Cohen. Fillers in the lip area don't last as long as they do in other areas of the face because we're constantly moving our lips.  

Cohen says neuromodulators also work well for these patients because it prevents the lip from making the movement that causes the lines in the first place. Over time, the lines improve instead of getting deeper and more noticeable. 

Prejuvenation for Millennial Lips

For the millennial patient, who sees a family member that has etched lines in the upper lip and wants to avoid lip lines for as long as possible, Cohen says there is a way to prejuvenate their lips.  "By using some neuromodulators into the muscle columns into these areas, every three or four months we can stop these muscles from ever coming to a point where they're pulling an etching on the underlying skin."