Upper lip and smoker’s wrinkles

Upper lip & Smoker’s Lines At A Glance

  • Best Results1-2 treatments
  • Treatment Recovery1-12 days
  • Procedure Time30-60 minutes
  • Skin SpecialistDavin Lim, Dermatologist
  • Duration of ResultsYears +
  • AnaestheticNumbing, Sedation
  • Back to Work1-7 days
  • Cost$$-$$$

Upper lip and smoker’s wrinkles

Due to the high UV index in Brisbane, removing lip wrinkles is in the top 5 most frequently requested treatments that I get asked. Treatments will always depend on the severity of wrinkling- in severe cases, laser resurfacing is needed for the best results, in mild cases muscle relaxants combined with filler can diminish wrinkling. Finding the ideal solution for you will also depend on your downtime, but also the texture and tone of your surrounding skin.

FactsFacts on upper lip lines and smoker’s wrinkles

  • Premature upper lip wrinkles and lines are due to a combination of genetics, UV exposure & smoking
  • Laser resurfacing is the best method for rejuvenation of moderate to severe wrinkles
  • Laser has added advantages of removing sun damage & precancerous lesions
  • Combining erbium & CO2 laser, I am able to achieve up to 20 years rejuvenation
  • Premature upper lip wrinkles and lines are due to a combination of genetics, UV exposure & smoking
  • Laser resurfacing is the best method for rejuvenation of moderate to severe wrinkles
  • Laser has added advantages of removing sun damage & precancerous lesions
  • Combining erbium & CO2 laser, I am able to achieve up to 20 years rejuvenation

What results can be achieved with treatment?

No matter how severe upper lip lines and wrinkles are, I will have a solution to improve them. The results can be tailored according to your downtime, budget & expectations.

If you have static upper lip lines (wrinkles at rest), dermal filler & or laser resurfacing will give you a marked improvement of between 50-80% reduction.

If you have dynamic wrinkles (with movement), the results will not be as dramatic as muscle movement contributes to wrinkles & lines.

What treatment options do I have for upper lip lines and wrinkles?

There are a few options that reliably erase upper lip lines and wrinkles.

My favoured treatment for moderate to severe lines and wrinkles is that of laser resurfacing. Laser works be ‘erasing’ the lines and stimulating new collagen. Results are instant, but recovery times vary.

Medium to deep chemical peels can be effective, in particular Jessner TCA or phenol croton oil peels.

Another method to treat mild to moderate lines and wrinkles is a combination of Botox and filler. This method is temporary, and needs to be repeated every 3-8 months. The upside is that downtime is zero.

Fillers can result in instant improvement with no downtime.

Why is laser treatment better than fillers for moderate to severe upper lip lines?

In my opinion laser resurfacing is better than fillers for moderate to severe wrinkles due to the following reasons-

  • Treatment is long lasting and does not need to be repeated every 6-12 months-unlike filler. This does not mean you will never get wrinkles again, but with laser resurfacing I can ‘take your skin back 15-20 years.’
  • Laser resurfacing gives a much better ‘blend.’ By blending I mean it can treat other areas apart from the lip. Most patients with lip wrinkles and lines will also have wrinkles on the cheeks, lower lip and around the eyes- laser can address all these areas.
  • Fillers ‘fill and hydrate the skin’ with a natural substance called HA or Hyaluronic Acid. These fillers do not stimulate enough collagen. In some cases I use collagen stimulating fillers such as poly-l-lactic acid & calcium hydroxyl apatite. Lasers on the other hand can also address sun damage and pre cancer cells, as well as stimulating HA and collagen by your immune system.
  • Fat transfer is another option. Fat is best for volume, whilst dermal fillers give finesse.
  • PDO threads are another option. I don’t use them much due to their short life, often only 4-6 months.

What type of laser do I use for treating wrinkles?

I use many different lasers & energy devices methods to treat wrinkling. The most important reason is that there are different stages of upper lip wrinkles. Low downtime, low cost procedure are effective for mild wrinkles.

Here are some of the lasers I employ for lip lines-

  • CO2 lasers including Mixto, CORE, eCO2 & Ultrapulse
  • Erbium laser, Fractional HALO mix & fully ablative
  • Fractional laser/ Fraxel 1440/1550/1927
  • RF or eMatrix Radiofrequency treatments
  • Picofacial fractional devices
  • RFM or radio frequency Microneedling
  • LaseMD high density 1927
  • Ultherapy HIFU
  • RF Pelleve/Tempsure
  • Tixel resurfacing

Davin’s Viewpoint on treating upper lip lines and wrinkles

This is one of my most requested treatments. Why? Because the lifestyle of people who reside in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast are exposed to high amounts of UV rays. In some patients this is compounded by smoking.

No matter how severe the sun damage and smoker’s damage, treatments are always possible. In fact the worse the damage the better the results. Have a look at my before and afters to see the difference. Laser resurfacing is the absolute best treatment for severe solar elastosis and smokers lines. This treatment erases wrinkles and stimulates your own collagen to reduce and remove lines. The downside? You must quit smoking for at least 8 weeks before laser resurfacing, and ideally quit for life- if not wrinkles will recur.

What about dermal fillers? I love them! The upside of dermal fillers is that results are instant with no downtime. Yes, you can continue to smoke after fillers (but be warned that wrinkles will come back faster). Filler results are not as good as full laser resurfacing – two treatments will give you between 50-90% improvement, depending on how deep the wrinkles are.

Do I perform anti-wrinkle injections? Yes, but I am not a big fan of this treatment because it doesn’t work as well as laser, and only last 3-4 months. Additionally some people get temporary weakness of their upper lips.

For mild & early wrinkles treatments such as Tixel, chemical peels & simple fractional lasers can give great results with little downtime.

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