Wrinkles Perioral / Mouth

  • Best ResultsImmediate to months
  • Treatment Recovery0-12 days
  • Procedure TimeVariable
  • Skin SpecialistDr Davin Lim
  • Duration of ResultsYears
  • AnaestheticNumbing- sedation
  • Back to Work1-8 days
  • Cost$$-$$$$

Wrinkles Perioral / Mouth

Perioral wrinkles describe wrinkles around the mouth. These wrinkles are also known as smoker’s lines. This page will focus on both upper and lower lip wrinkles & the concept of structural support for mature lips. Perioral wrinkling has a complex treatment algorithm, hopefully this will give you some insights into treatment options (that work and look natural).

FactsFacts on Perioral Wrinkle Treatments

  • Wrinkles occur in the late 30s & worsen with time
  • Upper lip wrinkles are due to both muscle movement & loss of elasticity
  • Movement induced lines can be softened with injectables
  • Lines at rest can be treated with lasers, micro needling & dermal fillers
  • Structural support to the lip is essential in mature women
  • Natural outcomes are achieved if the causes of wrinkles are addressed
  • Prevention can be achieved with retinol, antioxidants & AHA serums

What are the two types of wrinkles in the mouth area?

The two different types of wrinkling are-

Static wrinkles: are present at rest, mostly due to smoking & sun damage.

Dynamic wrinkles: are made worse with animation; think puckering.

In reality, most cases will have both elements, hence combination treatment is ideal.

Most patients will have a combination of dynamic & static wrinkling, hence in most cases the ideal treatment involves lasers & injectables.

Why do women have wrinkles & blokes do not?

Five reasons, & they are-

  1. Men have facial hair; this acts as pylons of structural support in the dermis
  2. The dermis in males is thicker than females
  3. Facial hair protects from UV
  4. Shaving is a form of collagen stimulation, akin to dermaplaning
  5. Mimetic anatomy is different, females express more, talk more. Sorry.

What types of lasers do I use to treat perioral wrinkles?

Depending on the depth of static wrinkles, I use the following lasers.

  • Fractional CO2 & thulium lasers: for superficial wrinkling & mild sun damage.
  • Ablative Erbium & CO2 lasers; for deep wrinkling & smokers’ lines.

One session will give great results. If you have higher expectations, a second laser session is possible. Recovery ranges from 4-10 days.smokers-lines

Is laser resurfacing painful?

No. We use anaesthetic blocks & mild sedation to ensure comfort levels. Recovery following resurfacing is painless.

Davin’s Viewpoint on treating Perioral Wrinkles

This ranks in the top 3 requested rejuvenation sites for women over 40 years of age. To treat perioral wrinkles well one needs to master dermal fillers, injectables, surgery & lasers. If you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

When I am rejuvenating the perioral area, I take into consideration factors such as the degree of solar damage or elastosis, the proportion of static vs dynamic wrinkling, the volume of the upper & lower lip, structural support of the entire perioral area (including the dentition & the skin quality of the adjacent areas), the ratio of the height of the upper lip to nose as well as the distance between the nasal alar & philtrum prominence & height. It is a complex algorithm that requires careful consideration. It is far more complex than ‘I am going to use a laser to resurface skin.’

Fillers in mature lips are not used to plump up lips, they are used to SUPPORT the personal area.

To markedly simplify things, I have divided mouth wrinkles into static & dynamic, however in all cases, both factors come into play. It is finding the treatment/s of choice that will give the best result for an individual. In most cases it is a combination of modalities that gives optimal results. The hardest concept to get across to patients is that mimetic muscle movements & articulation plays a role in all cases. An analogy is folding a piece of paper. The more you fold it, the more prominent the crease line. Look in the mirror to see if this applies to you when you talk/drink/purse your lips.

This is a side effect if one chases deep wrinkles. Essentially the pigment cells called melanocytes are reduced in number following super deep laser procedures.

For the dynamic element of wrinkling, the use of very small units of muscle relaxing injections can give a good outcome for most. When I mean ‘small units’ it means around 4 units- a fraction of what is needed to reduce frown lines. Tox to the lip is not without side effects (I have had it before for a gummy smile), you can expect some transient weakness of this area until you recruit muscles.

The hardest type of perioral wrinkles to correct is in the aging or mature lip. This requires all skill sets to be employed, including surgical, fillers, lasers, & injectables. Structural support needs to be carefully assessed (including dentition). When I mention dermal fillers in this age group, most women think of duck lips. This is far from the truth. Volume correction is the lips themselves is the last area I look at. I am thinking about structural support of the perioral area. This includes the marionette lines, jowls, pre-jowl sulcus, as well as adjacent areas including the nasolabial folds, & chin-jawline. In the mature age group, you need to balance out these areas, it is not about local rejuvenation- it is more about global aesthetics. Resurfacing the upper smoker’s lines will give good outcomes for that area, but don’t forget that rejuvenation is about the big picture.

Lip rejuvenation The way I do it.

Anti-wrinkle creams for perioral rejuvenation? You can buy the most expensive creams & they won’t give any results. Creams are best used to maintain the results following procedures. They include retinol, retinoids as well as antioxidants & alpha hydroxy acids. Do not overdo it in this area, or you will develop perioral dermatitis.



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