Perioral lip wrinkles, also known as “smokers lines” and “upper lip wrinkles” are fine or deep lines that occur around the lips and mouth. These lines are a normal sign of skin aging. As the skin ages, it loses elasticity and firmness. As a result, fine lines begin to appear and the skin becomes thinner and drier. Genetic factors, sun exposure, smoking and habitual facial movements, such as pursing the lips, can all contribute to the premature appearance of lip wrinkles. Fortunately, the appearance of facial lines can be reduced with treatment and proper skin care.
Common symptoms of perioral lip wrinkles include:
- Fine lines or deep wrinkles around the lips and mouth
- Dry skin and dull skin
- Loss of elasticity and firmness of the skin
Wrinkles tend to conform to our most dominant facial expressions. If a person tends to purse their lips, they will often develop fine lines and wrinkles around the lips and corners of their mouth. Factors such as sun exposure and smoking can greatly speed up the aging process and cause fine lines and wrinkles to develop prematurely.
Good skin care and adequate protection against the sun are the first steps in treating perioral lip wrinkles. Regular use of a quality moisturizer is the first basic step to reducing the look of existing lines. (Price is not a reflection of quality.) Well-hydrated skin appears noticeably smoother and more evenly textured. Combined with daytime application of a sheer foundation, it will vastly improve your overall complexion.Implement a nighttime moisturizing treatment just before bed to allow your skin to soak up the nourishing ingredients and help regenerate your skin’s appearance. Also, try incorporating daily sun protection with a SPF-rated moisturizer to reduce further sun damage to your skin.
To prevent the premature appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on your skin caused by sun damage, there are precautions you can take before going out into the sun.
Limit sun exposure: Reducing your time in the sun is perhaps the easiest way to avoid damage to your skin caused by UV rays. When outdoors, set a time limit and seek shade when necessary. Also keep in mind that UV radiation is the strongest between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Use Sunscreen: Sunscreens are an essential part of protection against the sun. Look for sunscreens that are labeled “Broad Spectrum”. They are often the most effective and offer protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Be sure to apply generously and frequently.
Cover and protect: Wrap-around sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats and clothing that covers your arms and legs, can offer extra protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Many over-the-counter treatment options can help diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Look for anti-wrinkle creams that contain active ingredients such as alpha-hydroxy acids, copper peptides and antioxidants, which can make your skin look visibly younger. Moisturizers that contain silicone can also help fill in and seal fine lines. This treatment creates a more even surface for make-up application and the effect is often long-lasting.
A doctor may prescribe a topical cream that contains retinoids – such as tretinoin and tazarotene – which encourage collagen production and help smooth out lines in the skin.
Medical procedures such as Botox injections are often used to treat perioral lip wrinkles. Collagen fillers such as cosmoderm, cosmoplast, cymetra, facian, zyderm, zyplast, evolence are effective for improving the appearance of deep lines, however, the results may only last a few months. Hyaluronic acid injectables such as juvederm, perlane, restylane, hylanB gel, hylaform, purgen and captique are also used to improve smoothness of the skin. Radiesse® is an injectable filler that is particularly effective for filling in deep creases on the face. It is also used to treat frown lines on the forehead. One of the benefits of Radiesse® is that it lasts for up to 18 months. Some possible side effects of this treatment are bruising, swelling, redness, itchiness and pain. Laser skin resurfacing procedures such as Fraxel is also used to treat perioral lip wrinkles.