What are the best treatments for smokers lines? This is a common question many patients ask Utah Facial Plastics providers during their consultations. Fine lines around the lips – often referred to as “smoker lines” – are common with aging or even repetition of pursing a straw, and definitely worse for those that actually have history of smoking or are current smokers. Luckily, there are some great options available to smooth them out and freshen up your smile. There are several treatments available to address fine to deeper lines from less invasive to more invasive procedures.
Botox can be a great option to subtly treat “smoker lines” or “lipstick lines”. A small amount of Botox, usually 2-6 units is injected into the area above the upper lip to soften the muscle from making the pucker expression. With repeated treatment over time it can continue to soften out those lines. One downside to this treatment, is it can possibly change your smile a little bit, or some people don’t like how it feels when they go to drink a drink. Luckily Botox wears off in 3-4 months so re-treatment is optional. Botox is also used in conjunction with filler in this area for deeper set lines.
Volbella or Restylane Refyne
Volbella or Restylane Refyne are FDA approved hyaluronic acid fillers designed to treat the fine lines around the lips and other areas of the face. Because of the formulation, tiny lines can be completely smoothed out with no sign of any filler under the skin. The results are natural and last anywhere from 6 months to 1 year following initial treatment. The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes in-office and topical numbing cream is applied before hand to ease any discomfort. The cost is around $650 per syringe, and is applied to the fine lines around the mouth for a smooth, even contour. Some redness and swelling and possible bruising can occur, but is usually short lived.
Fractional or Pro Fractional Laser Resurfacing
Utah Facial Plastics laser resurfacing treatments address a number of skin conditions including fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars, pigmentation, and uneven skin tone. Most patients who receive treatment for lines around the mouth have the full face done for overall rejuvenation. Powerful results are achieved without the harsh side effects of traditional laser resurfacing. The complication rate is low with a shorter length of downtime. Utah Facial Plastics offers a variety of laser resurfacing treatments from ablative to non-ablative depending on how severe lines and damage are, the downtime you are willing to go through, and budget.
Following a 1 hour treatment in-office (topical numbing cream is applied beforehand), patients are required to strictly keep out of the sun for 7-10 days as the skin flakes off and the fresh skin emerges. Results can last up to 10 years and most patients require only 1-2 treatments. This varies on the continued aging process, continued lifestyle and skin care. The cost ranges depending on the final plan and it includes a pre and post treatment regimen designed for safety and increased healing.
Peri-oral dermabrasion is a more invasive option as our specialized facial plastic surgeons go deeper into the skin with an ablative device. This can be done in-office under local anesthetic or in the operating room under general anesthesia. When done in the OR, it’s generally done in conjunction with surgery, such as facelift surgery. A facelift will help restore facial features, remove and tighten excess skin, but dermabrasion is usually recommended in conjunction to soften those lines around the mouth that the facelift wont address.
The skin is initially quite raw but is kept moist and protected with prescription cream while a new layer of skin is formed (typically takes 7-10 days). The new skin has a pink color that gradually fades over a period of 4-6 weeks. Similar to laser resurfacing, more collagen is produced in the skin as healing progresses. Therefore, the benefits become more apparent over time.
To learn more about treatment options for lines around the mouth, book online or call (801)776-2220 for a consultation in one of our two office locations along the Wasatch front.