Unfortunately, no area of the face is exempt from the effects of aging. The lips are no exception to this, and many people are distressed to find that their lips lose fullness and shape while gaining wrinkles as they reach middle age. Full lips are important to many people, as they are attractive and add balance to the face. So what happens to the lips as they age, and what can be done to rejuvenate them?
Reduced Collagen Production
One of the biggest factors in overall facial aging is the loss of collagen in the face. Collagen is a naturally-occurring substance that the body creates. It is responsible for keeping the skin smooth, elastic, and plump. As we age, the body’s collagen production slows down significantly, causing the skin to lose fullness and radiance. In addition, years of repetitive lip motions take their toll with age, causing wrinkling to appear at the edges of the lips.
What Accelerates Lip Aging
While aging is inevitable, it occurs in some people more quickly than in others. This has to do with a variety of factors, some of which, like genetics, are unavoidable. However, other components of accelerated aging are in the individual’s control at least somewhat. Here are some things that can age the lips prematurely.
Smoking and Puckering
Smoking wreaks all kinds of havoc on the body.It does not only harm the health overall when lighting up, it also speeds up the natural aging process in the lips and face. Thesmoke depletes the skin of moisture and oxygen, while introducing harmful chemicals that accelerate the aging process. The repetitive puckering motion made when smoking cigarettes greatly contributes to wrinkles around the mouth. In fact, these vertical lines around the mouth are often referred to as "smokers’ lines.”
Dehydration and Sun Exposure
Just as it affects the rest of the skin, sun exposure is very dangerous to the skin on the lips. In addition to the UV rays increasing susceptibility to cancer, they can also break down collagen in the lips, making them appear thinner and older. Dehydration can also add to a shriveled, aged appearance, so it is important to keep lips hydrated throughout life.
Lip Augmentation and Rejuvenation
Amid the bad news of lip aging, there is some good news. Today, there are a couple of procedures that can be used to rejuvenate and augment aging lips. Let’s take a look at both the non-surgical and surgical option for this.
Augmentation With Injectable Fillers
Dermal fillers are extremely popular these days, providing solutions to numerous cosmetic issues, including wrinkling and facial volume loss. These fillers are often a good choice for lip rejuvenation as well. These fillers can make lips fuller, plumper, and less wrinkled temporarily, generally for about six months to a year. The procedure is simple, requiring only a short session to inject the filler into the lips, but it does require a great deal of skill on the surgeon’s part to get the desired results. The process involves no downtime.
Augmentation With Implants
Another option for lip augmentation is surgical lip implants. These are permanent and are placed surgically into the lips in order to make them larger and fuller.Lip augmentation surgery typically takes a few weeks for initial recovery. While this is an option for older patients, it may not be the best way to treat signs of aging in the lips. Only the patient and the surgeon can decide what is the best course of action in each specific case.
Choose a Reputable Facial Plastic Surgeon
No matter what method of lip rejuvenation you are interested in, you should always seek the services of a reputable plastic surgeon to avoid complications and promote a good outcome. A board certified plastic surgeon will have the knowledge and expertise to help you pick the treatment that is right for you and provide a safe and effective procedure so you can get the results you seek.
If you are looking for an experienced surgeon in the Boston area, come to Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery and Laser Center in Worcester(508-363-6500) or Stoneham(617-247-0033), MA, to speak with Dr. Stuart Bentkover. Dr. Bentkover has been performing facial plastic surgery for over two decades, and has the experience and skill to help you get beautiful, youthful-looking lips. For more information, call either location today to schedule your consultation.