You actually don’t have to be a smoker to end up with smoker’s lines or “lipstick lines” around your mouth. These vertical wrinkles marring your lips can be a natural result of aging. Of course, the more time you spend with your lips puckered around a cigarette, the more pronounced the lines do become. The muscles in your lower face get used to being in a particular position and this affects how the overlying skin looks. That’s why Botox may be a helpful treatment for relaxing smoker’s lines and rejuvenating the skin around your mouth.
How Does It Work?
Botox works by blocking nerve impulses to the muscles in the treated area. Since the muscles are no longer moving as much, the lines in the overlying skin aren’t being constantly reinforced. An experienced cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist can precisely target the muscles and deliver the correct amount of botulinum toxin to make the results look fairly natural.
Combination Treatment for Smoker’s Lines
Generally, Botox is not used alone for treating vertical lip lines. Instead, it is paired with a dermal filler such as Restylane. The filler helps plump up the skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles in the area. Then, Botox provides a little extra relaxation to further smooth the skin. Some dermatologists will also perform fractional laser resurfacing around the mouth. This technique can boost the production of collagen under the skin to provide long-lasting rejuvenation.
Not Everyone Likes Botox for Smoker’s Lines
There’s actually a lot of controversy over the use of Botox for fixing lipstick lines. Some doctors don’t recommend this treatment at all. The fact is that treating the lips is different than treating the forehead (where Botox is usually used). Your brow is involved in making facial expressions; but it doesn’t require the complex mobility required to form words. In contrast, your mouth needs to remain highly mobile so you can talk, sing, smile, eat, and drink normally (hopefully you won’t keep smoking!)
Any injection error or dosage miscalculation in treating smoker’s lines can significantly impact your ability to speak clearly. You might even end up looking like you had a mild stroke if one side of your mouth starts drooping. People who have a job or hobby that involves public speaking, singing, or playing a wind instrument are discouraged from having this procedure. Even done correctly, you might notice a slight difficulty in pronouncing some sounds after having a Botox injection in your lip area. The effects will wear off, but this can take several months.