Lip lines, particularly the vertical wrinkles of the upper lip, are a common problem amongst many Caucasian women. Thinner less pigmented skin is more prone to wrinkling due to repeated lip motion and less dermal thickness and elastic fiber content. The wrinkles form perpendicular to the horizontal orientation and sphincteric movement of the underlying orbicularis muscle. Regardless of how they form, they are very pesky problems to treat so prevention plays a critical role. Stopping smoking is one of the most important preventers as its toxins damage collagen, resulting in fine lines. Sun protection with lipsticks and balms that contain sun protection factors and hydrate the lips works from both the outside and inside. Pursing the lips when drinking through a straw or sipping should be avoided. But when lip lines do occur, they can be substantially reduced by injectable fillers, fractional laser resurfacing or even dermabrasion if severe enough.
Dr. Barry Eppley