Smoker’s Lines, also known as lip lines or lip wrinkles, refer to the vertical wrinkles that develop around the lips, especially the upper lip. As the name implies, smoking is a major cause of these wrinkles. However, sun exposure, aging, thinning lips, and genetics can also contribute to excess lip lines.
These wrinkles typically start as fine lines in your 20s and 30s. Over time, they can worsen into deeper creases that extend beyond the lip line toward the nose and chin region. The upper lip wrinkles tend to develop more prominent lines compared to the lower lip.
While some subtle smoker’s lines may be expected as you age, excess wrinkles can accentuate signs of aging and make lips appear smaller. Thankfully, today, there are many highly effective options to treat smoker lines.
There are many reasons smoker lines appear, including, but not limited to:
From injectables to skin resurfacing, many upper lip wrinkle treatments can diminish smoker lines. Below, we cover the most popular options.
Botox is among the most popular treatments for smoker lines and to get rid of lip wrinkles. It works by relaxing muscles around wrinkles to smooth their appearance. Effects take 2-3 days to appear, and results last 3-6 months on average.
While the procedure only takes 15 minutes and requires no downtime, you’ll need repeat injections to maintain results. Some mild swelling or bruising can occur initially.
A chemical peel involves applying a chemical solution to the skin, which causes it to peel and reveal fresh, smoother skin.
Medium-depth and deep chemical peels enhance collagen production and resurface damaged skin cells around wrinkles. Improvements continue for several weeks or months following the peel, leading to tighter, smoother skin and reduced smoker lines.
As the skin heals, you may experience some redness, swelling, and dry/flaky skin for about a week. Avoid direct sun exposure during recovery.
Injectable fillers like hyaluronic acid restore lost facial volume and provide structural support around wrinkles. Most patients need one syringe for smoker lines, which costs $650 on average and lasts 6-12 months. Common brands include Restylane and Juvederm.
Some temporary swelling, redness, or tenderness can occur and resolve within a week. Bruising is also possible with fillers. Proper injection technique helps avoid side effects.
Laser skin resurfacing is a non-invasive treatment to reduce the appearance of smoker lines and wrinkles. A laser is used to remove damaged outer skin layers. That stimulates new collagen growth for tighter, rejuvenated skin around the lips. It also lightens smoker lines by gently vaporizing tiny trenches within them.
Laser resurfacing is a safe and effective treatment for smoker’s lines using the body’s natural healing process. Proper post-treatment care is crucial for optimal results.
Microneedling creates thousands of microscopic punctures through smoker’s lines and the skin around them. This controlled skin injury triggers collagen and elastin production to resurface wrinkles. It also facilitates better absorption of topically-applied serums.
Most undergo three sessions one month apart, requiring a few days for the treated area to heal between appointments. Mild swelling, redness, and tenderness are common.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy harnesses growth factors in your blood to revitalize skin and treat smoker’s lines. The process begins by separating plasma and platelets from your blood sample before skillfully re-injecting the concentrated mix around wrinkles.
As the plasma absorbs over several weeks, growth factors trigger collagen regeneration and new blood vessel growth. These effects include tissue tightening, skin rejuvenation, and smoothing of smokers’ lines over 1-3 months. Most undergo 2-3 treatments.
Taking proactive lifestyle measures can slow the emergence and progression of lip lines. Here are some tips:
Some physicians offer Botox for lip wrinkles to patients in their 20s when fine lip lines first surface as a preventative treatment. Treating them early maintains lip shape and texture longer before wrinkles become permanent features.
Similarly, subtly plumping lips with a conservative amount of dermal filler when younger restores lost volume to keep wrinkles at bay. However, avoid overfilling lips, which strains the surrounding skin.
Combined with good lifestyle habits, Botox and fillers can effectively delay the appearance of smoker’s lines when started at younger ages under physician guidance.
Frequent waxing alone doesn’t cause permanent wrinkles, but repeating the same expression during waxing sessions can do so over time. Pulling skin taut before applying wax strips requires pursing lips and can contribute to vertical lip lines.
No single lip wrinkle treatment can permanently erase deep smoker lines. However, options like laser skin resurfacing, deep chemical peels, dermal fillers, or PRP therapy provide longer-lasting improvements by generating new collagen and tissue around wrinkles. They can help thin out the appearance of moderate smoker lines with a series of treatments.
Juvederm is made from a naturally occurring substance, hyaluronic acid sugar gel polymer, the dermal filler’s main ingredient.
Botox is used as a preventative treatment for lip wrinkles, targeting patients in their 20s when fine lip lines first appear.