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How to Get Rid of Smoker's Lines

What are Smoker's lines?

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.

Causes of Smoker Lines

There are many reasons smoker lines appear, including, but not limited to:

  • Smoking: Smoking causes smoker lines in a few ways. The act of pursing lips to smoke introduces repeated mechanical stress around the lips. This gradually leads to loss of elasticity and wrinkles over time. Additionally, chemicals in cigarettes degrade collagen, impair blood flow, and damage skin cell DNA. These factors accelerate facial aging and wrinkles.
  • Sun Exposure: Like smoking, UV exposure degrades collagen fibers in the skin and promotes facial wrinkles. The thin skin around the lips has very little protection from sun rays. Years of sun damage can lead to deep smoker lines.
  • Aging: As we age, our skin produces less collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. The lips and skin around the mouth often move during activities like talking and eating. This high-use area thins out quicker, becoming more prone to wrinkles.
  • Genetics: Those with fair skin, blonde or red hair are more prone to wrinkles from intrinsic aging and sun damage compared to darker skin types. Genetics also plays a key role in how fast your skin produces and replaces supporting proteins like collagen.
  • Thinning Lips: Some develop excess lip wrinkles from having naturally thinner lips. They provide less structural support and cushioning around mouth muscles.

Treatments for Smoker Lines

From injectables to skin resurfacing, many upper lip wrinkle treatments can diminish smoker lines. Below, we cover the most popular options.


  • Average Price: RN: $11/unit Physician: $16/unit
  • Procedure Time: 15 minutes
  • Recovery Time: 3 hours

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.

Chemical Peel

  • Average Price: $650 per treatment
  • Procedure Time: 30-60 minutes
  • Recovery Time: 1-2 weeks

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.

Dermal Fillers

  • Average Price: $650 per syringe
  • Procedure Time: < 1 hour
  • Recovery Time: 24-48 hours

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

  • Average Price: $799 per treatment area
  • Procedure Time: 30-60 minutes
  • Recovery Time: 7-10 days

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.


  • Average Price: $450 per session
  • Procedure Time: 30 minutes
  • Recovery Time: 48 hours

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.

PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma)

  • Average Price: Varies
  • Procedure Time: 45-90 minutes
  • Recovery Time: None

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.

Preventing Smoker Lines

Taking proactive lifestyle measures can slow the emergence and progression of lip lines. Here are some tips:

  • Wear sunscreen and broad-brimmed hats to limit UV damage
  • Stay hydrated and eat a balanced, nutritious diet
  • Stop smoking cigarettes or e-cigarettes
  • Practice facial exercises for fuller-looking lips
  • Minimize your use of straws

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.


Does Waxing Upper Lip Cause Wrinkles?

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.

How to Get Rid of Smoker Lines Permanently?

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.

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