Aging women often experience lipstick “bleeding” – which is caused by fine and/or deeper lip wrinkles. A variety of procedures can be used to correct this condition.
- Injectable fillers such as hyaluronic acids at the lip borders can fill into the deeper vertical grooves to minimize the appearance of the wrinkles.
- Resurfacing treatments can provide a much more definitive and permanent treatment of lip wrinkles. For persistent visibility of vertical wrinkles of the upper lip and for lipstick “bleeding”, other techniques can be used, such as chemical peel, laser resurfacing, and even dermabrasion or “sanding” the surface of the skin to resurface the area and smooth it out more permanently.
This is usually done utilizing a resurfacing technique that requires anesthesia: dermabrasion is one technique, but also chemical peel or laser resurfacing can be used to smooth out the wrinkled collagen under the surface of the skin of the upper lip. Women seem to experience this more than men due to the fact that men may have beards. It is often thought to be caused by smoking, but we all purse our lips just when talking. The continuous motion of the upper lip in that fashion, along with the loss of elasticity, creates vertical lines.
Dermabrasion is used on top of or in conjunction with laser resurfacing where a deeper layer of treatment is indicated, i.e., for very etched in or deep vertical lines of the upper lip. Dr. Perkins commonly performs carbon dioxide and erbium laser resurfacing for fine and medium wrinkling of the upper and lower lips, whereas dermabrasion is usually required for deeper etched lines of the upper lip, lower lip vermilion and perioral region.
Resurfacing is a more involved procedure, taking nearly 1 ½ weeks to heal before make-up can be applied. However, the results are fairly immediate and quite dramatic. The new skin is quite pink and red for a while but it does fade. This more permanently removes the wrinkles as the collagen is tightened under the surface of the newly healed surface skin. Once the wrinkles are removed with the resurfacing technique, they will take many years to form again. It is fairly common for a few of the deeper wrinkles to partially remain after one treatment, and touch-up procedures may be performed to further enhance the results.