Lip lines are vertical wrinkles that develop along and above your upper lip. Lip lines are part of the natural aging process. But habits such as smoking and sun exposure can create deeper lip wrinkles. Cosmetic treatments, including fillers, can reduce lip lines and help you look younger.
Lip lines are vertical wrinkles that can appear on your lips and extend from your upper lip to the tip of your nose. Lip wrinkles may range from fine, subtle lines to deep creases.
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Lip lines are also called smoker’s lines and lipstick lines. Healthcare providers may use the terms “perioral rhytides” or “perioral wrinkles.” (“Peri” means “around,” and “oral” means “mouth.”)
No, lip lines and smile lines are on different locations on your face. Smile lines (nasolabial folds) are wrinkles that extend from the sides of your nose to the corners of your mouth. Marionette lines are another type of wrinkle that travel from the corners of your mouth to your chin.
You may develop lip lines for a range of reasons, including the natural aging process and certain lifestyle habits. The underlying cause is activity of the muscle around the mouth, which becomes more active with time.
Lip lines usually develop around your 40s. But you might see lip wrinkles earlier if you smoke or have sun-damaged skin.
Lip lines are vertical creases on both lips and on the skin above your lips. If you wear lipstick, these wrinkles can look more pronounced.
Other causes of lip wrinkles include:
A plastic surgeon may use a rating scale to diagnose the severity of lip lines. For example, lip wrinkles may be:
The best treatment for lip lines varies by person. Your plastic surgeon may recommend treatments based on:
You can’t permanently get rid of lip lines. But some treatments can reduce or temporarily improve lip wrinkles.
These cosmetic procedures don’t require any incisions:
Several cosmetic surgeries may improve or get rid of lip wrinkles, such as:
These procedures may help with on-the-lip wrinkles. But treatments may be less effective in reducing lines above your lips.
You can’t prevent lip wrinkles from developing. But these tips can help lessen their severity, reduce signs of aging and improve the health of your skin and lips:
Without treatment and sun protection, lip lines may worsen and become more pronounced over time.
Lip lines last forever. If you opt for cosmetic procedures, you may reduce lip wrinkles or temporarily get rid of them. Botox may last up to six months, while lip fillers can last up to 12 months.
Lip implants and fat transfer injections are more long-lasting options, but they may not get rid of all lip wrinkles. Talk to a plastic surgeon about what results you can expect with nonsurgical and surgical lip procedures.
If you have lip lines, consider asking a plastic surgeon:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Lip lines are subtle or deep-set vertical lines on or above your lips. Lip wrinkles tend to worsen with age. Healthy habits and cosmetic treatments can reduce lip wrinkles and create a more youthful appearance. Talk to a plastic surgeon about the best treatment for your goals and wrinkle severity.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/25/2022.
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