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Lip Wrinkles ("smoker's Mouth" Or "lipstick Lines")

Doctor's Terms

  • Vermilion border: Simply put, the pink-to-red visible part of the lips. As you age, the vermilion border can become less defined and "bleed."
  • White lip or white roll: The central grooved portion of the upper lip that is not red (demarcated by the vermilion border). With age, the white roll tends to descend.
  • Orbicularis oris: The muscles around the mouth that allow the mouth to open and contract—and cause the top lip to suffer the formation of lipstick lines.

Information And Treatment

One of the least attractive wrinkles that develop in the perioral region are smokers' lines, the deep wrinkles on the pale part of your top lip (or what docs like to call the "white roll").

But inconveniently, smokers' lines aren't just confined to smokers. (That's probably why they are also called "lipstick lines"—because they cause lipstick to bleed.) They can be caused by sun damage and repetitive motion—the muscles around the mouth contract powerfully, causing motion lines to settle in over the years.

The extent of these vertical lines and the age at which they form depends on the quality of your skin and the abuse it withstands over the years. Constantly smiling, puckering your lips, and smoking (shame on you!) accelerate their growth. Fortunately, injectable dermal fillers and laser peels can reduce lipstick lines.

Age range: Smoking can mean that these lines appear earlier in life—by 35. If caused by aging, these wrinkles become more prominent after the age of 40. Excess sun exposure can speed up the rate of wrinkles.