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Bar code lips!

Posted on: 6th June 2016

Aesthetics as we all know is a constantly evolving discipline that is essentially all consumer driven. It goes through flux and change both with new techniques, products and even more on areas of the face and body.

Most focus I have noticed this last year has been on the lips and more importantly, the area around the lips. These lines are known to aesthetic practitioners as the peri-oral lines but they were previously coined’ smokers lips’. The latest name for these vertical lines that appear around the mouth, mainly upper lip are now called bar-codes.

So why do they develop? Peri- oral lines are influenced by a number of factors and these include age,genetics,sun exposure,repetitive facial movements,lip threading, waxing,smoking and through drinking through a straw.

Lips have am much thinner stratum corneum compare to the facial skin which makes it venerable to UV damage as well which causes sun damage and the vertical wrinkles.

The muscles that surround the mouth are constantly being used and the repeated contraction of the upper lip muscles when we talk,eat,drink and kiss, the skin becomes thinner due to collagen loss and the slowdown of natural fibroblast cell activity.

Threading and waxing the upper lip also creates lines too because they damage the skin and make it thicker.

Peri-oral lines are more visible in women than men because women have thinner skin in this area.

There are various ways to treat these lines. Firstly, dermal fillers are used that can be used to augment the lips to help with this issue. Personally I use very light dermal filler like Perfectha Fine Lines or Emervel Touch. I use a serial puncture technique whereby small amounts are injected in dots around the upper lip area. I also cross hatch depending on the severity of the lines but I have to be mindful of not over filling so the upper lip area is not overfilled. (£200-260)

Fractional laser resurfacing is also another way treatment that can resurface this area and promote collagen formation. There is usually a downtime associated with these techniques and patients would normally need a course of 3-5 treatments.

Wrinkle relaxing injections such as Botox can also be used but they have to be very very carefully placed to relax the upper lip muscle. Care must be taken not to alter the patients natural smile. ( from £200)

One thing that I would advise is to see an aesthetic practitioner that who performs lip treatments regularly.

The good news is that there are treatments out there to reduce or get rid of the bar codes but be warned, over the years they may well come back

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