What are the various methods used to fix vertical lines around the mouth?

Dr. Dean Kane Q & A. shutterstock_14403772Q. I am 74 and want to fix my neck, jowls and lower face including the vertical lines around my mouth. I am not a smoker and have never smoked. I am fair skinned and tend to scar badly on my trunk. I am told the facial area is different. Is this true? A. Thanks for sharing your photos. You have quite a response to your inquiry and I do not mean to be repetitive but to offer more understanding and provide my personal recommendations for vertical or radial lines around the lips. ​ ​There is no singular or perfect solution. A facelift will NOT improve lines around the lips. A combination of options can improve and enhance both the dynamic formation of the lines with Botox or Dysport and the passive formation of wrinkles with “thin” smothening fillers such as Restylane Silk on the white upper and lower lip and moderate projecting and volumizing fillers along the white lip roll and pink vermillion lip.  I have also had great success with the off-label use of Sculptra in stimulating firming of the lips (outside the pink vermillion lip). I would recommend against the use of any “permanent” fillers. Various options for facelifting, minimally and non-invasive facial enhancements and skin texture improvements are available according to the skin laxity and areas of lift or tightening you wish or need. Both surgical and minimally invasive / non-surgical options are listed below. Surgical lifts would be likened to pulling the bedspread and or top-sheet of your bed up to the head-board and removing the excess material. Minimally invasive procedures such as fillers provide volume such as adjusting a pillow under the bedspread. Botox and Dysport act by pulling the top-sheet which drags the bedspread upwardly. If the bedspread (or skin) continues to fall to the foot of the bed despite fillers, Botox or Dysport you will need to consider a facelift. Non-invasive options such as laser and light therapies, skin tightening products and technologies perform their tightening and smoothening of the skin similar to sending your bedspread to the dry cleaners. A more refreshed, even colored, glowing smoother and tighter spread covers the surface of the bed. The most popular of the fillersRestylane and Perlane, a jelly-like clear skin filler is used to fill lines, wrinkles and folds. Juvederm and its longer lasting “cousin”Juvederm Ultra Plus are similar skin fillers, used to soften and fill the nasolabial (“parentheses”) and marionette folds, the brow (“number 11”) lines and fill and lift the cheeks and lateral brow or chin. Voluma is the longest lasting, up to 2 year duration HA filler. Each one is used to expand or volumize the loss of tissue associated with expression, weathering or aging. All the fillers come with numbing anesthetic!. Non-surgical facial contouring is possible with fillers such as Radiesse, a bone mineral for the nose or cheeks, jaw and chin as well. Sculptra is the latest of the injectibles stimulation collagen at different levels of the skin adding volume but primarily firming and adding resistance to the formation of wrinkles, folds and descent. Botox and Dysport too have been found to rebalance excessive facial expression, provide a non-surgical brow lift and lip lift and reshape the nose, as well as reducing wrinkles! Dr. Obagi’s new, second generation ZO Skin Health programs may be added to personalized chemical peels, light and laser resurfacing and tightening and will, smoothen and even the color of your skin. IPL and fractionated lasers such as CO2 and erbium and now RF (radiofrequency) are additions to smooth the texture of the skin, tighten and reduce red and brown uneven pigmentation. If you can pinch more than an inch of skin along the jawline in front of your earlobe, you should consider a surgical option to redrape and remove extra skin. You may consider: a traditional face and neck lift, short scar face and / or neck lift. The recent resurgence of the S-Lift (created in the early 1900’s), also called by other names as the Quick-Lift, Lifestyle-Lift, Swift-Lift, Soft-Lift, MACS-Lift and others; are a single modification of the S-lift targeted to elevate sagging lower cheeks jowls and lateral upper neck. The shorter scar, limited undermining and second layer lift achieve the “quicker” procedure but not necessarily the quicker recovery or the improvement you desire. ​ ​Facelift and / or neck lift or any of the other procedures and their combinations should be discussed following a proper examination by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who performs all of these options so you will not receive a biased approach because he or she is limited in their skills. ​ ​I hope this has been helpful. All the best!
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