In youth, our upper lip is curled and shorter with a well-defined junction between the white and pink lip (the vermillion border), and an upward sloping philtrum or Cupid’s bow. Beginning in our 30s and 40s, the lip thins and gradually deflates, the vermilion flattens, and the lip lengthens, loosing its curl. The artful placement of one of the variety of dermal injectable fillers or fat transfer can restore lip volume, contour, and curl. In order to achieve a natural look, it is important to keep the lip in a balanced proportion to the rest of the face, as oversized lips can be most unattractive.
As aging progresses, volume loss, sun damage, and muscular activity, i.e., pursing, all conspire to thin, wrinkle, and lengthen the upper lip. Merely filling the lip without addressing all the above parameters is often not enough to achieve a natural correction. Botox® Cosmetic in small amounts strategically placed can relax the pursing tension of the perioral muscle that surrounds the mouth. This relaxation softens lip lines and often lets the curl in the lip remanifest, resulting in a fuller-looking lip. At times, the skin of the upper lip needs to be resurfaced to soften and improve vertical lip lines. This can be accomplished with aggressive regional chemical peel or Fraxel.