The upper lip is a good barometer of chronological and environmental age.

The aging and wrinkling of the upper lip are influenced by at least four negative factors: accumulated sun exposure, genetics, smoking, and the natural maturing process. These factors combine to create wrinkling and flattening of the upper lip with a loss of the “Cupid’s bow”. Small vertical cracks and wrinkles extend from the lip itself to the skin above the lip, causing the lipstick to “bleed” into the upper lip.

Thanks to today’s many medical advances there is help. Aging lips can be rejuvenated and less full lips can be enhanced.

What are my treatment options? Lip enhancement and rejuvenation are two of the most frequently requested cosmetic procedures. Your options range from the latest in laser treatments to natural injectable fillers or synthetic implants. All of these fillers are soft, pliable, and have a natural feel.

Which treatment is best for me? Your surgeon will select the procedure best for you. Every surgeon will have his or her own procedure preferences for a variety of reasons, including the range in shape of each patient’s lips and the results desired.

Laser lip rejuvenation This upper lip resurfacing procedure uses a combination of laser treatments to rejuvenate the wrinkled or aged lip. During the healing process of this procedure, the collagen and elastic tissue beneath the skin will tighten and remodel, restoring the “V” or Cupid’s Bow and providing a more healthy, youthful shape to your lips.

As the healing process takes place, the collagen and elastic tissue will tighten and remodel, returning the Cupid’s bow back to a more healthy, youthful appearance. As the collagen tissue tightens further, the upper lip is actually pulled up a bit, exposing more vermilion border, making the mid area of the upper lip appear fuller. The other advantage of this lip technique is to redefine the lip border to a more exact position so that lipstick forms a perfect line without the interruption of wrinkles.

Injectable lip enhancement Your injectable options include AlloDerm, Autolegen, Dermalogen, Fascian, Fat Transfer and Zyderm® or Zyplast® collagen. Artecoll, HylaForm and Restylane are options that may be available soon.

Zyderm® and Zyplast® injectable collagen are used to enhance the natural silhouette of the upper border of the upper lip and Cupid’s Bow. They also fill in the vertical lines along the upper lip that often cause lipstick to “bleed” beyond the lip line.

Autologen, Fascian and Dermaolgen can be used in the same way the Zyderm® and Zyplast® collagen are used. Autologen is made from your own skin. Usually, this tissue is obtained from any excess tissue you may have had rom a previous cosmetic procedure performed in our office. Dermalogen and Fascian are injectable forms of human collagen made from donated skin and recovered by an accredited tissue bank.

Fat Transfer, also called autologous fat transplantation or micro-liposuction, plumps up your lips using fat taken from inconspicuous sites on your body. Fat Transfer to the lips is a safe, natural, non-allergenic procedure designed to restore damaged or diminished dermal deficiencies.

Implant augmentation for lips AlloDerm is a dermal graft/implant that was initially used as a skin replacement for burn patients. Now surgeons worldwide recognize its benefits as a safe, natural implant to replace aged or inadequate lip tissue and rejuvenate the wrinkled or aged lip. SoftForm and soft “ePTFE” (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene) implants lead the way in synthetic options. SoftForm and soft “ePTFE” implants have proven to provide a safe, predictable, non-allergenic improvement for thin lips.