Cosmetic Treatment of Smoker’s Lines around the Mouth

It’s really no secret that smoking is a health hazard. It can lead to cancer, heart problems, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders such as emphysema. However, smoking can also affect the appearance of the face. It can dry out the skin and cause lines and wrinkles, making the smoker look tired and aged. This is particularly noticeable around the mouth, in the form of vertical fine lines that make the mouth look thinner. These lines make the patient appear to be angry and older. However, there are some cosmetic techniques that Dr. Vincent Marin can use to help reduce the appearance of “smoker’s lines” around the mouth.

How Do Smoker’s Lines Form?

Nicotine, which is the active ingredient in cigarettes dries out the skin, and increases collagen loss around the mouth. Collagen is a protein that the body produces naturally. It can be thought of as the glue that holds the human body together. It fills out the skin over the skeletal structure, giving the face a rounder, fuller appearance. As the body ages, it loses collagen, which may lead to a more hollowed out, gaunt appearance. Nicotine will accelerate this collagen loss.

How Can Smoker’s Lines Be Treated?

The most common way to treat smoker’s lines around the mouth is with a dermal filler such as Restylane or JUVÉDERM, both of which contain hyaluronic acid to add volume to the skin. Dermal fillers are designed to plump up the skin in areas where the body’s own natural collagen has been lost.

Technique: The dermal filler is injected into targeted locations around the mouth. The actual procedure generally takes no more than half an hour and can be done with just local anesthetic for patients that are worried about pain.

Side effects: The side effects from dermal fillers are relatively mild. The most common are swelling or bruising at the injection sites. Most of this should subside within a week following the procedure. Use of ice, cold compresses, and taking the herb Arnica montana will help reduce the amount of bruising and swelling.

Risks:  The biggest risk from the procedure will be excessive bleeding at the injection sites. Smokers are at particular risk for excessive bleeding. While the best course of action is to quit for good starting two to three weeks prior to the surgery, doctors recommend avoiding the use of tobacco products for at least two weeks before and after treatment.

Recovery and results: Results should be noticeable within a few days following the procedure. The area around the mouth will look fuller, with diminished appearance of lines and wrinkles. Patients should be able to resume normal activities immediately following the procedure.

Dermal fillers may provide an optimal solution to erase those smoker’s lines from around the mouth. The experienced staff at Marin Aesthetics can help reduce the appearance of smoker’s lines and other types of facial wrinkling.

Contact Marin Aesthetics today to learn about the surgical and non-surgical treatment options that are best suited to your needs.

About the Author:

Dr. Vince Marin is a San Diego board-certified plastic surgeon specializes in cosmetic surgery of the face, nose, breast and body. If you wish to contact Dr. Marin, write to [email protected] or you can follow him on Twitter!