Smokers’ lines refer to vertical wrinkles that form around the edges of the lips. We see them most often on women who smoke; however, men and non-smokers also develop these lip lines as they age.
Fortunately, there are several effective at-home and in-office treatments available to those experiencing this issue.
Why Do People Get Smokers’ Lines?
As with many things, the prevention of lip lines is often better than a cure.
For this reason, here, Dr. Maya Kato first offers some preventive tips you can use to avoid the formation of lip lines, and then options available to those who are displaying more advanced stages of lip lines.
Smokers’ lines form due to a breakdown of the structural integrity of the skin.
A protein called collagen gives our skin its elasticity and smoothness. When the skin has high amounts of collagen, it is tight, smooth, and wrinkle-free. Over time, and due to contributing factors such as repeated muscle movement, sun exposure, lifestyle factors, and the natural aging process, our collagen begins to break down. This gradually results in skin that is rough, flabby, and wrinkly.
Smokers’ lines can appear differently in different patients, depending on the extent of collagen breakdown and wrinkle formation.
Different Stages of Smokers’ Lines
Cosmetic surgeons generally categorize smokers’ lines into two different stages.
- Stage 1: In this phase, the lines are only visible during the movement of the mouth, such as when a person is eating, talking, whistling, or, yes, smoking. Someone at this point can consider changing some of their habits and daily routines to slow the formation of more permanent lip lines.
- Stage 2: At this point, lip lines have become permanent features of the face. They are present when the person is at normal rest; however, muscle movement causes them to deepen. Stage 2 lines require more significant intervention and can be harder to treat at home. Nonetheless, there remain some very effective in-house treatments for stage 2 smokers’ lines, which we’ll discuss later in this post.
Some of the best at-home remedies for smokers’ lines begin with good habits and daily skincare.
Obviously, one of the best things people can do for their skin is not to smoke. Smoking ages the skin and speeds up the breakdown of collagen, resulting in an appearance far older than your actual years.
Another major contributing factor to smokers’ lines is overexposure to the sun. Even people experiencing the beginning stages of these wrinkles can slow their formation by applying SPF 30+ sunscreen when they go out to enjoy the sunshine.
Some, however, require more significant intervention to address their smokers’ lines.
At-Home Remedies for Smokers’ Lines
One of the best available at-home solutions for smokers’ lines is retinol cream, which stimulates the body’s production of collagen, thus improving the structure of the skin by increasing the dermal layer.
Retinol helps skin maintain healthy, youthful quantities of collagen, which has beneficial effects on reducing the appearance of smokers’ lines.
A new and highly effective brand in the skin-structure collagen market is Alastin. Like retinol, Alastin improves the general health, moisture retention, collagen production, and elasticity of the skin to maintain a youthful, vibrant complexion.
In-Office Treatments for Smokers’ Lines
Other patients, particularly those with stage 2 smokers’ lines, will require a more significant intervention, generally in the form of an in-office treatment. Many of the most effective treatments for smokers’ lines happen in the office of an experienced, qualified dermatologist.
Most patients benefit greatly from either dermal fillers or neuromodulators, such as Botox, to provide volume to the skin surrounding their lips, or to neutralize the muscles responsible for creating the lines in the first place.
What is best for each patient depends on several factors, such as lifestyle, personal preference, and how advanced the wrinkles are.
While at-home treatments can be more convenient, the short amounts of time in-office treatments take and the incredible benefits they provide make injectables and neuromodulators a prevalent choice for many patients wishing to address the fine lines around their mouth.
Dr. Maya Kato of Aesthetic Art Facial Rejuvenation offers the highest standards of patient care and guidance in Palm Desert, California, as shown by her patient reviews and winning the Palm Springs Life Top Doctor award for almost a decade, consecutively.
Don’t hesitate to call 760-610-5558 or fill out her online form now to book your one-on-one consultation to begin eliminating your smoker’s lines and restoring a youthful, vibrant facial complexion.