In general, fine lines and wrinkles—including wrinkles around the mouth—are a natural consequence of aging skin. Despite the fact that our skin constantly renews itself, it loses some of its tone and elasticity over time. A reduction in collagen and elastin inevitably leads to a duller complexion, drier skin and the onset of wrinkles.

The sun is another culprit; recurring or prolonged exposure to UV radiation accelerates the skin’s aging process. Additional factors, such as smoking, stress and an unbalanced diet, can aggravate the problem.

Expression lines and static lines

There are two main types of wrinkles: expression lines (also called “dynamic lines”) and static lines. Expression lines, which are the result of the repeated contraction of certain facial muscles, tend to form around the mouth, at the corners of the eyes (“crow’s feet”), in the area above and between the eyebrows (“frown lines”) and on the foreheads.

Static lines, on the other hand, are directly linked to the loss of collagen and elastin. Among these are the wrinkles that occur on the neck and cleavage, the marionette lines (also called “folds of bitterness”) at the corners of the mouth and the wrinkles above the upper lip.

However, we should emphasize that you can effectively soften expression lines (like the wrinkles around the mouth or near the eyes) with an appropriate skincare routine. Care and prevention are still your best allies when it comes to delaying the appearance of wrinkles and maintaining your skin in a healthy, radiant condition.

What causes wrinkles around the mouth?

The skin surrounding the lips, like the skin around the eyes, is finer than the skin covering other parts of the face. Genetics play a role here, as well. Consequently, this area is prone to the development of wrinkles over time with repeated movements of the orbicularis oris muscle (the muscle encircling the mouth). These wrinkles are also common in smokers.

The three types of wrinkles around the mouth (“perioral wrinkles”)

  • Nasolabial folds: Also called “smile lines” or “laugh lines,” these expression lines, as their names imply, are visible when you smile or laugh. The creases begin at the sides of the nose and extend to the edges of the mouth.
  • Lip lines: These vertical wrinkles appear above the upper lip. Some of the unfortunate nicknames for these lines include “barcode wrinkles,” “lipstick lines” and “smoker’s lines.”
  • Marionette lines: These furrows run downward, from the corners of the lips toward the chin. Because they lend a sad, severe aspect to the face, people often refer to them as “folds of bitterness.”

How to repair wrinkles around the mouth

Wrinkles: preventive strategies

First, it’s important to know that fine lines and wrinkles aren’t the same thing. Fine lines are small and superficial. As the first visible signs of aging skin, they appear in the expressive areas of the face, including around the eyes (in the case of crow’s feet), on the forehead and in the glabella, the area between the eyebrows (in the case of frown lines).

Here, prevention is the key! To stop these fine lines from embedding themselves permanently in the skin, the most effective treatments remain injections of botulinum toxin (under the brand names Botox®, Dysport® and Xeomin®). This toxin acts on the dynamic muscles, partially limiting their ability to contract the skin. This treatment wards off the appearance of new lines and inhibits the transformation of fine lines into permanent wrinkles around the mouth.

Deep wrinkles: optimizing results with a combined approach

When it comes to treating deep facial wrinkles, it’s possible to combine multiple techniques to achieve satisfying results. The preferred treatments are those aimed at restoring firmness to the skin. CO2 laser resurfacing, fractional radiofrequency and intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy are among the basic steps you can take to promote rejuvenation of the skin. Where appropriate, the technician can then use hyaluronic acid filler injections (Restylane and Juvéderm) to enhance the treatment.

CO2 laser resurfacing to reduce the appearance of wrinkles around the mouth

Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing is an innovative treatment that utilizes laser energy to coagulate microcolumns in the dermis. The laser triggers a “damage control” response, stimulating the production of collagen during the healing process.

This method is extremely effective at restoring firmness to the skin and improving its texture, thereby diminishing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and shrinking enlarged pores. Resulting in firmer skin and a noticeable reduction of wrinkles, CO2 ablative laser resurfacing constitutes a treatment of choice for mature skin.

Are you looking for an effective treatment to soften the wrinkles around your mouth?

Schedule a consultation at the Dr. Mario F. Bernier Aesthetic Surgery and Medicine Clinic. A vast selection of high-quality treatments is available to help you regain your youthful appearance, with skin that’s healthy, glowing and beautiful!

SourceAvène. Wrinkles around the mouth: what can be done about them?