As we age, things change. Our face changes, our bodies alter, and we recognize that we can’t do the things we use to do because of aching joints. The features on our face are the most visible, and therefore we reminded daily of these changes. Often the areas on the face most affected by the aging process are the lip and under-eye. However, you don’t have to avoid the mirror; there are cosmetic treatments that can address the aging lip and under-eye hollowing.
Cosmetic considerations for the restoration and enhancement of the aging lip
Due to several factors, frequently, lips show some of the earliest signs of aging. The lips have a band of muscles above and below the lips responsible for the contraction of the lips so that we can form specific sounds, drink, eat, and express our emotions. Much like an accordion, the repeated contraction of these muscles will create lines that radiate from the edge of the lip. As we age, skin and connective tissues thin, weakening the resilience of the skin against this normal wear and tear movement. Sun damage further thins the skin and breaks down the supportive collagen of the lips. The boney structure and fat pads of the face shrink; this leads to general laxity of the skin of the face contributing to a downturn seen at the sides of the lips. Women, in general, have thinner skin around the lips due to decreased density of hair follicles compared to men. Postmenopause, reduced estrogen levels contribute to more delicate skin. Individual considerations that can cause asymmetries of the lip include which side one sleeps on, asymmetries in muscle strength, and tooth loss.
Below is an example of an aging lip restoration and enhancement:
Cosmetic fillers used for the lips contain hyaluronic acid, a sugar that is part of the normal connective tissue of the body. Since fillers are not the person’s own hyaluronic acid, the body will slowly break this down over time. The choice of filler takes into account several considerations, softness, durability, ability to lift deeper lines, or whether it can be placed very superficially for fine lines or creases. Fillers can reduce visible wrinkling, make the lip resilient to wrinkling with contraction, and correct loss of volume and asymmetries.
They should expect to maintain most of their correction for 6-12 months, depending on the filler chosen.
The most common side effects of using cosmetic fillers include swelling and bruising. Lips do swell significantly for two days after treatment. The hyaluronic acid attracts and holds water for two days following treatment. The filler Belotero causes the least amount of post-procedure swelling but is best used for fine lines and subtle lip enhancement. Other hyaluronic fillers that will last longer than Belotero are better suited for replacing volume and lifting deeper lines. A blunt cannula is a long flexible device to deliver the cosmetic filler. I use a blunt cannula wherever possible to minimize the number of times the skin needs to be poked and thus reducing the risk of bruising.
Cosmetic consideration for under-eye hollowing correction
The under-eye area may appear shadowed and darker than the rest of the cheek. This is due to the lack or loss of volume. In younger individuals, this shadowing may be genetic. With age, we all flatten or hollow out due to the loss of fat pads in this area. Cosmetic fillers may be used to fill this flat or hollowed area. Correction of this volume improves the luminosity of the under-eye area and reduces the darkening and fatigued appearance.
I chose hyaluronic acid fillers as my tool of choice. Hyaluronic acid, a natural compound found in the connective tissue throughout the skin. It feels and appears natural. Overcorrection can be reversed with hyaluronidase. I use a single injection point on each cheek and introduce the filler with a long blunt canula to reduce the risk of bruising. Corrections generally last a year or more.
This treatment has a very high satisfaction rate with both men and women. It can make the eye area look well-rested. The eye area often can have the most significant cosmetic impact. Correcting any under-eye hollowing should be considered as a high priority.
We’re here to help if you have more questions about cosmetic procedures or would like to schedule a teledermatology appointment please call (978) 315-6320 or complete the form below.