You may have heard the term “microneedling” in the context of aesthetic procedures, but did you know of its power to transform lines and wrinkles? I had the privilege of introducing the procedure to this country over 30 years ago, and it has become a crucial component of my facial rejuvenation toolbox. As an early adopter and someone who has worked with manufacturers to help develop a number of cutting-edge non-surgical devices to improve skin tone and texture, I enjoy pushing the boundaries to discover new ways to safely use a technique to address issues that have historically been hard to treat such as the upper lip lines. Sometimes referred to as smoker’s lines, these are vertical lines that extend from the upper lip up towards the nose. This is why I have developed a completely unique microneedling procedure that can safely improve the appearance of upper lip lines without any adverse side effects. And there is no better time to address this issue than now, when you can quietly heal beneath the privacy of a mask.
What Causes Upper Lip Lines?
Fine lines and wrinkles result from a number of factors such as:
- Sun damage
- Lifestyle choices like diet & exercise
- Exposure to pollution
Starting around age 25, the body produces less collagen and elastin, proteins which are critical for making your skin look more lifted, plump, and youthful. The good news is that procedures such as microneedling actually promote your body to produce more collagen and elastin. During your microneedling procedure, a series of tiny needles will be rolled or passed over the treatment area. Your body’s healing response to these “micro-injuries” is to generate collagen and elastin. This is what makes microneedling so effective for turning-back-the-clock.
Not All Microneedling Is Created Equal
Not all microneedling, however, is created equal as there are many different techniques. Cosmetic microneedling can be administered by an aesthetician, but a medical microneedling procedure can only be performed by a physician such as myself. It allows me to use much longer needles in order to deliver a more dramatic result. The trade off, of course, is that it requires a bit more downtime for recovery. For my unique microneedling for upper lip lines procedure, I actually use a combination of 3 different devices:
- Derma roller
- Skin pen
- Wide gauge needle
This is one of the things that makes my procedure so effective. Cosmetic microneedling alone in this area will not, in my experience, accomplish significant improvement in lip lines even after multiple sessions. By combining different techniques with varying needle lengths of 1 to 3 mm, I am able to significantly soften and sometimes even remove upper lip lines without any of the adverse side effects associated with a chemical peel or laser.
Microneedling vs. Chemical Peel and Laser
As a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon who specializes in facial rejuvenation, I want to be able to help my patients look and feel their best. Upper lip lines eventually become an issue for almost everyone, even if you never picked up a cigarette. If you have an expressive face or drink your beverages through a straw or sports bottle then chances are this will show up as lines above your lip. Unfortunately, even though the issue is so pervasive, there are few great options for addressing upper lip lines either surgically or non-surgically.
A facelift will not erase upper lip lines. Many doctors will use fillers to address the issue, but it does not take much to become “too much” in this delicate area, leading to a puffy and unnatural look. Other non-surgical modalities for erasing upper lip lines are a chemical peel or a Fraxel laser treatment. Both have risks, however, such as hypopigmentation and/or scarring. This is why I am so happy that my years of experience have enabled me to develop a truly safe, effective, non-surgical treatment for upper lip lines with no adverse side effects.
Microneedling for Upper Lip Lines Recovery
The procedure is painlessly performed in the office under local anesthesia so you can drive yourself home afterwards. In order to deliver the results that we both want, the area around your mouth will be swollen and discolored for about 4 days, after which you can expect the area to remain slightly pink for 1-2 months. My patients overwhelmingly find it to be a fair price to pay for a smooth, upper lip. To find out more about microneedling for upper lip lines procedure with Dr. Leonard Miller at Boston Center for Facial Rejuvenation, check out our website or call (617) 735- 8735 to schedule