Q: Dr. Eppley, I don’t like the deep vertical lines on my upper lip. Those lines are really the only thing I don’t like on my face. I have a read that there is a three-step process to get rid of them. An injectable filler, like Restylane or Juvederm, is first placed into the upper lip to fill them. Then a small amount of Botox is injected into the sides of the mouth to weaken the muscles that cause them to pucker and make those lines. Lastly, one treatment with a fractional CO2 laser is used to wipe them away. There is only up to a week of redness and swelling after the procedure. According to what I read this combined treatment can last up to 10 years. This sounds wonderful but is it really true?
A: When it comes to any facial anti-aging treatment, there are few things that can last years let alone a decade. This is no where more evident than in the upper lip line problem. This is a particularly pesky facial aging problem that largely affects Caucasian women with fair complexions, thin skin, and often a thin to moderately-sized upper lip. The three treatment strategies described are all useful for decreasing upper lip lines and, when combined in a single treatment, are particularly effective. But they in no way will last a decade, at best the result will last a year. The reason is simple…Botox last 4 months and fillers less than a year. With loss of upper lip volume and the muscle action returning, there is nothing to resist the lip lines from returning. This combined treatment strategy, while effective, must be repeated every year or so to maintain the initial excellent results.
Dr. Barry Eppley