Q: Dr. Eppley, what is the best way to correct skin discoloration above upper lip and to fix lines?
A: Both hyperpigmentation and vertical wrinkles line of the upper lip are challenging problems. There is no ‘one best way’ or one single method that will work for every women afflicted with these lip concerns.
Upper lip hyperpigmentation is common and it is important to be aware any known causes of it such as birth control pills and pregnancy. Topical bleaching creams, chemical peels and pulsed light therapies (BBL) are the most common methods we use. In many cases we have to try or use several of them to get a lightening effect.
Upper lip wrinkles can be by injectable fillers and fractional laser resurfacing. Injectable fillers is best for those that are present right at the vermilion-cutaneous (pink of lip with skin) border. Laser resurfacing is better for lip lines that go well above the vermilion-cutaneous border into the lip skin. In some cases, both methods can be used for lip augmentation and wrinkle reduction. It is best not to think of ‘fixing’ the lip lines since there is no permanent cure for them. They can be treated and reduced but never gotten rid of forever with any treatment. They are caused by the sphincteric action of the lips and, unless one is not planning to move their mouth again, they will eventually reform.
Dr. Barry Eppley