JANIGA MDs

Plastic Surgery & Cosmetic Center

Lip Enhancements and Injections vs. Aging, Shrinking Lips

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Lip Enhancements and Injections vs. Aging, Shrinking Lips

The Case of the Shrinking Lips

Last week a patient asked me, “How come my lips keep getting smaller as I get older?” Many factors play a role in the change in the shape of the face including the lips. Surprisingly, facial aging in general is more than skin deep. According to one study of upper lips, the aged look is due to a loss of elasticity “rather than to often-postulated but unproven total volume loss”.

Causes of Aging Lips

First, the commonly known aspect of gravity. The fat pads that give the face volume have begun to fall, giving it the sagging appearance. Another contributing factor is bone reabsorption. As we age, the bones in our face are reabsorbed slightly and begin to change shape. This specifically impacts the lips because the bones that hold the upper teeth are less prominent and do not push the upper lip out as far as when we were young, giving the upper lip a less full appearance. In addition, sun damage and the degeneration processes during aging has caused elastin and collagen fibers to break down leaving our skin with less resilience and turgor. All of these factors contribute to the smaller appearance of the lips and the aging of the entire face.

Facelifts and Lip Injections with Fillers Can Help Aging Lips

Like my patient, I am sure you are asking: “What can I do?” Although we do not commonly change the boney shape of the face, much can be done to give the face and lips back their more youthful appearance. Facelifts can improve the sagging aspect of the skin, fat injections and/or filler can give back that youthful full appearance in the face and lips, while lasers and retinoids can help build some of the lost collagen. At Janiga MDs we are fortunate to have both a board certified plastic surgeon and a board certified dermatologist to bring you the expertise in all of these areas.