Charles Perry, MD, Plastic Surgeon
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August 6, 2010

Buff and Puff for Lip Lines

Posted by Dr. Perry in Facial Rejuvenation, Laser Resurfacing

Sacramento California – One of the most beautiful aspects of a face is a smile. A smile makes one look beautiful, happy and inviting. Looking at the covers of magazines and Models in videos and TV we see smiling attractive faces! We often smile back – reflectively. It is amazing, try it sometime smile at someone and see if they don’t smile back.

Perioral Rhytides

Lip Lines Before Plastic Surgery

Perioral Rhytides

Lip Lines After Plastic Surgery

We have noticed that many people around the Sacramento area are enhancing their smiles with new whiter teeth and perfect lips. Seeing facial harmony in a smile with smooth skin, straight pretty teeth and full lips and cheeks can be quite beautiful. However if the skin doesn’t match the teeth it can look quite unnatural. You may have had this experience already seeing bright straight teeth framed by loose wrinkled thinned skin. The contrast can be quite overwhelming and distracting from the smile. Bright smooth skin and beautiful lips can compensate for less than white teeth however the opposite is usually not true.
What constitutes a beautiful smile is varied, however, classically it involves upper lip elevation, straight beautiful teeth, perhaps a little head tilt and some elevation of the cheeks with some widening and narrowing of the eyes and perhaps some nose crinkling with some brow descent. The key is that all the components match and some symmetry exists.
Aging can affect the smile, and the lips in particular are an extremely sensitive area. One of the aspects of age is thinning and loosening of the skin. Whether from sun damage, smoking or hyperactivity, this dermatohelosis occurs to some extent in all of us. We see this around the eyes – crow’s feet, between the eye brows – elevens, or around the mouth (the parenthesis defect) or even necklace lines. Around the lips this process often results in lip lines referred to as smoker’s lines. What makes the lips unique is their vigorous attachment to the underlying muscle. This muscle (The Orbicularis Oris) moves when we talk eat and pucker. The attachment of the skin to the muscle creates a valley as the skin thins and the loose skin creates a peak between the attachments as the thinning of dermis occurs and the elasticity of the skin decreases. With those who are thin with very active lips or for those with sun damage the lines will be more apparent.
One of the newer treatments we have added for the lips (perioral area) at Chrysalis Cosmetics is the buff and puff. The buff is the laser resurfacing and the puff is the Hyaluronic acid filler. Using injectable fillers such as Restylane or Juvederm we are able to puff the line up by filling the valley so to speak. The filler brings back that fullness and softness of youth and health. Using the Tunable Sciton Laser’s erbium beam we are able to soften the peak of the lip line and stimulate new brighter fresher skin to grow and fill in the valley and soften the peaks, buffing the irregularity. The laser can be tuned to your own personal skin type and wrinkles and go no deeper than necessary, virtually eliminating the risks for hypopigmentation once seen with CO2 lasers around the mouth.
Share your smile and if the lip lines are getting in the way let us help!

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