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Can You Use Botulinum Toxin Around the Mouth?

Botulinum Toxin can be used around the mouth to diminish wrinkling and make that area look more youthful. Most people come in because their mouth and perioral area looks aged due to thinning lips and/or for women the appearance of vertical radial lines around the mouth. Some people call these lines smokers’ lines, but they can occur even in non-smokers. 

As we age, we lose some deep fat in the lips that can cause them to thin, especially the top lip. Age-related fat loss around the lips and loss of estrogen are the root cause of smokers’ lines that interestingly only occur in women.

What is the best treatment for wrinkles around the mouth?

There are two treatments that work well to treat wrinkles around the mouth. One is lip filler. By filling the red lip, it smooths out the part of the smokers’ lines closest to the lip. The other option is the use of a little bit of neurotoxin, such as Botulinum Toxin, Dysport, and Xeomin to relax the muscles causing those lines.

Interestingly, men don’t get these wrinkles. Why? Because men have thicker skin in their upper lip because of the hair that grows there. Even men who shave daily have thicker skin there, so male smokers don’t tend to get those wrinkles.

How long does it take for Botulinum Toxin to work around the mouth?

It can take as little as a day and a half or up to 7 to 10 days for Botulinum Toxin to work around the mouth. We inject small droplets into the sphincter muscle that we use to purse our lips, using about three or four injection points. It is essential that we only inject small amounts so that we do not affect the smile or speaking.

Does Botulinum Toxin work on deep lines around the mouth?

Botulinum Toxin works on deep lines if those lines are caused by muscle movement, but if the lines are etched in the skin, it’s not going to work nearly as well. For those lines, I would recommend a resurfacing laser, chemical peel or filler with Botulinum Toxin injections. An important thing to know is that Botulinum Toxin should not be overused. More is definitely not better. The reason is because we use these muscles for many essential functions such as talking, eating, chewing, sipping through a straw, smiling, etc. If we don’t have good function of those muscles, we have a problem. 

If you have questions about your mouth and how it’s aging, or about your face, your neck, or anywhere else, come see me. I’m glad to talk to you and answer your questions. And I’m certainly glad to see you in my office.

Have questions about Botulinum Toxin Lip Lift?
EMAIL DR. SYKES AT [email protected]

About Dr. Jonathan Sykes

Dr. Jonathan Sykes is a world-famous expert plastic surgeon who performs all cosmetic and functional plastic surgery procedures on the face and neck. He is a past president of The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and served on their Board of Directors for over 10 years. He is also a Professor Emeritus in Facial Plastic Surgery from UC Davis Medical Center, and the former Director of Facial Plastic Surgery at that institution.

He is known as the expert’s expert, and is often called to consult and advise other plastic surgeons in both Northern California and Beverly Hills. He has a special interest in eyelid and browlift surgery, facial rejuvenation surgery including facelifts, and rhinoplasty. He also has a particular interest in facial feminization surgery. Have questions? Email Dr.Sykes at: [email protected]