When it comes to looking after your skin, there is no ‘one size fits all’. The most appropriate skincare regime or treatment, particularly for people with problem skin, should be recommended by a dermatologist through professional assessment.
We all do things in life that we regret or that can have a detrimental effect on our health or wellbeing. Smoking is one of those things that, whilst we know all the facts about what it does to our health, for some breaking the habit takes a long time. Even when the habit is finally kicked, it can leave its mark.
Smoking has a damaging effect on the skin. It is actually the second strongest predictor of facial wrinkling, the first being time.
The lips are often the area most affected, because of the action of drawing the smoke. The good news is there are treatments available to reduce the appearance of smoker’s lines.
What are smoker’s lips?
As we age, there is a natural reduction in collagen and elastin and this causes a loss of volume and fullness in our lips and the surrounding skin. This natural thinning makes it more likely that lines will form.
The fine lines that form above the top lip as we age are often known as ‘smoker’s lines’ because of the strong association with those that so commonly form through smoking.
The time it takes for smoker’s lips to develop can vary depending on how long someone has smoked, age, individual skin type and other lifestyle and health behaviours.
Why do smoker’s lines form?
There are a number of specific ways in which smoking affects the skin.
Just under the skin (in the epidermis) there is a network of tiny blood vessels which feed the skin with oxygen and nutrients, as well as carrying away any cellular waste.
The nicotine in cigarettes narrows these blood vessels, so they become less efficient. This effectively starves the skin of oxygen and nutrients, particularly vitamin A.
As well as the damage done by the nicotine and chemicals in cigarettes, the repeated action of pursing the lips to draw smoke gradually causes permanent lines to form.
What are the treatment options for smoker’s lips?
Botox is an excellent treatment to improve the appearance of smoker’s lines. Botox treatment gently relaxes the muscles used to make the pursing expression, gently smoothing out the skin. For very deep lines, botox can be used in conjunction with dermal fillers for a subtle plumping effect.
An extremely effective treatment for smoker’s lips is dermal fillers. This treatment is used to subtly plump out the fine lines themselves, and carefully target specific areas of the lips to replace lost volume and restore youthful smoothness to the lip line.
For particularly pronounced smoker’s lines, fractional mesotherapy may be a recommended treatment. This treatment delivers vital nutrients and hydration directly into the skin using microneedles. The blend of nutrients used is uniquely tailored to each patient’s specific objective, to increase hydration and soften deep lines.
Profhilo is a revolutionary moisturising treatment, which may also be recommended by your practitioner for your specific requirements. Profhilo deeply hydrates and revitalises the skin in targeted areas, to reduce the appearance of smoker’s lines.
For some patients, laser rejuvenation may be the most appropriate treatment. This technology can help restore the skin’s youthful appearance through a process called photo-rejuvenation. Because it can be used to target fine lines, for some patients it may be the ideal treatment for smoker’s lips. The laser light is delivered (based on the patient’s skin type) to the affected tissue. The body’s natural healing process will then remove the injured tissue, giving the skin a more even, youthful radiance.
CACI is a non-surgical facelift procedure, which achieves a lifting effect by toning facial muscles and stimulating collagen regrowth. With focused treatment on deeper smoker’s lines, CACI is an effective way to smooth the skin.
Talk to us about treatment for smoker’s lips
Our expert practitioners will advise you about the most appropriate treatment for your specific needs.
We offer a free initial consultation and you can have your treatment at one of our Save Face accredited clinics at Huntingdon, Harley Street, Peterborough or Sevenoaks. If you’re happy to go ahead, you can have your treatment straight away.