Karen Johnson RGN. NIP. Ad Dip Nut. Med (Rus)
Aesthetic Consultant, Sclerotherapist, Advanced Electrolygist

Aesthetic, Coolsculpting, Vascular, Dermatology & Minor Surgery

Why Trust Anyone Else?

0800 028 4744 / 01745 860 555 / 01745 860 159

Goodbye smokers vertical top lip lines !

Sunday June 27, 2021
Goodbye smokers vertical top lip lines !

Pesky vertical lines above the top lip on the “perioral” or “moustache” area, are commonly known as “smokers lines”. However, 90% of people who have them do not smoke. Also known as lipstick bleeding lines, these wrinkles cause distress and embarrassment to almost everyone who come to my clinic over the age of 50.


These defiant and quite often very deep vertical upper lip lines, are notoriously difficult to get rid of without causing a trout pout or unnatural look. This is why until 3 years ago, treatment options for the top lip moustache area, were very limited and results were only minimal.


Seeking a solution for vertical top lip lines is still very difficult and you must must must be very cautious when selecting a suitable treatment and choosing who does the treatment for you.


Excitingly, for just over 3 years, I have been using viscoderm, an unbelievable products especially tailored for this area. Alone, or in conjunction with a few other treatments, we can create amazing results to either minimise vertical top lip lines or completely eradicate them.


Vertical upper lip lines start to develop in our 40's. Wrinkles appear when we purse the lips, and as they develop and deepen with age, they become visible at rest. When untreated they will become very deep indeed. Commonly know as “tram lines” they can impact on the appearance of the whole face, especially in those have other facial treatments making the rest of the face look smooth and flawless.


Often affecting the entire mouth, these “smokers lines” spread across the top lip from the lip border up to the nose and right across the whole length of the “moustache area”. And often from the bottom lip line down to the chin. Lipstick creeps into the wrinkle and the area takes on a cracked appearance which is impossible to cover with make up, especially if the wrinkles are allowed to become deep.


Smokers develop vertical upper lip lines from constant pursing of the lips when puffing on the cigarette. But, everyone is prone to developing these lip lines due to a combination of factors such as:

  1. Loss of skeletal support from the natural ageing bone recession

  2. Loss of skin collagen and elasticity making the skin and tissue under the surface become dehydrated

  3. Pouting for the camera

  4. Pursing your lips during kissing

  5. Drinking from a bottle or straws

  6. Mouth mannerisms when talking

  7. Over exposure to the sun

  8. Yo yo weight

  9. Genetic factors


The natural causes are:

  1. The lips losing plumpness and volume making the edge to the lip line flat

  2. The bones in the face and mouth area receding

  3. The muscle in-between the lip border and the nose constantly creasing the skin

  4. The skin losing it's stretch and suppleness making the skin thinner, crêpey and hyper mobile


And not to forget my nemesis, the ruination of skins - “THE SUN” !!!


The sun is a major contributing factor to premature skin ageing. The sun UVA and UVB rays cause over 70% of skin wrinkles alone. UV rays break down the collagen and elasticity of the skin and especially in delicate areas such as the top lip and the skin around the eyes. Where the skin is naturally thinner, sun exposure causes more damage, which is why most people's vertical upper lip lines are often deeper than wrinkles on the rest of the face.


At North Wales Aesthetics Clinic we specialise in these vertical top lip “dynamic lines” by using one or a combination of treatments. With the aim of restoring hydration, adding tissue strength and support and above all generating new collagen and elastin cell stores. Results are very impressive and long lasting too.


What treatments do we have available

I often use a combination of treatments but sometimes just one treatment may be suitable. The choice of treatment depends on what is the cause, your lip structure, the amount of dehydration there is and how dynamic at rest the lines are. In view of this, a consultation and assessment is essential. You need to have treatments that will address each of the causes, not have a treatment that you like the sound of.


Viscoderm Hydrobooster

My most favourite treatment for vertical top lip lines has go to be “viscoderm hydrobooster”. It is possible to minimise or completely banishing these vertical upper lip lines with viscoderm. This treatment has been a “god send” for my patients at North Wales Aesthetics Clinic.

Viscoderm is a pure hyaluronic gel and the sister of Profhilo the skin tightening treatment that we also use in abundance. Over the past 3 years that I have been using this astonishing product, we have never looked back, and I simply cant get enough of it !

It works in two ways; firstly it provides a deep hydration and a youthful superficial stretching, springy effect to the skin. Secondly, this skin booster remodels the skin structures without creating the dreaded trout pout that we strive to avoid in the top lip area, making this a perfect solution and a great alternative to filler.


Lip Filler

Another choice of mine and one which is the quickest and easiest ways to reduce vertical upper lip lines, is by augmenting the lip border with dermal filler. When filler is injected into the lip border line (only) it will restore the shape, give structure and will dramatically stop your lip stick bleeding. This can be cleverly done without adding volume, for those who don't want their lips making bigger.


Skin Peels

Having regular light skin peels has got to be considered a must. Not just for improving the overall skin but skin peels are particularly useful in the area of vertical lip lines. A peel will remove old dead skin allowing a nourishing moisturiser to penetrate deep through the skin layers. A peel will also helps to stimulate new skin growth where collagen and elastin cells can regenerate.



Another product I use frequently in the treatment of vertical upper lip lines is Botox. This faithful muscle relaxant is a good treatment to have as a combination to other treatments and is especially ideal for those who have a hyper mobile top lip muscle that elevates the lip above the gums when you smile. A very strong “moustache muscle” can be a cause of these wrinkles as constant contracting of this muscle continually creases the skin allowing these wrinkles to form. Botox can reduce this muscle creasing the skin, with a 3 to 4 months lasting effect. However, you absolutely have to be treatment suitable for Botox and extreme caution is required with the use of Botox in this area. Only skilled experienced practitioners should venture here.


I have a few treatments up my sleeve so no top lip lines are impossible. You can smooth away these wrinkles for good if you commit to long term maintenance treatments. Many treatments take several months to become effective so you do have to be persistent and invest in this long term.


It's never too late to have your vertical upper lip lines treated. Having said that, don't let them get too deep as the deeper they become, the more difficult they are to treat, the more treatment you will require and the more expensive it will be. Prevention is, as they say, better than cure, so when you start to see tiny wrinkles appearing above your top lip, act fast !


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