Best Way to Get Rid of Smoker Lines on Upper Lip?

Am not really a big smoker, just socially on weekends at most. That has not stoped smoker lines from showing on upper lips area. What can I do to repair besides stop smoking? Botox perhaps?

Doctor Answers 25

Combination approach to smokr lines work best!!

Smoker's lines around the lips are often a result of both direct damage to the skin from the smoke, causing vertical lines, and volume loss with aging.

I advocate a combination approach to improve the lips without ending up looking like a duck. I believe that filler material can be used to revolumize the lips and then the vertical lines can be treated by dermabrasion or laser resurfacing to "sand down" the wrinkles. I have used this combination of methods successfully many times.

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Filler, Botox

Fillers are the single best treatment for this problem. I like the underutilized Cosmoderm since I can go very superficially and not worry about the blue bleb that the hyaluronic acid fillers can create. There are a few tricks her that the experienced dermatologist or plastic surgeon can utilize. Run the filler along the vermilion border. Just a touch to prevent trout pout look. Go, not only up the line but also perpendicular to it. Be sparing,using microdroplets.

A bit of Botox in two injection sites just above the lip margin also helps.

Finally, do not drink with a straw. Also notice whether you might be drinking too much from water bottles. This causes you to purse your lips. Many of my patients, who complain about smokers lines, do not smoke at all. However, they nod in the affirmative when I ask them whether they drink from the ubiquitous water or soda (tonic for my Brockton area homeboys) bottle. To remedy this problem, drink from a wide mouthed bottle or pure your drink into a glass.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Fraxel re:pair for smokers lip lines gives long lasting results. Update: try Belotero too

I use Fraxel re:pair for correcting upper lip lines.

If done as an isolated procedure, it can be done in less than 5 minutes with minimal discomfort, and no need for oral sedation or pain medication.

Sometimes, 2 treatments might be needed, but I have had good results with just one aggressive treatment.

Results should last about 5 years. You will have redness up to 2 months.

This is a very cost effective, and in my opinion, better-looking result, particularly for the deep lines.

I have recently found that Belotero works fairly well for correcting these smokers lines.  I mix with lidocaine on use topical too.  I find that most people will bruise, but I use the VBeam to help the buising resolve faster.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

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Options for "smoker's lines"

Despite what many people believe, smoker's lines or vertical lines above the upper lip are quite common regardless of whether or not someone smokes. This muscle is quite strong and works like a purse string effect. We usually recommend a treatment plan that combines more than one modality. Using small doses of Botox will help relax the underlying problem--an overactive muscle.

Unfortunatey, the effects wear off within approximately six weeks. Using cosmetic dermal fillers is a nice option with or without Botox and offers more longevity. The technique for fillers above the vermillion border is important to provide a natural, appealing appearance. Laser resurfacing is also an excellent treatment to improve the texture of the skin.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Best Way to Treat Smoker's Lines

Smoker's lines are not actually caused by smoking. They represent attachments between the skin and muscle, and loss of fat (from weight loss or age) and decreasing skin thickness (from sun exposure or smoking) make them more visible.

Treatment includes a combination of approaches, including filler, neuromuscular toxins, and resurfacing. Fillers, like hyaluronic acids or fat, can replace lost volume, but for deep wrinkles, using a filler alone can lead to "duck lips".

Neuromuscular toxins, like Botox or Dysport, can minimize muscle motion, but they should be used with caution since too much can cause not only an unnatural appearance but also problems with drinking and speaking properly.

Finally, resurfacing with procedures like peels and laser can also improve the appearance. More intense treatments (deeper peels, dermabrasion, and ablative lasers) work best, but they also have the longest downtime and highest risk of pigmentation problems, especially for darker skin types.

A board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist can guide to to the best treatment for you since it is very individual.


Dana Goldberg, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Upper lip laser resurfacing and RR Retinoid Repair Cream

Pretreatment of the skin with RR Retinoid Repair Cream, followed by laser resurfacing of the upper lip and Belotero injections.

Raffy Karamanoukian MD FACS

Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Smoker Lines on Upper Lip

Dermal fillers such as juvederm and laser resurfacing can either be used in combination or in isolation to address the smokers lines. Consult with  3 - 4 experienced and skilled board certified plastic surgeons who can tailor a treatment plan to fit you.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Smoker lines treatment options

“Smoker lines” are actually possible whether you smoke or not. Smoking breaks down the production of collagen which increases the appearance of wrinkles, so it’s good to avoid smoking altogether. But it’s not the only cause of these lines. Time, age and sun damage can also contribute to these wrinkles.

For the small, vertical lines above the upper lip, a filler such as Juvederm may be a good option. Because of this filler's smooth consistency, it works well to fill these lines in and improve the appearance.

Sometimes a combination of fillers and treatments like Botox or Dysport are a better option depending upon your situation. Botox relaxes the muscles underneath, which is part of the cause of the wrinkles in the first place. However, either Botox or Dysport should only be injected into the lips by someone who is highly experienced in this treatment.

Another option would be to have a surgical dermabrasion procedure to this area. The dermabrasion procedure works by modifying the deeper layers of the skin, which then become smoother. You can then plump up the lips with a filler to volumize and achieve very pleasing results. As always, consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and allow him or her to advise you as to the best treatment options based on your unique situation.

Scott W. Mosser, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Botox or Dysport can be used in the upper lip for Smokers Lines

Dysport or Botox can be used on the upper lip, and is a wondeful way to help in softening the wrinkles in that area. Unfortunately our collagen becomes broken down the older be get and the more we expose ourselves to free radicals such as pollution and smoking, perhaps a combination of Dermal filler and Botox/Dysport would be favorable, but it is hard to say without seeing your actual face. Visit with creditable doctors in your area for consultations to find the best fit for you.

Good Luck.

Sofia Rubbani, MD
Manhattan Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Smoker Lines Treatment

Juvederm, Restylane, and Belotero are all appropriate fillers for adding volume to the lips. The smoker/barcode lines can be treated with fillers, laser resurfacing, and even botox. When using fillers for this fine lines, Belotero is one of the best since it can be placed very superficially without concern of causing lumps/bumps.  

Ava Shamban, MD
Santa Monica Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.