Don't Worry, Look Happy: How to Stop Looking "Down in the Mouth"

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"Down in the Mouth"

Have you ever heard the expression, “Down in the mouth”?  Do people ever ask you why you're upset, when you actually feel perfectly content? Regardless of whether you started out in a good mood, people constantly asking if you're sad or angry can leave you feeling... well, sad or angry.

Unfortunately, many people deal with this issue and it's not something they can help. It's a matter of DNA. Some people inherit stronger muscles, called the depressor angularis oris, which turn the corners of the mouth downward. You could reverse this expression by smiling continuously, but let's be honest: That's neither practical nor appropriate if done in the wrong context. So what can you do?

Solution

Fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm, or Sculptra can help turn the corners of the mouth upward. Note that I said help, but not correct entirely. If fillers can’t adequately address the problem, you may need minor surgery to elevate the corners of the mouth. This involves removing a small triangle of skin just above the corners of the lips, which elevates the area permanently. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and leaves a faint scar. The choice then becomes whether you want to trade a chronic "Down in the mouth" look for a small scar above the lip. Weighing these options is an expected part of what each patient should factor during the decision-making process for any type of surgery.

Sad or Angry Eyes

Other anatomical features that makes us look unhappy, angry, or sad are the frown lines between the brows. This expression is caused by the corrugator muscles, which become stronger as we grow older and caused by frowning and squinting. We all have a reason to scowl at times, but too much frowning strengthens the muscle and deepens the lines to the point that they contract even when we're happy. As with any muscle, when you exercise it, it becomes stronger.

Solution

There’s a simple solution for treating frown lines: Botox or Dysport. If you keep up with these products, the muscle will eventually become weaker. As the lines become less pronounced, you can actually get the treatment less frequently. Using fillers is also an option to help elevate the wrinkles, but this must be done very carefully. For truly deep wrinkles, the muscle can be surgically removed. For a saggy outer brow causing a sad look, a brow lift can be performed along with removing the muscles that makes you frown.

So, if you’re outward appearance doesn’t match your feelings on the inside, your solution may be easier than you think. And that’s something to smile about.


Article by
Savannah Plastic Surgeon