I am fair skinned and have fairly good skin tone and texture. However, the texture above my lips is not as good as the rest of my face and I am beginning to develop those nasty lip lines. Can I have Fraxel only on the skin above the lips and nowhere else, or will that lead to freaky uneven results? I don't want to have a full Fraxel treatment because of the expense - I am planning to have a facelift this year and would rather put my money toward that rather than full resurfacing.
Fraxel Only on Skin Above the Lip - Lip Line Treatment
Doctor Answers 5
Fraxel Restore may be used on the upper lip area
If you are trying to improve the upper lip lines only you can have Fraxel Restore performed however you will need at least 5 sessions to see improvement.
You can combine this treatment with Hyalouronic acid based fillers such as Juvederm and a minute amount of Botox to see more improvement.
Fraxel for the upper lip
If only the upper lip is treated I would recommend Fraxel RE:store, multiple sessions, a few weeks apart. If the Fraxel RE:pair is done, you should at least do the entire cosmetic unit of the perioral area which includes the upper lip extending to the nose and smile folds, and the lower lip and chin area extending to the marionette lines. Upper lip lines are dynamic lines often, and sometimes they are both dynamic as well as static lines, that is to say that muscular movement makes the lines of the upper lip and no matter how good you may look after any resurfacing, the lines will come back when you purse your lips. Static lines seen at rest, often from chronic sun damage, tend to improve better with resurfacing then the dynamic lines. Some fillers work well if expertly injected horizontally underneath the lines with a small amount so as not to bulk up the lip. Tiny amounts of Botox can also help, but this is temporary as is the filler, and there is a risk of elongation of the upper lip and problems with pronunciation of some letters. Botox of the upper lip should not be done if you speak for a living, or play a wind instrument, and as it is an off-label use, only a physician expert in doing this should inject it.
Unfortunately, older more aggressive resurfacing techniques helped improve these lines, but most patients would develop a whiter skin color that didn't match the rest of the sundamaged face. Newer techniques as mentioned above decrease the chance of this whitening, although it can't be guaranteed not to happen. Regardless, you should expect that some lines will remain regardless of the technique chosen to resurface the skin of the lip.
Fraxel Only on Skin Above the Lip - Lip line treatment
I agree with Dr. Klein. I have found that when treating "spot" areas with Fraxel repair, the most noticeable effect is that the treated skin's tone, texture, and color look much better that the adjacent non treated skin. Most patients then wish that they had treated their entire face.
I have found that with multiple treatments, Fraxel repair is effective for upper lip lines.
While traditional non-fractionated CO2 lasers are more effective at smoothing upper lip rhytids, the hypopigmentation of the treated skin is permanent and can be devastating to patients.
Good luck, be well, and woof-woof.
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Fraxel restore can be used on selected facial areas
There are 2 types of Fraxel laser, Fraxel restore and Fraxel repair. The Fraxel restore laser can be used on the entire face or just on selected areas and should look great. You will need to have 3-5 treatments for the best results. The Fraxel repair laser is a fractionated CO2 laser that goes deeper and creates more dramatic changes in the skin. I do not recommend doing isolated areas such as the lip or around the eyes with the Fraxel repair unless the rest of your skin is in great shape elsewhere. In other words, not much sun damage, wrinkles and discoloration. Otherwise the treated area will stand out as having a much better quality to it then the rest of your face.
Fractional treatments do not work well for upper lip lines, but there is a great treatment!
Experience has shown us that fractional treatments do very little for vertical lip lines. We have both the Fraxel restore and repair and have done thousands of these treatments. The best way to erase these lines safely in using a combination of the newest C02 laser and an erbium laser to peel away layer by layer until the wrinkles are gone or significantly better. You can combine this while you are under general anesth. or it can be done separately from a facelift. I have some great examples of this if you look at my photos. Take care, Dr. Groff