Could these round upper lip biopsy scars be reworked into thin vertical lines? (photos)

I have 2 white biopsy scars on my upper lip, both over 5 years old. 3 years ago I had aesthetic tattooing (no success). I have many other scars including a MOHS scar on my forehead which don't bother me. With the best makeup the lip scars shine white in photographs. I am a design artist and retouch every photo of myself. People tell me I have "something" on my lip because the eye is drawn there. My question is whether the skin could be opened and the scars turned into thin vertical lines?

Doctor Answers 5

Biopsy scars

Thank you for your photos. You have both surgical and nonsurgical options for your biopsy scars. Your non-surgical options include microneedling or energy-based therapy to break apart the existing scar and having your body fill in the are with fresh collagen which hopefully will be of a more consistent pigmentation. An additional option is to have re-excision of the scars to thin the scars. This can be done with local anesthetic as an office procedure and would require stitches that would need to be removed. Hope this helps!!
Johnson C. Lee MDPlastic Surgery


Beverly Hills Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Lip Aging -- fillers, lasers, radiofrequency, microneedling/PRP

Lasers and fillers can be used to improve this. once improved microtattooing can help.  BEst, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 168 reviews

Medical Microneedling Plus Tyrosine Or Bimatoprost May Promote Repigmentation In Whitish Scars

The problem with converting the scars into thin vertical lines is that the result will likely appear like unwanted "smoker's lines," (aka "lipstick bleeding lines" or "bar code lines"), which may prematurely age your appearance in this region--a situation that would be akin to trading a headache for an upset stomach. It is a bit unclear to me why the aesthetic tattooing was not successful. Perhaps you should consult with another specialist in this area. Alternatively,  I have found that the use of medical microneedling coupled with the application of topical tyrosine or bimatoprost to be helpful in certain circumstances for promoting some degree of repigmentation even in older, mature scars, such as yours (scars more than three months old) where it seems clear that there is an absence of functioning melanocytes. Although, I do not think this has been studied, it is possible that microneedling may autotransplant functioning melanocytes from surrounding normal skin into the damaged area. You would do well to consult with a board certified aesthetic physician with experience and expertise in scar treatments. Best of luck to you.

Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Shiny white round scars

Hi,  Before you go for a surgical revision, why don't you try a series of fractionated laser treatments or microneedling? I'd recommend consulting an expert in scar treatment (seek out a board certified dermatologist with cosmetic expertise) who can discuss all of the available options. Good luck!

Elizabeth Geddes-Bruce, MD, MS
Austin Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Scars on the lips

Surgical scar revision, fractional laser, and skin resurfacing can help reduce the appearance of your scars. 

Best, 

Dr. Karamanoukian

Los Angeles

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

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