Treatment for "Smoker Lines" on a Non-smoker?

I'm not a smoker, but I have "smoker lines" above my top lip. What is the best course of action to correct these lines? I've heard collagen or Juvederm, but I do not want my lips to look fuller, just the lines filled in.

Doctor Answers 8

Smoker Lines Treatment

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Hi So Cal Cari,

They have been called "smoker's lines", recently "bottled water drinker lines", and even "bar code lines". Whatever "they" wish to call them, we just want to get rid of them. They most likely come from sun exposure, poor skin care, and genetics.

Either Preville Silk or cosmoderm are my preferences for treating the vertical lines of the upper lip along with 4 units of strategically placed Botox (enough to help with the lines, not enough to let you drool you minestrone soup from the corner of your mouth).

Fractionated carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers such as Lumenis' Total FX and Solta's Fraxel re:pair are very good at smoothing the lines. Depending on how leathery those lines/folds are, it may take from 1 to 3 treatments. This is a great alternative for patients who desire a more permanent result, and don't want to have repeated 30 gauge needle injections in their kisser.

This advice holds true for both Trojans and Bruins.

Be well.

Dr. P

Encino Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Chemical Peels and Laser Skin Resurfacing

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I also agree with the use of Botox and Hyaluronic acid fillers for smokers lines.  Other options included both chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing. 

Kevin Ende, MD
Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon

Try Botox injections around the mouth

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Non-smokers get "smoker's lines" around the mouth usually from the way they move their mouth when talking. You might pucker your lips a lot when you speak. Certainly you can try using the fillers to improve the lines, they don't always make the lips look larger, it depends on how they are injected. However, you might want to try Botox injections. Very small amounts of Botox can weaken the lines around the mouth and soften your "non-smoker's" lines. An added benefit to using Botox is it may get you out of the habit of pursing your lips when you talk.

Theda C. Kontis, MD
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

You might also like...

Lip line options

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for your question and for sharing your concerns with us. Lip lines can be a very challenging concern to address, however there are a number of options that can help improve these lines. Often, the more different modalities you use the more impact you can have on the lines and still appear very natural:
1) Botox and Dysport: Can be used to weaken the amount of pursing that your lip muscles can do, and hence limits how much deeper the lines can get. This treatment is repeated every 2-3 months
2) Restylane Silk or Juvederm: thinh dermal filler's are a great way to directly address the fine lines. This is repeated every 6-9 months
3) Ultherapy: Helps to create a little more dermal thickening. Can be done as a series to help build on the results. Should be done before fillers.
4) Profound: Micro needling radiofrequency can be used to help build collagen and elastin in the deeper skin tissue.
5) Fractionated CO2: Can be to used to smooth the superficial fine lines and create a smoother look.
It is important to choose which modalities would be helpful for you. It is also important to find a plastic surgeon or dermatologist with experience to help with your assessment and develop a plan that can help address your concerns.

Smokers lines

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Juvederm Ultra or Volbella are nice options for the smoker's lines around the mouth. They will smooth away the lines but won't add unwanted bulkiness.

Lines on upper lip

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Treatment of the lines of the upper lip can be corrected with filler either directly in the line or along the lip line border.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Filler or laser

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Fractional CO2 will give the best results that will last the longest. Juvederm, Restylane, Prevelle Silk, and Cosmoderm in expert hands will give results lasting 3-12 months, depending on the patient and the depth of the lines. A little Botox will make the filler last longer.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Smoker lines

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I agree with Dr. Kontis that you may want to try Botox. Fillers including Restylane, Juvederm and collagen (Cosmoderm, Cosmoplast) when used appropriately can work very well to fill in these wrinkles without causing your lip to appear larger (although there is some swelling that can last for a few days after the procedure). Please consult a board certified physician in your area to discuss these options.

Good luck.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

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.