Lip Anatomy with Ageing

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Anatomy of the Lips with Ageing

Before and after lip filler for lip volume and oral commissure improvement. Making a downturned mouth look upgoing.
Before and after lip filler for lip volume and oral commissure improvement. Making a downturned mouth look upgoing.

The anatomy of the upper lip changes as we age, with lengthening, thinning and volume loss.

Between our 20s and age 65+, the following happens to women’s upper lips:

  • Decreasing soft tissue thickness by 41%
  • Lengthening of the upper lip by 19%

Most of the reduction in tissue thickness occurs at the alar nasolabial fold.

Men’s soft tissue thickness decreased by 33%, and upper lip lengthened by 18%.

Researchers used MRI scans of the head to evaluate the differences in these 2 age groups.

*Research led by Patrick Tonnard MD PhD in Belgium. Published in February 2019 issue of Plastic and Recontructive surgery, the official medical journal of the Americal Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Dr Tonnard and colleagues plan a follow up article to discuss the clinical implications of their findings, including the role of dermal fillers.

Dermal fillers for Ageing

With the lip profile and reversing ageing, an important part is flipping the lip back up, reversing the droop, and giving the illusion of a shorter philtrum.

It’s also important to fill/prevent the wrinkles that are appearing in the lip border.

The important thing is to not overdo it and create too much projection. Another key is keeping the projection of the lower lip in line with the projection of the upper lip.

The other area of the lips that need to be addressed are the oral commisures and the appearance of a downturned mouth.

Before and after lip filler and oral commissure filler for downturned mouth.
Before and after lip filler and oral commissure filler for downturned mouth.

Filler can be used for the following age related changes

  • Oral commisures: Making them give an “upturned” or horizontal appearance of the lips, rather than a downturned and sad looking mouth.
  • Lip border: replacing the volume loss
  • Giving the lips extra height to shorten the appearance of the ageing philtrum
  • Replacing the lost volume in the lips overall

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