Have you looked in the mirror and thought your lips just aren’t as full as they used to be or that the space between your nose and top lip is getting longer? You are not imagining it.

As we age, the lips thin and the area between the nose and upper lip seems longer because of the shrinking lips. Youthful lips are full bodied and smooth. Unfortunately, around 35 years of age, the lips will begin to thin and flatten; the corners will droop, and the dreaded lip lines will develop.

Combatting the effects of aging on our lips isn’t just about vanity. Research shows the most potent nonverbal communicators on a face are lips and eyebrows. The thinning, downward sagging of eyebrows and lips can make you look sad or angry when you may be happy and content.

Q: What can be done to treat aging lips?

A: While lipstick and moisture-retaining lip balms will improve the look of aging lips, dermal fillers will turn back the hands of time more effectively for up to a year.

Q: What are dermal fillers?

A: Dermal fillers rejuvenate and enhance facial features with results that look and feel natural. Most dermal fillers used to treat the lip area contain hyaluronic acid and are injected below the skins surface to ‘fill-in’ the “smokers’ lines” and plump-up thinning areas. You’ll get smooth and natural-looking results that last up to a year in one treatment.

Q: What happens during dermal filler injections?

A: At your initial consultation, your expectations, background and medical history will be discussed and the treatment options will be explained to you. The treatment is often done immediately after the initial consultation.

The lip area is cleaned and topical anesthetic is applied. The dermal filler also contains a local anesthetic ensuring the treatment as comfortable as possible. After the dermal filler is injected, cold packs are applied immediately to reduce any swelling. The procedure takes about an hour.

Q: Is it painful?

A: Between the tropical anesthetic and the lidocaine contained in the dermal fillers, most patients are comfortable during the treatment.

Q: What should I expect after treatment?

A: Much of the difference you see after your initial dermal filler injection will be due to swelling; you should see the ‘real’ results after about 3 days. You’ll be able to return to work and wear makeup immediately afterwards, although we recommend you don’t commit yourself to any activities after your first- treatment.

Q: How many dermal filler treatments will I need?

A: A single treatment every 9-12 months will maintain your results and touch-ups can be done as needed.