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Creases Around Mouth After Lip Filler: Causes and Solutions

Medically Reviewed
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Aurora Kalmanson on
Written by Fillers Editorial Team, plastic surgery specialists.

Creases around the mouth after lip filler treatments can be a distressing side effect for those seeking a plumper, more youthful appearance. These lines, often accentuated when smiling, can result from overfilling, filler migration, or even the natural aging process.

While some creases may be due to the temporary swelling post-treatment, persistent lines can be addressed through various corrective measures. Understanding the balance between lip volume and facial structure, along with the expertise of the injector, plays a crucial role in preventing and managing these unwanted creases.

Understanding Creases Around the Mouth Post-Filler

The appearance of creases around the mouth following lip filler injections can be confusing and unwelcome. Diving into the causes of these lines reveals a complex interaction between factors, including the technical aspects of the filler application and the natural contours of the face.

Causes of Creases After Lip Filler

Overfilling and Lip Proportions: Over the top lip enhancement can disrupt the harmony between the lips and surrounding facial features, leading to an imbalance that manifests as creases. When the lips are overfilled, the excess volume can strain the skin, particularly at the corners of the mouth, creating pronounced lines. To maintain natural proportions, it’s essential to consider the individual’s facial structure and to inject the filler wisely. An adapted approach, respecting the natural lip anatomy and avoiding overcorrection, can minimize the risk of creases and ensure a more flattering result.

Filler Migration and Its Effects: Filler migration occurs when the injected material moves from the original site to adjacent areas, which can lead to unintended contours and creases. This displacement may be due to factors such as the type of filler used, the technique of the injector, or even the patient’s facial movements. The effects of migration can range from subtle irregularities to noticeable distortions that alter the lip’s border and the mouth’s expression. Addressing filler migration requires a careful assessment and potentially the use of enzyme treatments to dissolve misplaced filler, followed by a strategic reapplication to restore a smooth and natural appearance.

Natural Aging vs. Filler-Related Changes: Distinguishing between the natural aging process and filler-induced changes is crucial when evaluating creases around the mouth. As we age, our skin loses elasticity and volume, leading to the formation of lines and wrinkles. However, when these changes occur in the context of recent filler treatments, it’s important to consider whether the filler itself is contributing to the appearance of creases. Factors such as the amount of filler used, its distribution, and the patient’s age-related changes must all be taken into account. Understanding this interplay helps in creating a treatment plan that addresses both the natural aging process and any filler-related issues for a more youthful and harmonious outcome.

Types of Creases and Their Characteristics

Vertical Lip Creases: Vertical lip creases, commonly known as “lipstick lines,” are fine lines that appear perpendicular to the lip border. These creases can be worsen by the natural aging process as the skin loses collagen and elastin, but they may also become more pronounced after lip filler treatments. When fillers are injected, they add volume, which can stretch the skin and make any existing fine lines more visible, especially when the mouth moves. To reduce this effect, a careful and conservative approach to filler application is essential. Using a softer filler and placing it strategically can help in smoothing out these lines without creating additional tension in the skin.

Lateral Lip Creases: Lateral lip creases extend outward from the corners of the mouth and can be accentuated by facial expressions such as smiling or frowning. These creases may become more noticeable after lip filler if the product is unevenly distributed or if there is an excessive amount of filler placed in the adjacent areas. It’s important for practitioners to understand the dynamics of facial muscles and to inject fillers in a way that complements the natural movement of the mouth. Proper technique and product choice can help in reducing the appearance of lateral lip creases and achieving a harmonious result.

Smoker’s Lines and Lipstick Lines: Smoker’s lines, also known as perioral lines, are vertical wrinkles that form above the upper lip and are often associated with the repetitive motion of smoking. However, they can also occur in non-smokers due to factors like genetics, sun exposure, and aging. Lipstick lines are similar but may refer to less pronounced creases. Lip fillers can sometimes highlight these lines by adding volume to the lips and stretching the overlying skin. To address these concerns, a multi-faceted approach including the use of soft fillers, precise injection techniques, and possibly additional treatments like laser resurfacing may be recommended to smooth the skin and reduce the visibility of these lines.

Corrective Measures for Existing Creases

Dissolving Fillers with Hyaluronidase: When creases occur as a result of filler treatments, hyaluronidase can be used as an effective corrective measure. This enzyme is capable of breaking down hyaluronic acid-based fillers, allowing for the reduction or complete removal of unwanted volume. The process should be approached with caution and performed by a skilled practitioner, as the action of hyaluronidase is not always predictable. It may require multiple sessions to achieve the desired correction, and the area may need to be re-evaluated for potential touch-up treatments with filler. The use of hyaluronidase offers a safety net for patients experiencing complications from fillers and is an important tool in the arsenal of corrective measures.

Additional Filler to Correct Proportions and Unevenness: In some cases, the strategic addition of filler can correct disproportions and unevenness that contribute to the appearance of creases. This technique requires a nuanced understanding of facial symmetry and the interplay between different facial features. By adding volume in targeted areas, practitioners can smooth out irregularities and restore balance. It’s a delicate process that often involves injecting small amounts of filler at a time and assessing the effects from various angles. The goal is to achieve a natural-looking enhancement that supports the surrounding structures of the face, thereby minimizing the formation of creases and folds.

Addressing Underlying Causes (Skin Elasticity, Muscle Activity): To effectively correct creases, it’s essential to consider and address underlying causes such as decreased skin elasticity and muscle activity. Treatments that improve skin quality, such as topical retinoids, antioxidants, and peptides, can enhance skin firmness and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Additionally, neuromodulators like Botox can be used to relax hyperactive muscles that contribute to dynamic creases. A comprehensive approach that combines these treatments with fillers can lead to more durable and satisfying results, as it tackles the problem from multiple angles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can creases around the mouth be prevented when getting lip fillers?

Yes, creases can often be prevented with proper injection techniques, the right choice of filler, and by avoiding overfilling.

What should I do if I notice creases after my lip filler treatment?

Consult with your practitioner; they may suggest waiting for any swelling to subside or may correct it with additional treatments.

How long do I have to wait to correct creases after lip filler?

It's best to wait at least two weeks to allow for swelling to diminish before assessing the need for corrections.

Are there any non-filler treatments for creases around the mouth?

Yes, options include laser resurfacing, chemical peels, and neuromodulators like Botox to address skin texture and muscle activity.

Are creases after lip filler a sign of poor technique or a treatment mishap?

Not necessarily, but they can be. It's important to choose an experienced injector to minimize the risk of such issues.

Can creases after lip filler be fixed without dissolving the entire filler?

In some cases, yes, through strategic additional filler placement or other corrective procedures.

Conclusion

Understanding the nuances of lip filler treatments is key to achieving desired results and preventing unwanted creases. From selecting the right product to expert injection techniques, each step plays a crucial role in enhancing the beauty of the lips while maintaining a natural look. For those experiencing post-filler creases, there are multiple corrective strategies available, including additional filler adjustments, enzyme treatments, and non-filler options. With the right approach and an experienced practitioner, individuals can enjoy the benefits of lip fillers with confidence and satisfaction.

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References:

Funt, D., & Pavicic, T. (2013). Dermal fillers in aesthetics: an overview of adverse events and treatment approaches.

https://www.dovepress.com/dermal-fillers-in-aesthetics-an-overview-of-adverse-events-and-treatme-peer-reviewed-fulltext-article-CCID

Dr. Aurora Kalmanson

Always Consult a Medical Specialist

The information provided in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as personalized medical advice. It's crucial to understand that while we are medical professionals, the insights and advice we provide are based on general research and studies. They are not tailored to individual health needs or conditions. Thus, it is essential to consult directly with a healthcare provider who can offer personalized medical advice relevant to your specific situation.