Barcode lines, otherwise referred to as smoker’s lines, are those frustrating vertical lines that appear around the mouth over time. You do not necessarily have to have been a smoker in the past for them to appear but often people will assume you were if they are obvious. They can be challenging to treat in some people and they are certainly a domain of non surgical treatments rather than surgery. Whilst a facelift can provide an excellent result re-contouring the cheek and jaw line with the neck lift supporting the neck, none of these procedures will have an effect on the skin around the mouth. The gold standard treatments are skin re-surfacing treatments. These range from medical grade skin care through to skin peels (one of our most popular treatments) through to laser re-surfacing for the most stubborn and established lines. Whilst these treatments may not eradicate the lines, they will certainly improve the appearance and soften the lines..
Another alternative treatment is very small doses of Botulinum Toxin, muscle relaxing injections, which will help to relax the muscles that cause these lines. This has to be done in very minute quantities to minimise the risk of the injections affecting your smile. One further treatment that people will often ask about is filler treatment to these areas. These might be an obvious treatment to enquire about as it seems that filling the vertical lines would be the logical thing to do. In the experience of our expert Consultant Plastic Surgeons at Purity Bridge, the use of fillers in these lines is not something they normally recommend. There are two reasons for this. The first is that they can cause an overly bulky upper lip. This can look very unnatural and almost rubbery and be very hard to reverse if this appearance happens. The second reasons is that these lines are usually very superficial in the skin and it is unwise to put filler very superficially in the skin as it might end up being visible as thin blue lines under the skin surface.
Therefore the skin re-surfacing is an excellent complement to any other facial rejuvenation surgery or as a stand alone procedure. For more information please click on the links above in the blog.