I have wrinkles around my mouth that make me look much older than my actual age. They are annoying for several reasons. One – my lipstick bleeds into them causing them to look messy, and two – people sometimes assume I smoke cigarettes because of the lines. I’ve tried several different wrinkle creams, but none of them have made a difference. What can I do to get rid of these lines?


These “smoker’s lines” also known as “perioral rhytids” or the “barcode lines” are an annoyance for many of our patients, most of whom have never touched a cigarette. They are expression lines that form due to a combination of heredity, repetitive movements (think talking, drinking through a straw, pursing the lips, whistling), aging, and sun damage. The best advice I received was from Dr. Comstock 20 years ago who said, “stop using a straw”! We’re fortunate to have a variety of tools to improve these lines. We often fill them using the dermal filler RHA Redensity, which is FDA-approved specifically for this purpose. For best results, we may combine filler with a neuromodulator (such as Botox) to relax the muscle tension around the mouth, and a laser treatment such as the ActiveFX laser or Fotona LipLase. Many of our patients also choose to place a bit of filler in the lips for a very soft and natural “hydrated” look without obvious puffiness. Many younger patients who see that these lines run in their family, opt to have neuromodulator treatment to prevent the formation of barcode lines. Our favorite topical treatment is the product InterFuse Intensive Treatment LINES by SkinBetter Science, which helps to stimulate collagen in these challenging deeper wrinkles.