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Peeling des lèvres et rides péri-buccales.

Lip Peeling: A solution to eliminate perioral wrinkles?

Also known as "barcode" wrinkles, perioral wrinkles take the form of fine vertical lines that form around the mouth. They appear with age, and are exacerbated by smoking and sun exposure. To reduce their appearance, there are several techniques. Among them is peeling. Discover in this article more details about lip peeling and its effect on perioral wrinkles.

Published February 16, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 5 min read

What are the causes of the formation of perioral wrinkles?

Considered as charming features by some, yet sources of insecurity for others, peri-oral wrinkles are small furrows etched around the contour of the lips. These expression lines are caused by the daily movements of the lip muscles: talking, smiling, eating. There are several types of peri-oral wrinkles. The barcode lines or smoker's lines are vertical furrows between the upper lip and the nostrils. The lines of bitterness or marionette lines, are oblique wrinkles starting from the corners of the lips and descending towards the jaw. Finally, the nasolabial folds or smile lines are linear furrows that start from the wings of the nose and extend to the corners of the mouth.

The emergence of wrinkles is a result of natural ageing. Indeed, the synthesis of collagen and elastin by fibroblasts gradually decreases after the age of twenty. This leads to the loss of skin flexibility and elasticity, as well as its thinning. The epidermis also produces less sebum, which increases skin dryness and promotes the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.

Other phenomena are also likely to exacerbate skin sagging, among which frequent exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays is a key factor, leading to photo-ageing. These rays cause an increase in the level of free radicals in the body, reactive oxygen species that cause damage to DNA, proteins, and cells, and promote skin ageing mechanisms. Another aggravating factor is smoking. Indeed, cigarettes themselves contain several free radicals. Moreover, the very act of holding a cigarette between one's lips causes them to pinch, promoting the formation of peri-oral wrinkles.

Does peeling represent a solution for reducing the appearance of perioral wrinkles?

To reduce the appearance of perioral wrinkles, one can consider several aesthetic medicine methods, among which are the injection of hyaluronic acid or botulinum toxin (botox), laser resurfacing, dermabrasion, or even peeling. Each of these requires a distinct technique and presents a varying level of complexity. Regarding peeling, there are several types, the effectiveness of which on smoker's perioral wrinkles is unequal. This method relies on the use of potent actives that will destroy the horny layer to a greater or lesser depth, the most superficial part of the skin, so that it regenerates and has a younger and brighter appearance.

Before undergoing a peel with an aesthetic doctor or a dermatologist, it is recommended to have a preoperative consultation beforehand. During this session, the professional will assess the condition of your skin and ask you several questions to determine whether you are suitable for a medium or deep peel, and guide your choice between these two techniques.

The medium peel.

This type of peel often contains trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and is recommended for visible wrinkles around the lips. It works deep within the skin and is able to reach the cells of the dermis. The dosage, ranging between 10 and 50%, and the duration of the peel application mainly depend on the depth of the wrinkles and the sensitivity of the patient's skin. The application of a cream prescribed by the dermatologist is necessary for the fifteen days preceding the session. This type of peel is not applied directly to the lips but to its outline.

The deep peel.

As its name suggests, deep peeling works at the depth of the dermis. It allows for a corrective action on deep wrinkles and indented scars, which superficial and medium peelings will not achieve. Phenol is frequently used to perform this type of peeling. This compound has a very abrasive action on the epidermis. A local or general anaesthesia is necessary as phenol is toxic to the heart. This procedure is heavy and requires the application of a medicinal cream to prepare the skin between three and four weeks before the intervention. Post-operative follow-up is also necessary to prevent potential complications of an aesthetic nature, such as a loss or increase in pigmentation, or infectious, such as the development of herpes.

Note : There is another type of lip peeling, known as gentle or superficial. This peeling can be performed at home or in a beauty salon by a professional. It relies on the application of exfoliating treatments, usually based on fruit acids. These promote cell renewal and the removal of dead skin, but their effect on wrinkles and fine lines is limited.


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