Vertical wrinkles that appear around the lips as we age may have any number of causes. One prominent etiology is the overuse of the muscle around the lips responsible for causing them to purse together. We use this muscle (the obicularisoris muscle) to keep our mouths closed when eating and drinking, to express ourselves, and even unconsciously as part of a habit.
Some prominent and unnecessary reasons for overuse of this muscle, leading over the years to wrinkles around the mouth include:
Drinking through a straw regularly
Pursing the lips frequently as a facial expression or nervous habit
At the Chow Center for Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Chow can administer Botox® to gently relax this muscle, reducing the amount of wrinkling it causes in the lines around the lips. This procedure takes less than a minute in most patients and has no recovery time. Make up can be applied before leaving the office.