I get asked regularly to inject Botox around the mouth, mainly to soften the vertical lip lines (i.e. pucker lines, smoker lines). These lines are notoriously difficult to treat and Botox is just one way to go about it. But is it the best way? You have to weigh the pros and cons of injecting Botox in this area before going ahead. First, Botox works by temporarily blocking the ability of nerves to stimulate muscles, effectively paralyzing the muscle. The muscles around our mouth need to be active in order to have normal speech, maintain a normal smile, to allow normal chewing, or puckering to use a straw. Botox in very small doses, and in the right location, can improve the appearance of the lips. However, I’ve seen cases where a patient temporarily gets a crooked smile or has difficulty moving the lips properly. This can be distressing. These symptoms will wear off in a few weeks to months. Speak with your injecting doctor and ensure they are aware of these risks before you proceed with any Botox around the mouth.
Botox around the mouth is typically injected in two places on the upper lip and two places on the lower lip. 1-2 units is placed at each injection site. It will take 3-10 days to see a complete effect. Rarely, more can be added if you don’t see an improvement. Often times, we must combine Botox around the mouth with fillers or microdermabrasion to fully smooth out the vertical lip lines. When these lines are very deep, they often cannot be fully corrected. If you have other questions about Botox around the mouth or treating vertical lip lines, contact Dr. Harris at 801-264-4420.