Do Lips Get Thinner with Age?

It’s an unfortunate fact of life that as we age our bodies change. Sadly, these changes aren’t always pleasant. The parts we want to stay thin rarely do, and the parts we want to stay plump tend to thin out over time.

But what exactly is it about the aging process that causes us to lose the fullness of our lips, and what can we do to help mitigate the wear and tear that time puts our bodies through?  For those who are already seeing these effects, what can be done to reclaim those plump lips? Let’s break it down.

Why Do Lips Thin as We Get Older?

The reason lips thin out and loses their natural fullness is due to a gradual depletion of collagen and thinning of the lip muscles. As you may or may not know, collagen and elastin are  natural proteins that our bodies produce to provide skin health, plumpness, strength, and elasticity.  As we get older, the rate at which we produce collagen and/or elastin greatly diminishes over time. This effects a variety of our aesthetic qualities, including the loss of fullness in our face and lips, and the formation of wrinkles and fine lines in our skin.

When Does the Thinning Process Begin?

It is an unfortunate fact that woman produce less collagen overall than men, which means that the thinning of the lips can happen much earlier and more drastically. While many people begin to notice the thinning in the 30s or 40s, it’s not unheard of for women as young as 28 to begin noticing the process.

Genetics play a significant part in when your collagen production begins to slow as well, so if your parents showed signs of thinning lips at a younger age, it could very well be hereditary. In these cases, it is even more important to be diligent and take the proper precautions.

What Can You Do to Avoid Thinning Lips?

Eventually, the passage of time takes its toll and we all will experience a loss of lip volume. It’s not all doom and gloom though! There are preventative measures you can take to fend off these effects for longer. The best part? Some of them are easy and can be done right at home.

First and foremost, stay hydrated! This is good advice in general, but your lips need moisture to stay healthy, so drink lots of water. It’s also important to moisturize your lips externally with ointments and oils. Coconut oil is a favorite.

You should also consider ensuring that your diet includes the needed amount of protein and vitamin-C, which are both vital to the production of collagen. You should also avoid smoking. Smoking can greatly accelerate the thinning process, so if you’re already a smoker the damage to your skin is just one more reason to give it up.

This last tip may come as a surprise, but take care of your teeth. If our teeth aren’t properly taken care of, they begin to wear down as we age or the supporting bone can be lost. As the teeth and bone deteriorate, there is less lip support and the lips appear thinner and smaller.

What if My Lips are Already Thinned?

These preventative measure can help keep your lips fuller for longer, but as we said, eventually we all experience thinning. Luckily, there are multiple cosmetic options to restore your lips to their formal glory.

The first and least invasive of these is injectable dermal fillers. These fillers, once injected, help smooth out lips lines and add volume.   Examples include Juvederm, Restylane, Boletaro, and others.  They are, however, a temporary solution, and will need to be touched up roughly every six months. A more in-depth process actually involves transplanting fat from another part of your body into your lips, where it becomes a permanent part of them for long-lasting results.

There are also a number of surgical options, such as lip reshaping, permanent lip implants, and lip lifts. These procedures provide long-lasting fullness and can give your lips a whole new look.

To find out what solution is best for you and your aesthetic, contact expert Plastic Surgeon,  Dr. Stephen Bresnick, M.D. today to schedule a consultation.

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