The fragile skin of the lips can be one of the most vulnerable areas to the aging process. You might start to notice changes around the mouth earlier than other places on the face, which can make you appear older than you feel. Alternatively, you may feel that your lips are not as well shaped or voluminous as you wish. If those signs have become apparent to you and a cause for concern, the good news is there are many ways to change them. Dr. Maas features a variety of lip enhancing treatments, from quick office procedures to more permanent surgical solutions.

Your Changing Lips

There are different reasons why you may see your lips change over time. One of the biggest culprits is collagen loss. This essential protein provides necessary support to the dermal structure that produces a smooth, supple look to the skin. Over time, your body produces less collagen, which results in skin laxity and the formation of wrinkles.

Collagen depletion also leads to thinning lips, giving you a perpetually angry or aged appearance.

Sun exposure can also lead to damage to the skin, resulting in fine lines and skin tone that has lost its luster. Too much sun also causes lips to become dry and cracked, further exacerbating the aged look. Certain motions of the mouth, such as when you suck on a straw or laugh, can contribute to aging symptoms as well.

The Fine Art of Rejuvenation and Enhancement

Dr. Maas understands that lip enhancement is a much more intricate, artistic process than merely restoring or adding volume to the mouth with a few injections of fillers.

He breaks down the aging or thin lip into categories that include both the pink portion of the lip (vermillion), the white area and the border between the two. His goal is to create an enhancement of the lip border, elimination of the fine lines in the white portion of the lip and appropriate fullness to the entire lip without producing too much projection. When you seek lip enhancement from Dr. Maas, he will first assess what needs to be addressed, whether it is the volume, shape or contour of the lips.

He will then evaluate the condition of the skin’s surface, to identify any wrinkles or fine lines that might need to be treated. The third step is to ensure the correct anatomic configuration of the lip, which entails a determination of the optimal lip height and an appropriate proportion between the white and pink areas of the lip. By taking each step into careful consideration, Dr. Maas produces lip enhancement that is natural, beautiful and more youthful.

Nonsurgical Volumizing Treatments

The most common nonsurgical treatment for aging or thin lips is a dermal filler injected directly into the lip to restore youthful volume and smooth away lines. However, some patients shy away from this approach because they have seen overdone lips resulting from this treatment, also known as “duck lips.” Dr. Maas assures all his nervous patients that when fillers are done correctly, the result is entirely natural, and most people won’t even realize you had a treatment performed. The aim is to provide you with an attractive look you could have been born with. Dr. Maas prefers the hyaluronic acid fillers for lip enhancements, particularly products in the Restylane line. He also uses Juvederm and Belotero when appropriate. He likes these fillers best for the lips because they are both reversible and adjustable. They also produce soft, natural results for his patients.

Oftentimes, it is not the type of filler used, but his specific injection technique that is most crucial in creating beautiful outcomes for his patients.

During your in-person consultation with Dr. Maas, he will be able to provide you with a range of options that will suit your needs, and all the information you need to make an educated decision.

Because Dr. Maas uses a topical numbing cream as a standard step with all of his injectable procedures, patients can rest assured the treatment will be quick and comfortable, with results that should last for many months.

Surgery for Permanent Enhancement

Surgery offers permanent enhancement for lips, and with a variety of techniques to choose from, Dr. Maas will customize your procedure to your precise needs and the look you hope to achieve. Options include:

  • Lift to the corners of the mouth, creating a more youthful shape to the mouth overall
  • Direct lip lift, which focuses on enhancing the border by advancing the red part of the lip
  • Sub-nasal lip lift that elevates the red portion of the lip while minimizing the white area
  • Insertion of ultrasoft lip implants to produce a fuller shape with a natural look and feel

No matter which technique is used for your lip enhancement, the procedure will likely be performed as an outpatient surgery using local anesthesia. Dr. Maas carefully places incisions where visible scarring will be minimal. In some instances, there will be no external scarring left behind. The recovery process is generally short, with most patients back to regular activities within a few days.

Say Goodbye to Lip Wrinkles

While dermal fillers are a popular choice for smoothing away fine lines around the lips, Dr. Maas also recommends laser skin resurfacing, intense pulsed light (IPL) and chemical peels for this purpose. In addition to reducing the appearance of wrinkles, these treatments improve color differentiation, managing the entire spectrum of lip aging in a single office treatment.

If changes to your lips are contributing to an aged appearance, many treatments can help reverse these changes and rejuvenate your look. If you wish to improve on the shape and contours of thinner lips, Dr. Maas is also able to help sculpt a naturally beautiful look for you. Call (415) 567-7000 or contact us by email to find out which treatment may be right for your aesthetic needs.


What Is the Cost of Lip Fillers?

In order to answer this question accurately, Dr. Maas will first need to examine your lips and the condition they are in, learn more about your expectations, and most importantly what you want. For some patients, it might just be filling the little lines that develop around the lips. For other patients, it might be addressing the marionette lines that form around the corners of the mouth. Or, it might be that you’re after fuller lips. Dr. Maas will then be able to lay out a menu of options to address your concerns based on your budget, for you to decide on.

Can I Create a Cupid’s Bow With Lip Fillers?

While we can use fillers to enhance the philtral ridges, or the portions of the lip that make up the Cupid’s Bow, there’s no specific way to create a Cupid’s Bow in isolation with fillers alone. A lip lift is a surgical procedure that can help. Dr. Maas will usually not make the incision along the lip border, but rather hide them inside the nostril, right along the border of the nostril rim, and the columella (the skin between the nostrils). Because there no one lip type or shape that makes the lip attractive, Dr. Maas believes it’s most important to address the relative proportions of the lip, and will take the time to educate each patient about their options.

Will Post-Filler Lumps and Bumps Even Out?

Dr. Maas’ patients very rarely see more than pinpoint bruising that wears off quickly, so if you’re seeing significant swelling, asymmetry and hard lumps in your lips post-filler, it is important to get it treated. The beauty of the Hyaluronic Acid formulations in fillers like Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane and Belotero, is the fact that they are completely reversible with a little injection of an enzyme for patients with over-treated lips. Symmetry and balance are very important concepts in lip enhancement and the keystone of a natural result, and Dr. Maas will be able to help patients fix their look by selecting the right materials and injecting them with proper techniques.

Which Filler is Right for My Lips?

The answer depends entirely on the results you’re after. Different filler formulations have different textures, stiffness and levels of water-loving Hyaluronic Acid molecules, which goes some way to affecting your look. More importantly however, are the techniques used rather than the product chosen. Lip augmentation is an art, and whatever your desired look, Dr. Maas will be able to accurately place the right filler to sculpt a naturally beautiful result.

How Much Lip Filler is Needed the First Time?

For people with small to moderately sized lips, Dr. Maas will typically use 0.5 ml to 1 ml of fillers to enhance the vermillion border of the lips. For those with larger lips, up to 1.5 ml of filler can be used. Because getting a beautiful and natural looking result is important to Dr. Maas, he believes in building volume rather than overdoing extreme amounts of filler.

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