Can You Really Get Botox Around Your Mouth?
Main Image – neonshot/Adobe
If you’ve ever pondered the potential of Botox for smoothing wrinkles, eradicating a ‘gummy smile’, or reducing smoker’s lines for a more youthful appearance, you’re not alone.
Celebrated by *plenty* of dermatologists and skincare addicts alike for its ability to smooth out wrinkles and fine lines, Botox has become a household name in the world of aesthetics. However, with a primary focus on the upper face, can Botox really deliver natural-looking results in the delicate areas surrounding the lips?
We asked three experts in dermatology and cosmetic surgery for their advice on getting Botox around your mouth. Welcome board-certified dermatologist Dr William Kwan, anti-ageing expert Dr Saulis Banionis, and quadruple board-certified plastic surgeon Alexander Zuriarrain MD!
So *relax* and prepare to uncover the truth as we share expert insights and shed light on the realities of Botox around the mouth.
Can you get Botox around your mouth?
In short, yes, “Botox can be used around the mouth to address certain concerns, such as vertical lip lines or downturned corners of the mouth,” Dr Kwan tells LTG HQ.
Not to be confused with lip fillers– which are injectables used to plump or fill in volume rather than relax the muscles around the mouth- Dr Banionis also explains that Botox can also be used on the depressor anguli oris muscle to “address certain wrinkles around the mouth, such as smoker’s lines (vertical lines above the upper lip) or marionette lines (lines that extend from the corners of the mouth downward).”
Where else on your face can you get Botox?
“Botox, or botulinum toxin, is a popular cosmetic treatment used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. It is primarily used to temporarily paralyse the underlying muscles that cause these wrinkles,” says Dr Saulis.
And “while Botox is commonly associated with treating wrinkles on the upper face, it can also be used in other areas, including around the mouth.”
Dr Kwan advised that “The purpose of Botox is to relax fine lines, so you can get Botox on various areas of your face,” this includes:
- Glabella, or frown lines (between the eyebrows)
- Brow lift
- Eye areas including crow’s feet
- Bunny lines
- Chin (the mentalis muscle)
- Neck and jawline (the Nefertiti lift/masseter muscle)
- Side of the nose and to reduce bumps in the nose
How long does it take for Botox to work?
This is *really* dependent on the patient, however, Dr Zuriarrain told us that, in general, “You can begin to see the initial effects of partial muscle paralysis after injection with Botox 5 days afterwards.”
“The full effect of Botox usually takes between 10 to 14 days to see after injection.”
Say hello to smoother skin and the prevention of wrinkles!
Other types of treatments for lines around your mouth
There are a few types of treatments available for lines around the mouth, also known as perioral lines or ‘smile lines,’ and the treatment that will best benefit you depends on the severity of the lines, your individual preferences, and the advice of a medical professional.
Other than Botox, some of the most common treatments people turn to include:
- Topical creams found over the counter that contain retinoids, hyaluronic acid, or peptides.
- Superficial or medium-depth chemical peels that can improve the texture of the skin around your mouth by removing the outer layers of the skin and stimulating collagen production.
- Laser resurfacing that can help stimulate collagen production and improve the appearance of perioral lines.
- Microneedling that involves using a device with tiny needles to create controlled micro-injuries in the skin, stimulating collagen production and improving the appearance of lines.
How to get the best results from Botox
It’s *really* important to prep your skin before Botox as well as follow the aftercare advice from your cosmetic aesthetician (don’t worry, we’ve got the experts’ advice on this!)
- First off, do not use a chemical peel, sun bathe, or have a facial in the days leading up to your Botox treatment. It’s also *crucial* to avoid drinking alcohol at least 24 hours before your procedure (sorry guys, put the cocktails down – for now!)
- Avoid medications that thin the blood in the week leading up to your appointment to minimise bleeding and bruising.
- You can apply arnica topically to reduce any bruising that might occur and apply ice packs your face periodically before and after the treatment.
Dr Zuriarrain provided his top tips on Botox aftercare:
- “It is very important to avoid putting any pressure on your face. You can unintentionally put pressure at the injection site which will spread the Botox causing unintended cosmetic outcomes – do not apply any pressure to the treated area for at least 24 hours.
- Avoid any significant physical exercise for 24 hours.
- You can use Arnica tablets to help reduce any bruising or swelling and you can also apply Arnica via a cream to the face.
- To avoid bruising you should also avoid excessive alcohol consumption and the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ex: ibuprofen) for 24 hours.
- Avoid any beauty treatments like a facial/facial massage for two weeks after injection.”
But “How long will my Botox last?!” we hear you ask.
Dr Zurriarrain and the NHS say that the timeline is “Approximately 3 to 4 months,” however, “This all depends on the patient.”
The quest for eternal youth doesn’t come without its risks, and Botox is no exception. Although a REALLY popular procedure to have, it’s important to be aware of the potential pitfalls, particularly when it comes to treating the delicate area around the mouth and lips.
General common Botox risks include temporary bruising, swelling, and redness at the injection site.
When it comes to the mouth and lips, additional precautions are paramount. The lip area is *extremely* sensitive, and incorrect administration can cause unwanted outcomes. Choose your cosmetic surgeon wisely and ensure they are an experienced practitioner.
Potential risks associated with lip injections include asymmetry, lopsided smiles, difficulty in speaking or enunciating, and even changes in lip sensation. In extreme cases, the lips may appear overfilled or droopy, resulting in an unbalanced facial aesthetic.
“The ASPS advise people not to rub or massage the area of the injection after having Botox treatment. This could spread the toxin to surrounding skin, causing muscle drooping and other problems,” it adds.
As long as the procedure is performed by an experienced and trained injector, a Botox lip flip comes with less serious risks, however, this won’t stop the ageing process or structure of your lips but will make your lips look fuller without adding volume.
One of the most-loved cosmetic treatments and non-surgical procedures, Botox injections really are FAB for those of us who want to stop the signs of ageing in their tracks and smooth wrinkles and the appearance of fine lines around the lip area.
The use of Botox around the mouth and lips can *seriously* stave off the need for fillers, and is one of the best treatments to improve the shape of your lips, and smooth fine creases by relaxing the lip muscles and stopping muscle contraction.
However, it’s really important to take the time to find an experienced and qualified practitioner to carry out your Botox. The NHS advises to “make sure the person doing your injections is suitably qualified and experienced.
“They should be a medical practitioner and on a register to show they meet set standards in training, skill and insurance. Avoid practitioners who have no training or have only completed a short training course,” it adds.
Meet the experts
Dr William Kwan is a board-certified dermatologist at the prestigious Lasky Skin Center in Beverly Hills, offering a wide spectrum of cosmetic procedures such as botulinum toxin injections and dermal filler injections for many types of skin improvement.
Dr Saulis Banionis is board certified by The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and was trained extensively in aesthetic and regenerative medicine to become an expert in anti-ageing medicine. His practice is PB Antiaging and he has also worked as a Medical Expert for the Florida Board of Medicine.
Alexander Zuriarrain, MD, FACS is quadruple board certified in Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery, Facial Cosmetic Surgery and General Surgery. He is an assistant professor for the Department of Surgery of Larkin Hospital, Lake Erie College of Medicine, and the founder of Zuri Plastic Surgery in Miami, FL.