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All About Lips (Cosmetic Surgery)
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All About Lips

Mariusz J.A. Sapijaszko, MD FRCPC (Dermatology)

There has always been a near universal fascination with the female lips. Lipsticks are one of the most well known cosmetic products thought to enhance a woman’s beauty, and its symbolism with sexuality is well known. In recent years, large and full lips have been thought to be a desirable trait, and a symbol and focal point of female attractiveness. Modern cosmetic technology has introduced volumetric lip rejuvenation to us as an option for achieving a natural looking aesthetically pleasing lip. For more information on lip rejuvenation, visit

The lips are the considered to be the central feature of the lower third of the face. Full and well defined lips can show a sense of health, youth, sexuality, and general attractiveness. People have an innate sense for finding certain looks or proportions to be balanced and attractive. However, for the surgeon, more than an intuitive feel for beauty and proportion is required; they need to understand the lip architecture, as well as understand proper proportions with other facial contours. The edge of lips should be parallel with the pupils of the eyes. The upper lip borders should be approximately 20mm from the nose, and the lower lips should be approximately 38mm from the tip of the chin.

The lips reach their fullness in a person’s late teenage years or the early twenties. Over time, as the lips age with the rest of the body, they become flatter and thinner, losing volume. With aging, the skin becomes less elastic as a result of natural loss of collagen. Cumulative damage from exposure and sun damage can also promote wrinkling, irregular pigmentation, and a loss of definition, which make for an aged appearance. Facial fat is also reduced in volume, and in its distribution, and combined with muscle and teeth and jawbone loss, the lips lose its supporting structure, resulting in the “sad look.” The rate at which these changes occur is variable, depending on environmental factors, and other factors such as the surrounding structures including fat, skin, muscle, teeth, and bones.

Although very few of us were born with perfect lips that everyone envies, it has recently become a realistic possibility for average people. In 1981, collagen treatments were introduced for lip enhancement, and since then, lip enhancement has gathered interest, and cosmetic technology has improved by leaps and bounds. For injection treatments, new long lasting products were introduced. Hyaluronic acid products such as Teosyal, Restylane, and Juvederm are flexible, safe, and natural in feel and appearance, making the use of these injectables popular and safe.

Surgeons all understand the underlying structure behind the lips, which make up the general aesthetics of the lips. Simply increasing the fullness of the lips will often result in an unbalanced look; the shape and contour of the lips, as well as the balance with the borders are also crucial in a desirable appearance. Depending on the patient, procedures can vary from minor adjustments to full lip rebalancing, and in some cases, the supporting structures of the lips will need to be treated first.

Recent treatment options are varied, flexible, effective, and safe, and satisfy many patients who seek lip enhancement or rejuvenation. As treatment technology advances with demand, enhancement procedures are becoming safer and more effective every day. The future of lip enhancement looks bright.


cosmetic surgery,   lip care,