Lipstick Lines (Smoker’s lines): A Quick Guide for Practitioners

Lipstick or ‘smoker’s’ lines can be tricky to treat. They are relatively difficult to access because the nose gets in the way, and it’s difficult to get yourself and the patient into a comfortable position so that you can concentrate on the treatment itself AND when you’re finished, initially, the lines may look worse than when you started! So how do you do it?

Lipstick line filler gives ok results if done well. It’s tricky. I recommend using strong anaesthetic gel as it’s a tender area. It can also bruise; remember that each time you insert the needle, you cause more trauma. If the lines are below the nose, approach from below if the lines are lateral to the nose, approach from above. Use a max of 0.4 ml for top lip lipstick lines. If you try a treating a line twice and it still hasn’t lifted, it’s probably better to leave it rather than risk giving them a thickened top lip. Avoid injecting into the lip (i.e. Below the vermilion border), to save on causing unnecessary swelling. Mould the area afterwards to limit the lumps that you leave behind. Be aware, and advise the patient before you start, that initially the lines may look WORSE as they will be highlighted by pink/redness, from the injections themselves. Reassure the patient that on covering with their regular makeup regimen the following day, the true effect of treatment will be seen. I use Dermal Revolution (DERM) now for lipstick lines, but again, remember that no matter what product you use, apply a strong anaesthetic gel liberally before beginning!