Vertical upper and lower lip lines, or

“smoker’s lines” as they’re commonly referred to, are caused by over-activity of the

orbicularis oris. 


The orbicularis oris is a muscle that encircles the mouth just under the skin, and it allows you to “pucker-up”, as they say. Activities like kissing, drinking through a straw or whistling are common actions that use this muscle. Not just smokers get these lines; age, genetics, sun exposure and a host of other factors can lead to these lines even in people who have never smoked. 

Bo-tox, in doses of 2-5 units, can be injected in two or four injections sites along the upper lip, right at the border between the lip and the skin. This then slightly relaxes the orbicularis oris muscle, softening the lip lines. The effect of the Bo-tox can also cause the upper lip margin to drift upward slightly, created the effect of a larger, fuller, more youthful upper lip. Bo-tox, also in doses of 2-5 units, can be injected at three injection sites along the lower lip to achieve the same softening of lower lip lines. It’s important to keep in mind that when Bo-tox is used in this muscle, some people can experience temporary sensations similar to numbness as well as temporary difficulty with actions like sipping drinks through a straw. These side effects are usually limited in time to one or two weeks after injection.