Solutions for a downturning mouth

Hello, I have deep lines around my mouth as well as under my mouth in a sort of “u” line shape? These lines are right under the corners of my mouth, on both sides . Also a deep frown like wrinkle between my lips and chin. What causes this and what is the treatment ? I am very self conscious of it.

I know exactly what you mean.  That groove or fold from the corner of the mouth to the chin is often called the MLF or mesolabial fold.   But…..there’s also another problem.  The corners of the mouth may turn down, even without much of an MLF.

You didn’t tell me your age, but I’d guess more than 45-50 because that’s when many of our patients start to notice this.  Lines from the corners of the mouth and under the chin are caused by volume loss and muscles pulling.

Here are some things to think about:

  • If you pull your cheeks back up into position (haven’t we ALL done this :)), notice how that fold is better.  If some volume is added “upstream” with an upward vector, it helps.  Notice this does NOT include chipmunk cheeks!
  • Tightening the entire facial skin, especially the cheeks, helps reposition this fold.  A well-done Thermage or other RF (radiofrequency) device may be useful, if you are a responder.  Talk to your dermatologist.
  • Of the many muscles around the mouth, there is one in particular that pulls the mouth down called the Depressor Anguli Ori (DAO).  If it is too tight, it can be relaxed with a tiny drop of Botox or Dysport.  Expert MDs only please, because a mistake throws your entire smile off for months. This is an FDA off-label use.
  • Aging causes loss of collagen and structure right at the corner (angle) of the mouth.  Supporting this with filler may be helpful.
  • The chin area is similar in that volume support is key. In addition, there are LOTS of blood vessels in this area, so work with an expert MD if you don’t want to be bruised.

A blunt tipped cannula, because is causes less bruising, may be very helpful if your provider know how to use them. 

Hope this helps,
Dr. Brandith Irwin
Founder, SkinTour
Director, Madison Skin & Laser Center
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Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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