Dr Harry Singh explains why botulinum toxin injections, using Azzalure™ could be the right solution for you if you have smoker’s lines around your mouth.
Do you, or have you ever smoked? If the answer is yes, then you’re probably expecting a lecture about how bad smoking is for your lung health, but that’s not what I want to talk about; I want to talk about smoker’s lines.
Smoking is actually pretty bad for your skin too, and is a significant contributing factor to the premature ageing of your skin, alongside sun exposure. The effects of smoking start to show after about a decade of the habit, speeding up normal ageing and leading to the early appearance of wrinkles. This is because the nicotine in the cigarettes causes a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the surface layers of your skin. This reduction in blood flow means that the skin cells don’t get as much oxygen or vital nutrients needed to support them and keep them healthy. It’s also been shown that many of the other chemicals present in tobacco smoke damage the collagen and elastin found in your skin; these are your skin’s support structures, so when they get damaged skin starts to sag and wrinkle.
Finally, I know, it’s starting to sound like a lecture isn’t it; the physical act of smoking, and the facial expressions made can also lead to the production of certain dynamic wrinkles. As you suck on and inhale from a cigarette, much like a straw, you purse your lips, leading to the formation of straight-line wrinkles in the area which surrounds the top and bottom lips, usually worse above the top lip, under the nose. After many years of smoking, these lines don’t just appear when you smoke, but are present when your face is at rest and you are not moving your mouth. It is these lines which are referred to as characteristic smoker’s lines. Similarly, you may also squint your eyes to avoid the smoke as you inhale and this adds to the formation of crow’s feet and frown lines.
All in, being a smoker will lead to you looking old before your time.
Now, of course I would advise you to quit the habit and your NHS GP can help you with solutions to achieve that, but what I can offer is a solution to the premature ageing and wrinkles associated with smoking.
During a face-to-face consultation with me, Dr Harry Singh, at my clinic in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, I can assess your medical and smoking history, current health and the presence of smoker’s lines. If botulinum toxin injections are the right solution for you, I can prescribe them as a cosmetic treatment. I use a brand called Azzalure™; Botox® is another brand that you may have heard of too. This prescription medicine can be used as an anti-wrinkle treatment for crow’s feet, frown lines, forehead lines, bunny lines around the nose, and smoker’s lines around the mouth. Treating these lines is an advanced technique, so it’s important that it is performed by someone with advanced training and experience. As a dentist, I understand the anatomy of the mouth area and have been performing cosmetic injections for over 15 years.
Azzalure acts by reducing the strength of certain muscles, in this case the large muscle that circles the lips, so that the production of the dynamic lines associated with smoking is reduced, and the overlying skin does not form the lines so readily, allowing it to recover and the wrinkles to reduce in appearance. Because this is a very important muscle for other actions such as speaking, smiling, drinking, chewing and kissing, we use very small doses of the botulinum toxin to reduce the smoker’s lines without affecting anything else. Treatment is not a permanent solution, lasting 4 to 6 months, but with regular injections we can prolong the recovery of the skin in the area and the lines will continue to fade.
If you are concerned about smoker’s lines and want to discuss whether Azzalure injections could be suitable for you, please arrange a consultation appointment with me, Dr. Harry Singh at Aesthetics in Stevenage, Hertfordshire by calling 01438 300111.