Did you think kissable lips were a thing of the past? Not anymore. Aging does take a toll on our lips but there are weapons at our disposal nowadays that can help keep your lips smooth and supple, without ending up with the dreaded duck face.
There’s a product that can give you that full, youthful mouth without looking like Goldie Hawn in The First Wives Club. Lips, meet Restylane Silk, an FDA-approved filler for the lips that restores the youthfulness without giving too much volume. We can reverse the aging process that thins the lips by using conservative amounts of this hyaluronic acid filler to plump the lips back up.
The key is to get an injector that will do CONSERVATIVE amounts. Even with conservative amounts, some people will swell, but that usually does not last more than 3 to 6 days. If you tend to swell or are worried about it, you can take an over-the-counter antihistamine like Allegra, Claritin, or Zyrtec before you have your treatment. If you are driving, do not take Benadryl because it will make you too drowsy!
Lip injections can also trigger cold sores if you are prone to them, so you may also want to have some Valcyclovir on hand to take if necessary. Combining a tiny amount of neurotoxin (Dysport, Botox, Xeomin) with a small amount of filler can rejuvenate the lip to look naturally plump again.
Even if you are interested in having your lips plumped, they still need regular loving care after over 50 years of sun damage. With the right diagnostics and treatment, you can have kissable lips for years to come.
Heal Dry Lips
To remove that dead skin that lingers on your lips, try exfoliating and moisturizing to restore soft and smooth lips. You can make your own exfoliator by mixing equal parts brown sugar (~1/2 teaspoon) with coconut oil (~1/2 teaspoon). Mix these two ingredients together in a small bowl using a clean finger or a small spoon. Apply just a small dab to your lips and use a circular motion with the mixture on your lower and upper lip to gently rub away the dead skin. Blot away any excess brown sugar with a tissue.
Follow with your favorite moisturizing lip-gloss. If you plan to be outside, use Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm with SPF 20. At night, use a dab of Vaseline or Aquaphor healing ointment. After you have treated your lips with the brown sugar/ coconut oil mix you can save the left over in a sealed container and use again as often as needed until lips feel soft. Once soft, maintain with moisturizer and, when dead skin builds back up, repeat the treatment.
Treat Lip Rashes or Allergies
Lips that are more severely chapped need to be treated gently. Use a bland moisturizer such as aquaphor healing ointment. If the rash persists, try a cortisone treatment until it is better and then switch back to plain ointment. A good over-the-counter cortisone lip balm is Dr. Dan’s Cortibalm with 1% hydrocortisone. Use Cortibalm only as needed since chronic use of cortisone can have side effects. If you’re only using it for a week or two, or intermittently, it should not be a problem. If your problem persists or you suspect an infection, see a Dermatologist.
Prevent and Treat Cold Sores / Fever Blisters
Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are caused by a herpes virus. Most times, the virus is contracted at a young age. Once contracted, it lives dormant in a nerve bundle deep under the skin. Fever blisters can be triggered by the sun, having a cold, and/or stress. An outbreak usually occurs as tiny red blisters that are grouped on or near the lips. The grouped blisters can become swollen, painful and itch. The blisters turn into sores that crust over. Sometimes the sores can become infected with bacteria.
People who get cold sores can oftentimes tell when they are about to get one as the sore can be preceded by a tingling, burning or itching sensation that will warn them they are about to get a sore. Beginning treatment at this early stage will either abort the outbreak all together or at least minimize it. The most effective treatment is oral valaciclovir (Valtrex) or acyclovir (Zovirax), which is a prescription from your doctor. The only FDA approved over the counter treatment is docosanol (Abreva). As with any sore, keep the area clean and use an ointment such as Aquaphor helps to heal the sore. If a sore or crusty spot does not heal on your lip, see a Dermatologist.
Don’t give up on having beautiful, full, kissable lips. Talk to your doctor or dermatologist if you have questions.