If you see an aging face when you look in the mirror, you’re probably noticing the marks of time such as crow’s feet, lines on your forehead, nasolabial wrinkles, hooded eyes and maybe a droopy neck and jaw line. These features are common as our skin ages.
There’s another less obvious condition that may also be contributing to a tired, sad, even angry look for you: a droopy mouth. As everything slides southward, the corners of your mouth tend to go that direction too.
The first step in addressing the problem is assessing the cause and considering long term versus shorter-term fixes and costs. This is where a plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon or dermatologist who’s experienced in facial procedures should advise you.
For many women, injectable fillers such as Restylane, Juvederm and Sculptra can help fill in lost volume around the corners of the mouth. They can also help fill in marionette lines that run from the lips down to the outer chin. Fillers will last several months and cost several hundreds of dollars.
For some women, the mouth looks downturned due to over activity by the muscles at the corners of the mouth. If this is the case for you, your doctor may suggest you try Botox. This treatment blocks the action of the depressor anguli oris (DAO) muscle that causes your mouth to look turned down, while still allowing you to smile and look natural. The treatment will last a few months, and if you just treat the area around your mouth the cost will likely be a few hundred dollars.
If you’re young, chances are your downturned mouth is due to the DAO muscle. Some doctors feel that repeated Botox treatments will cause the muscle to atrophy over time. In any case, Botox may be worth a try.
If you’re older, chances are your droopy mouth is probably caused by a loss of fat under the skin and reduced skin elasticity. In this case, you may need a combination of Botox and fillers, or just fillers alone. Your treatment will likely set you back several hundred dollars or more, and you’ll find that many plastic surgeons will suggest a mid face lift or other surgical procedure for lasting results.