Perioral Combination Patient Image

Source: Next Steps in Derm

At the 16th Annual ODAC Dermatology, Aesthetics and Surgical Conference held January 18th-21st, 2019 in Orlando, FL, longtime meeting Vice Chair Dr. Joel L. Cohen from Denver Colorado, spoke on perioral combination therapy. His presentation outlined his approach to perioral rejuvenation with one main theme – combination treatment, combination treatment, combination treatment. Simply put, combination treatment for perioral rejuvenation yields the most optimal results.

Dr. Cohen’s Approach

Dr. Cohen’s approach to perioral rejuvenation begins by dividing his work into its requisite parts. If the patient has excessive animation, toxins are recommended. If the patient has only a few superficial etched lines, fillers are recommended. If the patient has more significant or many perioral rhytides, laser resurfacing is the tool of choice – but he emphasizes full-field erbium over fractional options for significant etched-lines (see figure 1). Overall, all three should be considered individually or in combination to yield the best results. A major take home point regarding perioral rhytides is that fillers and toxins are not the primary treatment for this condition — and patients with etched-lines on the upper lip really need laser resurfacing.

His presentation also highlighted the need to address the entire perioral area when treating cutaneous lip etching – such as fillers in the nasolabial folds, antero-medial cheek, secondary smile lines, marionette area, and pre-jowl sulcus.

When addressing the mucosal lips as far as lip volume, it is of the utmost importance to make sure patients have a realistic expectation of results. Dr. Cohen prefers to use the Merz lip fullness scale, one of the scales that he co-authored. With this scale, no patient should jump from a zero to a four. Patients should move one or two grades on the scale in order to keep the result looking natural – and to be honest, it often isn’t even realistic for someone with really skinny lips to augment to full grade 4 lips, the anatomy just doesn’t accommodate that type of change.

It’s also important to note that mucosal lip-augmentation often results in neo-collagenesis over time.  Therefore, it is important to get volume and proportions right in the first place, and not just simply squirt a lot of volume all over the lip or even uniformly throughout the lip. The medial lip should be fuller than the lateral lip.  And the lip should have tubercles of projection points.

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