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Cosmetic Enhancement - Avoiding the Trout Pout

With Central Coast Cosmetic Doctor and GP: Dr Owen Greene

Youthful lips are full of volume and have sharp edges. As we age, there is a gradual loss of fat from the lips and bone reabsorption from the face. This causes the lips to lose volume and, in turn, causes a reduction in their defined edges. As a result the lips to look flat, dull and dehydrated. Dermal fillers can be used to add fullness to the lips; however, if this is done with poor technique, or too much filler is used, then the lips will project forward, resulting in a ‘trout pout’.

How do we avoid the trout pout and create subtle, natural and beautiful looking lips?

Firstly, a different injection technique is needed for younger and older lips. Fullness in young lips is created by emphasising definition and sharp edges. This technique does not work in the older lip. Only small volumes of filler, carefully placed in the lips are required and, the focus is to give a subtle and natural look that looks in keeping with a mature face.

The Upper Lip-Lower Lip Proportions

We recognise natural beauty via facial patterns that we see, almost entirely subconsciously. When looking at the lips, the upper lip should be about 1/3 of the total lip size and the lower lip about 2/3. Sticking to these proportions when injecting dermal fillers achieves a subtle and natural look and avoids swollen lips that can appear 'stuck on'.

Flattening of Cupid’s Bow

As we age, the Cupid’s Bow flattens out because the lip lengthens and the lips lose their volume. Carefully adding volume to the philtral columns using very small amounts of dermal filler creates a subtle and youthful looking lip and avoids the 'trout pout'.

Lengthening of Upper Lip

Ageing causes the skin to lose its 'bounce' and as a result the lips get flatter and longer and the red part of the lip becomes less visible. When injecting dermal fillers in the upper lip, we aim to make the lip shorter and less flat. Incorrect injection placement can actually make the lengthening of the lip worse because too much volume is added to the upper lip. Carefully placed injections can also be used to lift the red part of the lip to create and more youthful look.

Lipstick Lines

Vertical lines around the lips can form as we age and the volume of the lips is lost; this can cause a puckered appearance to the skin. These lines are known as 'lipstick lines' or 'smoker's' lines. Dermal filler injected into the lips, combined with anti-wrinkle injections ('Botox') injected sparingly around the lips, helps to reduce this.

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