Influence of age on the lips and perioral skin

Dermatology. 2004;208(4):307-13. doi: 10.1159/000077838.


Background: There are few objective descriptions of the age-related changes taking place on the lips and perioral skin. This zone, however, has great importance in relational functions.

Objectives: To describe quantitatively the age-related changes in dimension of the lips and the appearance of the perioral wrinkles, to revisit, thanks to a new method, the pattern of the lip furrows, to compare the hydration states of the upper and lower lips.

Methods: On 100 women, we clinically scored wrinkles, dryness of the lips and the general photoageing of the facial skin. We used a Corneometer for measuring dryness of the lips and SkinChip for recording lip surface patterns.

Results: The upper lip is more hydrated than the lower one, and there is no correlation between lip capacitance and the clinical score of lip dryness. The surface pattern can be classified into 3 main groups with no relation to age. Wrinkle number and visibility are linearly related to age, becoming visible during the fifth decade. The intercommissural distance increases with age, whereas lip height decreases.

Conclusions: Both lips are different in terms of dryness. Inversely to their surface pattern, their dimensions are markedly changed with age. The time of apparition of vertical wrinkles suggests a possible influence of hormones.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • Biosensing Techniques
  • Facial Dermatoses / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Lip / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Skin Aging / pathology*