The prevalence of lip vermilion morphological traits in a 15-year-old population

Am J Med Genet A. 2013 Jan;161A(1):4-12. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.a.35515. Epub 2012 Dec 3.


The aim of this study is to describe and categorize the various lip vermilion morphological traits, prevalence, and associations present in a 15-year-old population The instrument we developed was checked for the reliability of assessment. The study is a cross-sectional study of lip vermilion morphology in 2,246 fifteen-year-old children. Three-dimensional surface laser scans were taken of the children, and a classification scale was derived and assessed for intra- and inter-reliability. The prevalence of lip vermilion morphological traits and associations was identified. Certain features are found to be likely to be associated with each other: thin philtrum and smooth/deep indentation of the philtrum; wide philtrum and smooth/normal gradient, flat/absent Cupid's bow and smooth/normal/indentation near nose, V-shaped Cupid's bow and indentation in middle/deep groove; thin upper lip vermilion and deep groove; thick upper lip vermilion and smooth philtrum; acute nasolabial angle and upper lip double border and thick upper lip vermilion; obtuse nasolabial angle and thin upper lip vermilion. In conclusion, we present a new method to identify the various morphological features of the vermilion of the lips. The prevalence of morphological traits has been identified in this 15-year-old population. In addition, the association of lip traits has been reported. This classification scale may be utilized to ascertain prevalence of features amongst other ethnic groups, to gain knowledge of what is considered to be attractive features, and to determine genotype/phenotype associations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lip / anatomy & histology*
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Prevalence
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sex Characteristics