You can shorten your philtrum in several ways, ranging from temporary makeup application techniques to more permanent solutions like a lip lift procedure. It would be best if you discussed your options with your surgeon along with the results you hope to achieve.
A lip lift surgery or philtrum correction surgery is a versatile surgical option for reconstructing the mouth and lip area. Each procedure can be customised to the patient’s aesthetic goals, considering their unique facial anatomy.
At 111 Harley St. we perform the procedure under local anaesthetic, which requires minimal downtime. Ageing is one reason for considering a lip lift as the philtrum can elongate, and the lips can become thinner. Alternatively, you may be looking to shorten the length of the skin between your cupid’s bow and under your nose.
The ‘bullhorn lip lift’ technique involves a small incision along the natural line and shadow below your nose, concealed as much as possible to avoid visible scarring. Skin is removed from under your nose to reduce the philtrum length. The remaining skin is then lifted and re-stitched. This approach can enhances teeth show and create vermillion fullness to the middle of the upper lip. It can also improve the shape of the cupid’s bow, raise the vermillion border (the edges of the lips) and increase the size of the lips based on your desires.
The amount of skin removed varies from patient to patient, and it’s essential to have realistic expectations. Since a lip lift has the effect of increasing upper lip show, it requires an understanding of the delicate balance between the upper lip and length of the philtrum.
As the procedure is highly customisable, the ridge of the philtrum is something that can also be reconstructed to enhance the groove. This might be an option to explore if your philtrum is smooth or flat. You may also be interested in elevating the corners of the mouth to minimise a downturned appearance.
A lip lift could be a consideration if you’ve experimented with lip fillers over the years and weren’t satisfied with the results or are seeking a more permanent solution. Those who have a longer philtrum aren’t always suitable for lip fillers and will achieve a better result with a lip lift.
In contrast, some patients may find that they have too much gum show or want their philtrum extended. In which case, the philtrum can be reconstructed to achieve the opposite effect.
Shortening the philtrum with lip fillers requires an expert injector who can make an informed decision regarding the patient’s suitability. If the philtrum is too long and you also have a thin upper lip, you may not be the most suitable candidate for lip fillers.
Lip fillers should be used conservatively to enhance the shape of the natural lip, without compromising the shape of the area. When too much lip filler is used in a patient with very thin lips, they may find that the filler migrates above the lip lines, which could have the unwanted side effect of enhancing the volume of the philtrum. Some practitioners refer to this effect as a ‘milk moustache’ as it presents itself as a white line above the upper lip. In this scenario, you might be more suited for a lip lift.
However, those with undefined grooves may benefit from strategic placement of lip filler which can be used to redefine the philtrum area and enhance the philtrum ridges.
For the right patient, lip fillers can be carefully injected into the selected areas to add volume to the tip of the cupid’s bow, thereby raising the upper lip. As the cupid’s bow elevates, the philtrum will appear shorter.
Those with a longer philtrum are also more likely to have a thinner and flatter upper lip. Lip injections can help to redefine the cupid’s bow and can provide structural support for the lips while giving the illusion that the distance between the bottom of your nose and your upper lip is shorter.
Another option for reducing the appearance of distance between your nose and your lips is a non-surgical injectable technique called the ‘lip flip’ that uses Botox. The injector will strategically inject small amounts of Botox above the lip, causing it to roll out and upwards. This technique also gives the illusion of a fuller upper lip, and so the injector may recommend additional lip filler to balance out the lips.
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