Aging Changes of the Male Lips—A Lesser Evil Than in Females?

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Abstract

Background

Although aging changes of the female perioral region and aesthetic procedures for perioral rejuvenation are described in literature, specific data for the male population are lacking. This study aims to evaluate perioral aging process in the male population to compare quality and quantity of the observed changes to the female population.

Methods

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of 22 male subjects, were recruited into 2 age groups: young (20–35 years) and old (65–80 years) and the following parameters were measured: length of visible upper lip, thickness of upper lip at the level of vermilion border, thickness of upper lip at the level of the mid lip, and cross-section area of upper lip. Cadaver transverse sections of the upper lip of 10 individuals in 2 age groups, young (<40 years, n = 5) and old (>80 years, n = 5) underwent histological analysis of the relevant anatomical structures.

Results

The MRI analyses does not show a statistically significant difference in upper lip lengths of old and young subjects (P = 0.213). Upper lip thickness decreases statistically significant (P < 0.001), the midline sagittal upper lip area does not show a significant change (P = 0.57). Histomorphometry shows a statistically significant decrease of cutis thickness, increase of subcutaneous fat, thinning of the orbicularis muscle, and a broadening of the orbicularis oris angle.

Conclusions

The aging changes of the perioral region in men and women are similar in regard to the general processes, yet the extent of the changes is less striking in the men.

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