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Cosmetic procedures to get rid of smoker’s lips or discoloured lips

Sometimes home remedies are not enough to take care of dark and discoloured lips.

Written by Debjani Arora |Published : March 25, 2018 7:57 PM IST

When it comes to cosmetic surgeries we hear about a lot of procedures that help one to get a glowing, younger and blemish free skin. Not much is talked about procedures that help to get lips that are to die for. Undoubtedly, your lips don't require cosmetic procedures to look pout-worthy. Often a little TLC like applying a lip balm and using homemade scrubs to get rid of the dry skin is enough to keep the lips looking great. However, for some people, things might not be that easy, especially for smokers or women who have hormonal imbalances the effect of which can be seen in their lips. Their lips can become darkened or black with time and need more than mere home remedies to come back to life. Here Dr Apratim Goel Dermatologist and Laser Surgeon talk about the cosmetic procedures that can help to make your lips look pout-worthy.

NdYAG laser treatment: The q-Switch NdYAG laser emits high energy light towards the affected area, helping to reduce the number of unwanted coloured cells. This then allows generation of new cells to replace the old ones. In q-Switch mode, the laser produces two wavelengths (1064 and 532). The double frequency 532nm is usually used for dark lips. Laser energy is absorbed by the pigments (usually brown, or grey in colour). This pigmentation breaks off into smaller fragments and are naturally cleared away by the body. The procedure feels like tiny hot dots on the lips and is tolerable. You need 4 to 6 sessions based on the darkness of your lips. There is no or minimal downtime. A mild pink flush might be present for a few minutes post procedure. One must use lip balms with SPF. Any other creams or tablets for lightning should not be used without consulting your dermatologist.

Micropigmentation: This procedure can simply be described as minute particles of coloured pigment being placed mechanically in the lips. It is done using a suitable pigment for your lip colour with a pen-like machine. The lips will look very dry and chapped as they heal. You usually see the full, truest colour after about two weeks. The initial application is always applied conservatively and the final colour can only be precisely determined and adjusted during a follow-up appointment after the initial application has fully healed. Though rare, infection is possible. If you see signs of infection such as persistent increased redness or swelling, fever, drainage, or oozing, contact your doctor immediately. Apply ice packs as necessary to prevent or reduce swelling.

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When the area starts to flake, leave it. Do not pick, peel or pull on the skin. For at least one week post-procedure or until healing is complete (whichever is longer), keep your hands clean and avoid touching the affected area(s). Do not scrub or pick treated areas. Do not use peroxide or neosporin on treated areas. Do not expose the area to direct sun or to tanning beds. Avoid Retin-A, moisturizers, glycolic acids, exfoliants and anti-aging products at all times (not just during healing) on all micropigmented areas. These can cause pigments to fade and lighten prematurely. As the colour fades eventually, periodic touch ups will ensure long lasting results. Temporary side effects from micropigmentation include redness, swelling, puffiness, bruising, dry patches and tenderness.

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